I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I WAS SEEING THIS MORNING! A ranch catastrophe averted, thank Horsegods. Let me tell you the story…

Usually, I stumble out of bed and go straight to the barn to feed.

This morning, for some reason, I decided to have a nice cup of coffee first.  So, there I was at my desk, just about to take my first sip when I heard this terrible CRASH BANG BANG gallop, gallop, furious BANG gallop GALLOPING BANGING HORRIFIC METAL SOUNDS…

At the same time, I glanced out the window of my office and saw the ponies running as fast as their little legs would take them, towards the perimeter fenceline.

Uh oh.  I was sure one of the new neighbor horses had come through – and was tangled in – the new fence they erected.

I ran downstairs and flew out the front door…

… and immediately  STOPPED IN MY TRACKS.

This was around Wrigley's neck. He had stuck his neck through the gate opening at the top and something must have happened because he busted through... gate and post around his neck.

This was around Wrigley’s neck. He had stuck his neck through the gate opening at the top and something must have happened because he busted through… gate and post around his neck.


For the first few instants, I couldn’t quite figure it out.  What was I seeing?

I knew it was the 3 Amigos, (Finn, Beautiful Girl and Wrigley) who were loose and running from the direction of the pony pasture towards the barn… but something was off about this picture.

And then I saw it.

There was a GATE AND FENCE POST hanging around Wrigley’s neck.

I swear.


For an instant they stopped running and looked at me.  Wrigley was almost begging me to, “Fix this, please!  I have no idea what is going on but it keeps following me!”

At the same time, Finn, who was slightly ahead of Wrigley, started kicking at the gate on Wrig’s neck.  I have no idea why he thought his would help, but as a horse, I guess that was his only tool…


I tried to push Finn away while keeping Wrigley calm and myself out of danger.

That plan didn’t work too well.  Finn and BG ran off somewhere while I tried my very hardest to remain calm as little Wrigley, my baby, stood before me – standing very tall and looking right into my eyes.

So many thoughts ran through my mind in the nanosecond I stood there.  I thought of calling friends and about how badly this could end and of ways I could get this gate off of him safely and that I needed to contain these loose horses and separate Wrig…

Wrigley was fairly calm.  He stood there while I explained that he needed to not run anymore.  But, he wouldn’t stand still if I touched the gate.

I needed a new plan.

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First, I locked Finn into the large stall in Tess’ barn. You can see the pile of hay BG and Finn stopped to eat. Thank horsegods that MT had plenty of room to move towards the back of her barn as these hooligans ran in! (Finn wasn’t happy when he figured out that he was caught!)


Since Wrigley was being relatively calm and sensible – and standing fairly quietly – I decided to calm everyone else so as to keep Wrig as safe as possible.

In that instant I saw Finn and BG, with their tails flying high, running INTO TESS’ BARN!

No.  OH NO.

Poor MT cannot move quickly.  I had to save her.

I flew down to the barn – fearing that Finn was moving MT around the barn much too quickly for her sore feet.

But instead, Finn and BG were eating Tess’ food right in the middle of her bed.  MT was at the far end of the barn, watching.

Of course, I was thrilled that the hooligans had stopped at her food, but I wondered if MT had been up before they flew in (probably, with all that racket) and how fast she had moved away from these 2 horses barreling into her bedroom…

Quickly I closed off the large stall and tempted Finn into it with breakfast.  Great, one down.

The problem was that I had opened the hay stall to grab hay to entice Finn, and now BG was inside of the hay stall STANDING on the bales.  Yup.  She did this as a filly.  She would climb into the hay barn and stand up – way high – on the bales.  Scared the crap out of me.   And here she was, doing it again.

“BG OUT!”, I  yelled at her.  And, she did.   She came out but was now very excited.  She had sneaked into the hay stall, grabbed a bite and then got caught!

Right at that moment, I saw a blur come flying down the hill towards the barn.  Instinctively, I shut the gate to the barn just in time to see Wrigley almost crash into the gate with me holding it.

“Oh My Gosh, you smart boy, you got rid of your Necklace!!,” I said to Wrig as I examined him from afar – he was way to excited for me to get too close at this point.  He looked fine.  Unbelievable.  I threw him some hay outside the barn and he went for it.

Now I still had BG loose in the barn with MT.  I found a halter and tried to open the gate to the barn but Wrigley came right back over.  So, I gave him some beet pulp offsides and then let BG out with her own beet pulp on the other side.

Phew.  A bucket of food calmed them down.  Finn was also eating.   MT was just standing there, in shock.

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BG calmed down once the excitement was over… You can see her pile of ‘bait’ food behind her.

