Dear Meddling Passerby


This is me with my gelding, Stepper, back when we were both a little less gray and a little more spry.

This is me with my gelding, Stepper, back when we were both a little less gray and a little more spry.

I addressed this post to “passerby” rather than “neighbor,” because I really, truly hope that one of my neighbors wouldn’t do such a thing.

So, dear passerby, I’d like you to know that I’m really quite a friendly person. I’m quite happy to chat with people and answer questions. Questions about, let’s say, my horses.

Do you wish to know why they’re kind of skinny? That’s because my gelding (Stepper) is 27 years old and my wife’s mare (Gwendolyn) is 25. That’s pretty old for a horse. I’d be happy to show you the Equine Senior feed supplement that we feed them twice a day. Also, Stepper is a Peruvian Paso/Saddlebred cross. They tend not to be as stocky as your typical Montana quarter horse.

If you had stopped to ask, I’d have talked about how I select and store their hay, the vet visit to check out Stepper’s back leg (the vet who told me our horses are “in great shape for their age,” by the way), their shots, their dewormer, winter blankets, and summer shade.

How about their hooves? Yeah, you got me on that one. I haven’t had those hooves trimmed all winter. They’re pretty bad. I’ll be happy to tell you which farrier is coming out, though. Heck, I’ll even invite you out after the farrier is done so you can inspect their feet.

You see, dear passerby, Montana is a friendly place. We talk about things.

What we don’t do is make an anonymous call to the Sheriff’s office and report someone for animal abuse because their horses look skinny and muddy.  (Yep, they roll in the dirt. Imagine that.) We especially don’t wait until someone is out of town to do it. That’s what my dear departed father used to call a “dick move.” And doing it anonymously brings another adjective or two to mind. Perhaps “cowardly” might fit.

I wrote this post in my head several times before actually posting it. I had settled on a title for it, but being a generally polite kind of person, I changed that title from “Dear Passive-Aggressive Asshole” to “Dear Meddling Passerby” before pressing the post button.

I love my horses. I don’t ride them anymore because they are old, but I deeply resent being accused of abusing them, and I’m very unhappy that a deputy had to drive out here to investigate the report. I’m sure that reporting me to the Sheriff’s office made you feel all warm and righteous, but the bottom line is that you didn’t change a thing, because there’s nothing that needs to be changed. It was a very hurtful thing that you’ve done. I sincerely hope that you are an animal lover and that someone unjustly files an anonymous report with law enforcement about you. Maybe then you’ll realize what an obnoxious thing you’ve done.

I think I’m going to sign off now before I change this back to the original title.

About Gary D. Robson

Gary Robson: Author, tea guy, and general manager of the Billings Bookstore Cooperative. I've written books and articles on a zillion different subjects, but everyone knows me for my "Who Pooped in the Park?" books.

Posted on 13 June 2013, in Blog and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. This just shows how much some people know about horses. Some complainants are from locals and some are just from out of the area people who look at the horses/cows, etc and assume they are neglected. Don’t feel so bad, it happens frequently here in Carbon County.

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