When the ex decided to sell Smoke, he got the hard part-that of telling the Gorsky’s. All I did was the marketing, made up the signs, handled the looky lous.
They began to get the idea when we took Smoke’s picture. I’d learned a long time ago that a good picture will sell a horse. A good picture meaning, the horse is clean, untacked, the photo shot for a side view, showing all four legs and feet evenly. It’s astounding how many people out there have no idea how to take a picture of a horse. You’ll get a picture showing a horse with a butt the size of Montana and a little bitty pinhead wayyyyy out there in the distance.
And whenever I see a picture of a horse with his feet hidden in the grass, or tilted (the Arab people were especially good for this) to make the croup look flat, or only the horse’s head is shown-something is wrong.
I wanted to take a picture of Smoke with the ex holding him the way the Europeans do. They hold a horse with two hands, one on each rein, standing in front of the horse. Either the pictures didn’t come out right or the ex didn’t want to stand in front of Smoke. I couldn’t blame him for that. No matter. A bridled horse always looks more formal than one in a halter, either way.
If I find the ad, I shall post it. Smoke was a horse that could sell himself if he minded his manners. The photo showed him with a rein draped over his withers. This drew the eye to his neck, which had filled in nicely with good feed, and accentuated his withers. Just before I disseminated ads and put one in the local horse porn magazine, we formally notified the Gorskys. We gave them the equine equivalent of a thirty-day notice. It was totally correct and well within the time limit of our contract. Nevertheless, June went bananas.
June had always been a problem. Part of it was that when you boarded a horse at her place, it became her horse. You still had to pay the board bill, but you lost all control of the management. You couldn’t feed what you wanted to feed, you couldn’t add hay or subtract grain, etc. You had to take riding lessons, and only from her trainer. She even hated that I stopped riding in a dressage saddle and began to ride bareback. For some reason, that galled the living shit out of her.
Bruce wasn’t much better. When I told him to stop feeding so much bran to Smoke, he told me I was dooming Smoke to colic. I said, stop feeding him grain all together and double his ration of hay. He went through the roof. He had also forbidden our horses from using the pastures as ‘it makes Creek jealous”. To this day there horses live in two places: the stall and a 50×50 ft pen full of rocks. No wonder they’re nuts. So I think that both of them wanted rid of our horses. June wanted the money, though, and she had gotten to where she liked beating up on me.
God knows she wasn’t able to dent the ex’s pride.
She still hadn’t learned that Ex had no feelings or empathy for her. She was just June. Or, when he was pissy, “that witch”. Either way, she treated him like she treated her husband, Bruce: as a target for abuse. It didn’t work. So when she berated Ex for being the heartless bastard he was in selling an animal, he didn’t budge. She tried to reason with him. She said she’d never sold a horse. Never. Apparently she didn’t remember telling us how she’d gotten rid of Belle. Nope, she didn’t remember that at all.
Then, when the ex told her that he was still intending on selling Smoke, she told him we would not be allowed to show the horse on THEIR property (mind you, the very same property that we’d been paying their hefty boarding fee for over a year.) She also said that strangers were not allowed to come on the property to look at the horse.
Again, I am not sure how it all worked out, but apparently Bruce had told her to shut the eff up. We had a right to sell the horse and would be allowed to do so on the property.
Unsuccessful at convincing ex that we were commiting mortal sin, she turned her venom on me. I was her usual target, anyway. The next day, I was cleaning Jordan’s paddock (something she was supposed to do but never did for Jordan). She cornered me and proceeded to scream at me. How dare I sell Smoke. (she’d failed at making the ex come to heel, so now it was my fault we were selling him.) Now they were going to be out a ton of money because they’d bought so much extra hay. Foolish me, I thought our board money included hay. The same hay, by the way, they were so stingy with that I had taken to supplementing the boys’ feed with a big can of hay cubes every day. No matter how big the horse, the Gorsky’s fed them only TWO flakes, one in the AM, one in the PM.
I didn’t ask her why Jordan always got the year old grass hay and their horses got alfalfa. (actually, the grass hay was better, as the alfalfa they bought was just full of rocks and clods of mud.) She went on and on about how sick she was of me, my horse (I was moving Jordan to our home) was going to die because I didn’t know how to properly care for one, etc. Part of me so desperately wanted to smash her trash mouth. Finally she wound down and stormed off. Then she gave me the silent treatment for two weeks. The ex asked me how come I was so lucky to get it?
If you are getting the idea that June is a nut job, you are right. She was just as vicious, mean, and sociopathic as Smoke was. To this day, I steer very clear of her. She is as virulent as the flu and far more sickening. In fact, she had spells just like Smoke. Some days she was sweet as peach pie. But she could turn as swiftly as an eel and be shrieking evil epithets in your face, full of scandalous lies and profanity. Sometimes we called her Effer June, as every other word was the eff word.
But that sometimes worked to my advantage. When people came to see Smoke, I told them “that’s June, don’t cross her as she’s not taken her medications today.” That’s all I ever needed to do. I didn’t have to worry about telling them about Smoke’s many vices. If they’d ask, of course I told them. But I sure in hell wasn’t going to offer them, and if they’d asked June, she would have invented a bunch, just to keep us from selling him.
The second time June went at me, I put a swift end to her verbal abuse. I asked her, as sweetly as I could, “June, why does your head wobble from side to side when you’re screaming?” She went beet red, turned on her heel and stormed back to the house. That earned me my second dose of the silent treatment, and it was more enjoyable than the first.
Maybe I got through to her, because, later, she tried to help us with Smoke. More on that later, as it’s getting late.