Horses Gone Wild

5 years ago

Anne Kimball

Life on the Funny Farm

Rosie's home from soccer.
The boys are home from their morning job.
The pot roast is in the crock pot, and the kids are peeling up a storm for mashed potatoes.
It's laptop time....
I hear a knock on the door and think, "this can't be good". None of the neighbor kids come to play b/c, quite frankly, we kind of scare the bejesus out of them.
We get the occassional Jehovah's Witness, but not too often.
I'll bet Annabelle got out again. Her Invisible Fence collar has been on the fritz lately.
Can't hear what's being said over the din of the 42 five hounds of hell.
Oh no.
"Our neighbor just said our horses are out."
That was the start of The Great Escape debaucle this past Sunday afternoon.
And I didn't handle it very well.
I threw on shoes, and grabbed my carkeys and a dog leash and ran out the door with Julie at my heels.
We found the errant horses only about 1/4 mile down the road, but they were all skittery b/c they're not used to the sound of their own feet clip-cloppin' on pavement, or cars driving by.
Only one of them had a halter on, and in my haste I had only brought one lead rope dog leash.
How to puzzle this out....
I walked slowly over to Pippin, the calmest and friendliest of the trio, and put the leash around his neck so the snap passed through the hand loop.
Sent Julie back to the house for more leads and halters, and some apples.
After she ran off, I was able to walk up to Finnegan and snap the free end of the leash to his halter, so the two ponies were connected together by the same rope, and I was standing in front of both of them.
Hmmmm. This was a recipe for decapitation.
I decided against trying to walk them that way, b/c no way in hell would that end well.
I waited awkwardly for Julie's return, while feeling a dozen judgemental eyes boring into my soul from curious neighbors. I knew what they were thinking.... How could she be so careless with her animals? Why is she just standing there? Why are they leashed? Why are they so unkempt? Why is she so unkempt?
I wanted to announce that I had just de-burred their manes and tails two days earlier and it's not my fault the tractor is broken and we can't mow the pasture and they're all full of burrs again and I would have done it today but I had to plunge a toilet and clean up a dog vomit and put away the two dozen cans of Progresso soup I got last Friday with the coupoons I ordered and the Pioneer Woman was on! But I didn't think I would be doing myself any favors.
After an eternity, Julie got back. I clipped each of the ponies on their own lead, but Genevieve would have nothing to do with us.
So I started leading the ponies back home, hoping Gen would follow along after her boys.
She did.
And I got them tucked safely back in the side pen, and sent a couple of the kids over to the neighbor with a dozen eggs to say thanks for the neighborhood watch.  I commenced a check of the fence line.
Ah hah. A gate was open.

Fast forward to yesterday.
Another knock on the door.
Another neighbor, letting one of my kids know my horses were out.
This time I was more prepared. I grabbed three leads and two halters. And my camera. Daniel got the apples, but as his pants had no pockets, he put them in his shirt pockets. He looked.... interesting. A buxom young lad.
And we headed off down the road in search of our runaways.
We ran into Henry, one of our Amish neighbors. He looked me and my gender-confused looking son up and down for a minute and then said,
"You lookin' for your horses?"
Since we were walking down the road looking left right and backwards, armed with halters and leads, it was a pretty good guess.
He let me know that if I walked up the hill and through the field I would find them.
And we did. And we did.

And once again we got them back, but not without a great deal of stress and sweat and angst and judgemental neighbors.
And as it turns out? Some rotten neighbor kids are opening the gate and letting them out. The country version of smashing mailboxes, I guess. So right after I got Daniel to school, I headed straight for WalMart for chains and padlocks. And now all three gates are locked up good and tight, and I just needs me a shotgun to set on the porch with.
I sent another dozen eggs out to the second watchful neighbor.
And now I'm almost out of eggs.  Maybe along with the shotgun, I need more chickens....

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