Yesterday I got one of those phone calls you don't like to get - "your horses are out". I threw on my coat and boots, jumped in the car and got to the barn - it's nice living so close as I can be there in minutes. I left my car at the barn entrance parked diagonally across the dead-end street leading to the barn - it's a quiet street with only a little traffic but horses and cars are never a good mix. As I got out of the car, I could see the four geldings running laps around the large lawn of the farmhouse across and down the street. I stopped off to grab a couple of halters and headed over. There was a man and lady parked in the barn parking lot, and I left the lady (who worked in the farmhouse and said she was scared of horses) to block any traffic from coming down the street and took the man (the lady's fiancee, who said he was experienced with horses) with me. The closer I got to the horses the slower I walked. They were pretty excited when I got there, but stopping to graze a bit. One of my friends who works over there and is experienced with horses had secured Pie with a piece of rope, and I walked up and haltered him.
Just as I was getting Pie's halter on, the other three geldings took off at a run around the side of the farmhouse, heading for the back areas. Pie thought this was pretty exciting, so I let him trot in circles around me for a minute and then led him off to find the others. He was very up but led perfectly. We got near the others and captured Fritz - I knew if we led Pie and Fritz back to the dry lot, Fred and Scout would follow along. We led Pie and Fritz back down the road with Scout and Fred following - Scout made a detour to the community garden to graze and had to be redirected. This was one of those times that I'm glad we take the time and trouble to be sure that all our horses lead well.
We popped them back in the dry lot - the gate and latch were intact but the gate was wide open. All the horses were fine if a bit tired from their exciting expedition. The mares had watched events with great interest from their dry lot - they were lined up along the fence. We're not at all sure how the gate got open, but just in case a horse was responsible, we're taking the precaution of tying the gate shut with a lead rope as well as latching it.
I'm usually pretty calm during events like this - it's only later that I feel the effects.
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A big thanks to all those who commented on yesterday's post - if you haven't commented yet please feel free to do so. And be sure to visit Laura's post as well - and thanks to Laura for getting this discussion started - I think it was in the end a productive one, at least for me.