“Katy, for the love of Christ! You are scooping horse shit in the pouring rain, stop whistling and acting happy!”
One of my bosses, Leslie, really hates the rain. She hates the rain because she seems to be really bad at forecasting when it will happen. I think when Leslie was little she must have littered or burned holes in a worm with a magnifying glass and really pissed off Mother Nature, because she really does have a knack for getting the opposite of what she wishes for.
Every day since last Saturday the afternoon storms have been rolling in around 4:30. That’s right when we have our last ride of the day.
On Monday we waited 15 minutes before we started team penning because it seemed like it was about to rain. Then when it didn’t rain Leslie told us to start and we got through about 20 minutes of the hour long session when the sky broke open and we had to bring everyone in. Then we frantically tore off saddles in the monsoon.
Yesterday we had a fast ride. Once again, the skies were ominous but no rain. Then it got sunny.
On the radio we heard, “Wranglers, since it’s clearing up go ahead and extend this fast ride to make it a full hour.”
I had started the afternoon chores in the tack room and said to one of the volunteers, “This is not going to end well.” She nodded in agreement.
Just as the rides were as far away as they could possibly be … CRACK!
A HUGE bolt of lightening struck nearby.
Then on the radio I hear, “Hey, uh, wranglers, let’s bring the rides in as quickly as possible.”
Then seconds later, CRACK! Another close strike.
Then over the radio the wranglers chimed in, “Uh Leslie, my entire ride spooked at that last lightening bolt and Sandra fell off. But she’s OK.”
“Hey, Leslie, is it possible to smell lightening?”
“Hey Leslie, my group wants to get picked up in a van.”
I went with Leslie and the owner in the vans to save the rides from the rain.
“It WAS clearing up, what happened?” she asked me.
“The wind changed directions.”
“Fuck the wind Katy! FUCK THE WIND!”
“Yeah, that wind can be tricky.”
There's not supposed to be a stream there.
Today, once again, the skies darkened just in time for team penning.
So we waited.
And we waited.
Then we mounted up 25 people.
Then it started to rain.
“Hey everyone, it looks like it’s going to pass soon, as long as there’s no lightening we can still have a go,” Leslie told all the guests.
I lead the group to the arena.
Then it started raining harder.
Then it started hailing.
“Ok everyone, now the radar says it’s only going to get worse so we’re going to have to cancel team penning after all.”
As the last completely soaked guest was hopping off of her horse the skies lightened and the rain turned into a light drizzle that tapered off quickly.
“GOD DAMN IT I HATE THE RAIN!,” Leslie said to me.
I gave her a sympathetic look and went back to my whistling and scooping wet horse shit.
I love the rain.