Have you ever tried to catch an animal that does not want to be caught?
If you raise animals, they always manage to escape by breaking through fences or because someone leaves a gate unlatched. When any animal escapes it must be caught. Imagine the chaos as cars slam on their brakes to avoid a 2,000lb steer, neighbouring cattle scatter as an upset, fugitive pig surges through their placid herd, a pregnant highly prized mare due to deliver, is hounded into a frenzy as our stallion threatens to break through into her enclosure. The possible comic- tragic scenarios are a countless. Picture kids running around in circles in knee-deep snow with a grain pail following a cavorting calf in the middle of a huge windswept field or a dozen squawking chickens flapping their wings, darting every which way deeking and dodging squealing kids However the hardest animal to capture is a horse because they are swift, smart and strong, emphasis on all three adjectives.
Chad was an older, pure bred, Arabian stallion that we bought as a safe horse for our kids to learn to ride. I admit, he was the perfect, docile pet horse. He would stand absolutely motionless as a toddler scrambled under his belly, a preteen braided his tail, a five-year old fed him a carrot and two kids sat on his bare back. Chad was unflappable. Anthony could even stand upright on him bareback. Yet this mild-mannered animal had a dual personality disorder. Once he escaped his personality flipped. Chad galloped like a highly prized , temperamental race horse. One little slip up and Chad would dodge ropes, people, cars and gallop full-out, head arched proudly tail poised and his main and tail streaming behind him. He was picture perfect, looking decades younger. Once transformed he was almost impossible to reign in.
One particular time was absolutely ridiculous. Chad galloped across the road to a neighbouring field surrounded by tall firs and ran in joyful abandonment. As we desperately tried to head our stallion off, he tossed his head, laughing at our pitiful attempts to capture him. Sometimes raised Chad stood on his hind legs, pivoted, changing directions in an instant. I sent three of the kids back home for their bicycles, thinking to match his speed, what a farce that was; dog barking, kids running and calling, mum shouting out strategies of attack, bicycles, swinging grain bucket all swirling around in maddening circles of confusion. Although trees screened our circus from the road, we managed to snag the attention of a young horse trainer.. He issued quick directions to all the kids and cornered our stallion then leaped out of his pick-up to lasso our equine fugitive.
The Joy of Mothering
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