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Wrigley, now without the gate necklace, walked right up to me – very proud of himself. I was actually proud of him, too. He remained very calm during this crisis. Not a scratch on him. Wow. Dodged that one, for sure.

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As I was soothing MT, BG poked her head in… I could tell she was ready to go back into a pasture.


Poor MT.  Her expression was, “What in the beejeesus was THAT?!  I almost had a heart attack here!”

I calmed her down, gave her all the foods she loves and some extra pain medication.  I figured she’d be sore as soon as the adrenaline subsided.

Mama Tess could not believe the action in her barn!

Mama Tess could not believe the action in her barn!


Outside, the ranch was buzzing.  Everyone was still chatting about the jailbreak!  I’m sure a few were terrified to see Wrigley running around with a gate on his neck.

That image still makes me shake my head.

So I fed them all… and got my camera.

As I walked around to try to retrace their steps (gallops) and look for any damage, and the gate, the first thing I found was the side mirror knocked off of the BMW.  That is Hubby’s project car and now I had wrecked it.  But, luckily, this side mirror was produced to take a hit – and so I just put it back together.  He’ll never know.

Next I found a few broken boards on the pony pasture.  These boards were on the same path as the BMW so I figured Wrigley smashed a few boards as his wider frame traveled at high speeds around the front lawns.

And that was it… no other damage.  Wow.

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As I did my walkabout, I found this. I wasn’t sure what it was until I noticed the side mirror on the car parked there.

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OOps. Hubby was not going to be happy about this.

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Aha! I love that German engineering… it was made to withstand running horses with gates around their necks! It all popped back together. Yay!


After cruising around for at least 10 minutes, I finally found the gate on a slight incline going up to the arena.  I’m guessing Wrigley started to walk up hill and the weight or balance of the gate felt weird so he put down his head and the thing slid off.  Thank you horsegods.

So, I then ran up to another gate that I needed to shut in order to wall off the pasture without a gate… which I did… and this created a safe paddock for the 3 Amigos to return.

It was on a little incline. I figured he was walking up this area and it felt odd and off balance, so he put his head down and it slid off. Hooray!

It was on a little incline. I figured he was walking up this area and it felt odd and off balance, so he put his head down and it slid off. Hooray!

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That gate is the only man-door we have here, so I knew exactly which one it was… You can see where it had been…

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I think I will put in a larger gate and move it up so it isn’t in that corner. A silver lining… I get to put in a better situated gate!


Now it was time to put Finn, BG and Wrigley back into their new (old- they’ve been there before) pasture.   Since BG and Wrig were still wandering around outside, snacking but moseying around behind me, I simply walked into their new pasture with them behind me and threw down some hay.   They figured out that this was their breakfast and settled right in.  I shut the gate.

Finn is not so easy because he riles up the others.  So, for me to bring him in last would create a stir because he would punish the others for eating before him, etc, and do the Big Man On Campus thing.  I was in no mood.  So, I put him into the pasture via the arena.  Finn loves the arena.  It is his favorite vantage point.  He was very happy to calmly reside in the arena.  From there, I opened a gate so that he could join his friends whenever he wanted.  This kept Finn contented and kept BG and Wrig contented.  They could see each other, but no one was bossing anyone around while I was trying to work the gates.

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I put BG and Wrig back into their new (old) pasture.

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I put Finn in his favorite place, the arena. Eventually, he’d make his way down to the others.


After all of that, MT was exhausted.  I found her settled into her shavings – she hadn’t even finished her breakfast, which is very unusual for her.  So, I gave her extra extra shavings and checked on her throughout the day.

By evening, she had finally recovered enough to stroll outside.  Last time I checked, she was standing in the moonlight.

I found MT reclined earlier than usual, and she hadn't finished her breakfast - which never happens... so I gave her extra pain meds and extra shavings and watched her throughout the day. She was fine by dinner - standing outside in the moonlight.

I found MT reclined earlier than usual, and she hadn’t finished her breakfast – which never happens… so I gave her extra pain meds and extra shavings and watched her throughout the day. She was fine by dinner – standing outside in the moonlight.

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3 comments have been posted...

  1. Robbyn

    First off, I’m so glad everything is ok and no one was injured, but I had to tell you the look on MT’s face has had me giggling all afternoon! You captioned that perfectly “what the bejeezus…” I can honestly see that going through her mind!

  2. Debbie Mollner


  3. Mary

    Uh, Dawn….re the mirror and hubby not knowing….you ratted yourself out unless he doesn’t read your blog. LOL

    Still scarey sight to see the gate on Wrigley, so glad it came off w/o your intervention and no noticeable injury to Wrigley.

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