This morning started out great!
I was up early and I felt rested and fresh! I even had enough time to have a cup of coffee before I went out to feed.
Just as daylight rolled around, I ventured outside.
Me (in my sing songy morning voice) : Good Morn Ning Everyone!
Them: HURRY UP AND GET ON WITH IT, WOULD YOU?! WE’RE STARVING HERE!
The usual bandying for position and scuffling happened as I distributed the morning feast…and I made sure to check everyone as I presented their feed.
When I got to the Newbie pen, only baby Opie was there. He was looking nervous.
I figured he was nervous because the other two (Satchmo and Missy Miss Rebecca) hadn’t come up from the huge overnight pasture. I didn’t worry. They’d be up soon.
As I came back around to shut off all the waterers, the other two were still not back for breakfast.
Now this was odd… No matter how far afield they were, certainly they’d hear the others eating, right? I’ve never had anyone not come up for breakfast.
So I decided to look for them. I crawled between the fence posts and did my little toboggan sand slide into the large pasture. Any minute now I was sure I would see them over the rise, munching away.
Except… was I saw instead, wa… an OPENED GATE!
Holy Crap. I lost the two horses I know the least about. Which way did they go? Holy crap holy crap!! I’m in trouble now. I was trusted with these horses. Aaaaargh!
I RAN UP THE HILL (as best I could) TO GET HELP!
I told myself to remain calm. This is a horse community. Unless they ran onto the road, which doesn’t have grass, they would probably be OK.
That’s what I told myself.
In the meantime, I ran into my office (huffing and puffing) and texted the 4 neighbors I’d met so far.
‘2 horses loose: White donkey and Red mare.’
Then I put on undergarments and grabbed my hat and sunglasses, a bucket of grain and two halters.
I marched back down into the large pasture and out the opened gate. (Upon inspection, they had noodled with the latch enough to open it. My bad.)
HOOFPRINTS IN THE SAND
One good think about sandy clay dirt… you can see where they’ve gone fairly easily. I could tell that they had escaped and KICKED UP THEIR HEELS and ran and circled and ran. Then they took off in the opposite direction of the main road (good). So I trudged up after them like a well trained tracker.
I hadn’t even gotten tired before my neighbor come down the hill in the opposite direction in her truck.
“We found them! They are safe!”
Me: Where are they?!!
My neighbor: “I just happened to drive by Mark as he was leaving for work. He’s a firefighter. You haven’t met him yet. Anyway, he’s at the top of Sweety Lane. Mark said that he saw horses out on the wild grass last night around 10pm – he thought his horses were out. But upon closer inspection, he realized they weren’t. So he brought them in and bedded them down anyway, figured that they were somebody’s and he’d figure it out in the morning.
Me: They’ve been gone since last night? (No wonder the baby was frantic! – Thank HorseGods Opie didn’t leave with them!)
PLAN FOR THAT EVENING
Mark, the firefighter, wouldn’t be home until late, but he said I could get the horses after his nanny got there at 5pm.
I called Hubby and he said he’d help me walk them home after work.
–I wasn’t sure if either were halter or trailer trained. When they arrived here, they had been chuted and trailered without halters. I thought Missy Miss was trained to a halter and I was certain that lovey-dovey Satchmo would be no problem.
I figure I could halter them and walk them back in probably less time than it would take to load them – especially if they didn’t load well.
(In the meantime, Mark sent a text saying that he’d be glad to keep them for a few days if I needed to do any fence fixing. HOW SWEET WAS THAT?!)
HUBBY AND I SET OFF!
When Hubby got home, we grabbed two halters and the same bucket of grain that survived uneaten from earlier. We chatted as we walked up our new road and around to where the horse were residing in their roundpen away from home. It took us 20 minutes to walk there. On the way, we met a few new neighbors, which was nice.
Upon arrival (we were both dusty and sweaty by this point) we excused our appearance and found our wayward equines lounging in the round pen.
As suspected, Missy Miss haltered very easily. Yay! My pan was going to work! This was going to be a snap!
Famous last words.
Satchmo would have NOTHING to do with the halter.
It didn’t matter if I had rolled it in oats, he would not go near it or even look at it. I tried all of my tricks. Nanny and Hubby were becoming frustrated.
I thought… clearly he was not halter trained last night … so clearly, Mark the firefighter must have haltered Missy Miss – and Satchmo followed.
So, that is what I decided to do.
Me (feigning confidence): “He’ll follow her. Let’s go.”
And that’s what we did. We opened the gate.
Hubby led Missy Miss and I ran donkey interference.
THE GOOD GIRL AND THE CURIOUS DONK.
Missy Miss Rebecca was a dreamy doll. She walked perfectly with Hubby – leading in flip flops (don’t get me started…).
Satchmo, on the other hand, wanted to sniff every bush and watch every bug. He’d lag behind, notice we were too far away, and then he’d DONKEY JERKY HOP RUN up to us – wailing. It was a little unnerving, but we got used to it.
We walked along the road behind our house (the road they used to escape) and we only saw one car, which was great! After this sojourn, I have figured out a very safe loop around the house for future quick rides!
Anyway, we made it to the back gate in about 15 minutes.
So, the same gate that Satchmo used to leave… he was afraid to use to enter. We had to walk Missy Miss in and out several times before he worked up the nerve to follow. Of course, all the other horses were watching from their paddocks and had worked themselves into lathers.
Finally, Mr. Donkey Donk decided to enter back from whence he came… and all was good for the night.
Hubby thinks Missy MIss is too cute and sassy to be called “Rebecca”. He wants me to change her name. Well… he did walk her all the way home… and he did kinda fall in love with her…
The entire trip, he kept calling her, “Missy Miss”.
“You ran away from home Missy Miss and all you can do is slobber on my neck?… Quit pushing me, Missy Miss. Hey Missy Miss, let go of my sleeve…”
So, we’ll see if it sticks.