The great escape

/ posted in: Horses

Today is nice and warm (almost 50) but very windy. I put the horses out with a bit of concern because a large piece of metal siding that was left over from barn repairs blew through the fence and I don’t have electric to the fence right now. That happened about a week ago but I never fix these things until Prize breaks out.

So the horses went out and were enjoying themselves immensely. The wind made the metal siding creak loudly so they could have a good spook over that and head off running. I looked out to make sure they were still there and they were running towards the gate. About an hour later I let the dog outside and they were running towards the gate. I had the weirdest feeling of deja vu. It was like the scene had been rewound and now was playing again. This time they went to the gate and then looked out towards the neighbors’. I decided they were getting a bit too rambunctious for there to be no electric in the fence and headed out to get them.

One side effect of having a horse prone to escaping is that you find yourself counting your horses whenever you see them in the pasture. I went out the door and counted 1 – 2 and was satisfied because Rosie recently moved out. Then I counted horse number 3. Horse number three was not in the pasture but was emerging from the barn.

It was Nugget the neighbor horse, otherwise known as the whore of Babylon for her propensity to lead Prize astray. She has often talked Prize into breaking out of her pasture and breaking into Nugget’s. Only once before has Nugget gotten out of her pasture and came to visit. I’ve only been able to touch Nugget once in spite of many bribery attempts and general sucking up on my part. That time was when I was once again retrieving Prize from the wrong pasture and Nugget body-checked me while screaming, “Run, Prize, Run!” Nugget is not found of me.

My horses’ heads where swiveling back and forth between Nugget and the armada of ATVs coming up the lane to retrieve her. Then the catching of Nugget began. Nugget doesn’t like to be caught. This is both annoying and humiliating because Nugget is a year or two older than Spirit which puts her a good 10 years above the average life expectancy of a horse. She has some arthritis so she moves in a slow and gimpy gait but she’s wily and determined (see body-checking incident above). Watching her outmaneuver us is like watching your 98 year old grandmother evade the cops. Her person and I cornered her in the barn and he lead her off while his kids followed on the ATVs.

I went back to catching my beasts – who had to walk along the fence line with her as long as they could before consenting to coming inside. I was standing at the gate giggling to myself (“Watching your 98 year old grandmother evade the cops’ would be a good line for the blog.” Does anyone else do that?) when my horses’ heads whipped around. And there she was gimpily trotting up the lane curiously unencumbered by humans. About a minute and a half had passed. Grandma broke out of police custody.

Now Spirit was all excited. I was trying to lead them back to the barn while he was prancing to show off and Prize was trying to graze while Nugget was interfering with everyone. I got them into the barn but Spirit in his excitement missed his stall door and had to be backed up to try it again. They gave time for Nugget to go running into Prize’s stall so I shut the door to keep her in one place. Her person rather shamefacedly came back then to retrieve her and give her a good talking-to. I put Prize in her stall and headed to the house so I wouldn’t see if she got away again. I don’t think the neighbor could have stood the embarrassment.