Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring Freaks

Good Afternoon Everyone.  Just a quick post to tell you about what spring weather brings around at the farm.  It's also a warning to you not to behave this way with a horse farmer.

It's unseasonably warm today.  It has been all week.  We'll have one more cold snap before Spring.  Right now, though, everyone has Spring Fever--including the freaks!

What do I mean by freaks?  Oh, come on.  You know.  People who act weird.  People who make you say, "Hmmmm."  People you just wonder about when you encounter them.  I get a lot of phone calls from freaks.  I bet I've gotten at least 10 in the past two days.  Now, the freaks are starting to drop by, too.  Weird.

Since my farm is also a business, I have to field phone calls from the general public.  It's how my lesson people find me.  It's part of my job.  I also field unscheduled drop-ins by the public.  The freaks blend in with the general public.  It's hard to tell them apart until they start really talking to you.  Then, you know.

Most of my unscheduled drop-ins are people who want to ask about lessons.  Not many of them book lessons.  Most of them are just talking.  The people who book lessons tend to call after they found us on the web, saw our sign, or a friend referred them.  Drop-ins almost never result in business.

I spend a lot less time with drop-ins now that I know it's not likely to result in business.  I talk to them.  I answer most questions.  I'm polite.  But, I learned not to spend half an hour with them.  It's a waste of time.

Drop-ins disrupt our daily schedule.  Drop-ins cost money because they keep me or the staff from doing what I'm paying to be done.  Drop-ins have great potential to be freaks.  I mean who else has time to be driving around in the middle of a weekday, stopping, and asking a million questions?  Not most normal people.

Most normal people have jobs or children at home to take care of.  Normal people do not pull into my gate on a Thursday at 2:00 pm and start asking if my horses are male or female.  Those kind of questions let you know a freak is on the farm.

Just today, Dod headed off a freak for me.  It was actually a pair of freaks.  They started asking about lessons.  Ok.  That's not a problem.  Then, they started asking about my horses' names, male or female, and breed.  I wish Dod hadn't told the freaks my horses' names.  He only told them the names of the two horses.  They also wanted to know if those two horses were females.  Red flag, red flag, red flag!!!!

Why do these freaks want to know my horses' personal data?  Do they want a date with my female horses? What?  Too many questions.  Too many weird questions that have nothing to do with lessons.  It makes me start wondering about people.  I want them to go away when this kind of stuff starts.

There was a guy in the news last year breaking into people's horse barns and having sex with the female horses.  He was finally caught and sentenced for animal cruelty.  There are more really serious freaks out there than you know.  Trust me.  I'm not paranoid.  I'm cautious.  I have really good reasons.

My first horse died of antifreeze poisoning from a freak calling him to a fence and giving him a bucket full to drink.  The autopsy showed it.  The guy is in prison now on an unrelated charge.  He'll eventually be sentenced on those animal killings, too.  He killed horses and cattle.  That's a serious freak.

Now, I realize most people are simply asking an innocent question.  They are trying to find common ground.  They want me to think they know horses.  Trust me, it makes me think you don't know horses when you ask freakish questions.

So, next time you drive by a horse farm or call a horse farm, don't be a freak.  Don't be mistaken for a freak.  Ask normal questions that you'd ask at any business.  Ask the business hours.  Ask the price of lessons or boarding.  Ask if they teach beginners.  Do not start asking about those female horses over there and what are their names and do they have a cell phone number. That starts making you look like a freak.

Freaky questions by people "just dropping by" make me get out  my grandfather's pistol.  I have it close by just in case you're one of those serious freaks.  I don't brandish it at any one.  I'll patrol the property with it sometimes.  But, trust me, I have it on hand.

I will greet you with the pistol if I must.  You don't want to get that reaction from me or any other farmer.  Really. I promise.  We won't be friends afterward. So, promise me next time you think of horses, you'll remember not to act like a freak.  We'll all breathe easier.  Thanks.

Hope you got a few laughs as well as some helpful hints!  Have a good day! Thanks for reading!

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