Sprightly

/ posted in: Horses

It is very windy today. So windy that it was blowing me around when I was walking to the barn. I decided to put the horses in the arena instead of outside. They don’t really like that. The gate is a 4 foot fence panel that isn’t connected to anything right now. It just leans against the opening. They can push it over at will. I didn’t want Prize to eat the cat food so I put a large container in front of it. It couldn’t be knocked over with a casual push but would never stand up to a determined horse. I figured it might give them a seconds pause before they escaped.

I went back out in a few hours and the gate was still up. I was thinking how good that was when all hell broke loose. Here’s my recreation of what must of went down.

1. Spirit is mad that he’s in the arena. He tries to push over the gate. When it doesn’t fall like it normally does he goes and pouts and thinks about it.

2. Later I come back in the barn and Spirit knows that grain is coming. He likes to knock down the gate and come running to me. He knows that the gate is not knocking down like it should though today.

What does a very food-motivated horse do?

He gets a running start and jumps the gate.

All I saw from my perspective is my 32 year old 14 hand pony coming over the four foot gate. Unfortunately, he only got about 3 feet 9 inches off the ground. The gate fell over as he hit it and both horse and gate came crashing onto the cement aisle. Oh yes, he jumped ONTO cement.

I don’t know how he didn’t fall or trip as the gate fell under him. He landed with some flair with his hind legs easily clearing the gate because it was shorter when it was falling. Then he trotted proudly to me and demanded his grain.

I yelled at him as soon as I stopped hyperventilating. He seems totally unharmed. No scrapes or anything. I’ll see if he has any bruises in the morning.

Back in his younger years he was quite a jumper. I tried to compete with him in the two foot pony division but he didn’t like that height and always cleared fences by at least 2 extra feet. He wasn’t a good show jumper though because he was too spooky. He would only jump something that he had had the opportunity to check out thoroughly. Obviously he has spent a lot of time with that gate. Now I’m afraid to reconnect it because if it had been a solid barrier he would have probably flipped over it and landed on his head on the cement.

After I finished yelling at him I did tell him that it was quite a sprightly effort for an old man.