Tuesday, September 17, 2013

In the Barn with Erin

 Part 1

At this time I was still dealing with a tremendous amount of pain but my body had healed enough I was beginning to get to my feet. I had no strength or stamina so I was still spending much of my time sleeping. What energy I did have was being sucked up dealing with Erin or issues created by her.

It was outside that things got the craziest. She could do a good job if she wanted but she rarely finished what she started or cleaned up after herself. Even her manner of working was disorganized so she left chaos wherever she had been.

Erin treated my barn like it was hers. Over the course of her stay, she went through all of my trunks and cupboards destroying the organization that was there. She didn't care about order, only finding what she sought. She didn't return anything to the way she found it. My storage containers looked like a gigantic Mixmaster had churned all the contents into a jumbled, unrecognizable glob. Everything was so tangled I still haven't gotten it all fixed. The contents of two trunks still need to be unscrambled and returned to the sorted, sized and neatly folded assortment of halters, leads, leg wraps, bandages, etc. that were arranged for quick and easy access. The way they were disheveled was so extreme it's taken me at least two hours per unit to undo the damage done by Erin's inconsiderate investigation into everything in my barns. This intrusion all the more significant when you know I still can't stand in one place for more than a few minutes so the work I have done has been painful and exhausting.

One of the things Erin did without asking, she tore down the grooming tote I keep set up for horse shows, shooting pictures and sales presentations and scattered the components helter skelter. She commandeered the tote for her personal grooming tote even though there was one set up already for daily grooming needs and grooming buckets available at each barn. 

None of the brushes or curries I had out were ones she liked so she planned to buy some even though she had already put that tote together for her use. I wasn't comfortable with her spending her money to groom my horses when she was just here for a visit. With several boxes full of excess brushes and curries stored in my barn, I  told her she could choose what she wanted from them; never dreaming she would drag all of those boxes out, pick what she wanted and leave the rest out and all over the floor. For this one task I had one disaster in my cross tie area and one in the storage area and she was just getting started making messes on my farm. This particular disarray had to be fixed before horses could be safely moved in and out of their stalls for turnout but Erin didn't repair any of this. My request to maintain a safe workplace resulted with her sudden disappearance, followed by a bout of dark depression. She was in the house curled up in a fetal position while I  cleaned up after her so the horses could get what they needed. After all of this she rarely used these things for grooming anyway. Certainly her need to have things her way was not worth the disruptions she caused over and over in my barn. 

Many of the stalls needed repair but our budget is really tight. Any job that couldn't wait had to be done with recycled wood and sometimes that entailed getting pretty creative.

As part of their indoor play, two geldings were dismantling the wall between them.  The rate at which they were progressing meant this couldn't wait for Dave to get home so Erin undertook this task. She did a great job with the repair but didn't put all the tools away.

Not realizing this, I was leading both geldings together into the barn for the night. We turned into the dimly lit barn aisle with one horse beside me and the other behind me when I discovered the hand saw laying on the floor in the middle of the aisle right in front of us. Of course there was no one available to assist me but thankfully both horses cooperated without me having to turn them in the narrow aisleway or try to back them out and return them to the pasture from which we'd just come. Instead both stood quietly while I moved forward, picked up the sharp tool and moved it to a safer location before letting the horses proceed into their stalls.

I couldn't let this incident slide.  It could have been Dave or Lindsay leading one of the geldings and they could have missed seeing the saw or misjudged how to deal with the issue. Neither has as effective control of a horse as I do.  What a wreck that could have been. I didn't yell, call names or accuse, I just told Erin she needed to be more careful putting tools away, cleaning up after herself and keeping all walkways unobstructed. She did not apologize nor did she express any concern for the jeopardy her actions caused for me or the two horses instead she made excuses and justified her behavior. Afterwards she spiraled out of control into the abyss.

I don't recall a single time when I went to the barn during this time that I actually got to spend my time enjoying my horses. Instead I was cleaning up whatever the latest chaos left behind Erin was. The only exception was those days Erin's depression didn't allow her to the barn for days. If I could get the barn back into order without pushing myself so far beyond my limits that it took days to recuperate, then and only then I could return to an ordered barn and use the energy I had for my horses. That didn't happen often. Most times cleaning up after Erin meant heavy lifting and other things my body couldn't accommodate without a price so while Erin was incapacitated because she wouldn't cope with any form of confrontation or even a difference of opinion, I was laid up by increased pain levels caused by cleaning up after her.

Erin had come here to be around the horses. Considering the impact she had on us, I should probably count my lucky stars she spent as little time with them as she did.......but she did spend some time with them and it was as affected by her baggage as everything else.

To be continued..........

Erin with the Horses........


  1. Well, that would have made me crazy. I am very organized and like to know where everything is when I need it. Lets hope if she ever does get a barn she'll know enough o keep things off the floor in the aisles at least. By her doing this it shoes disrespect for you and your horses and property. And a huge dose of laziness to go with it.

  2. What a nightmare. I've lived with someone who spiraled into a depression at the drop of a hat, especially when I tried to set some boundaries. It was awful. I feel for you.