With the Canadian Wrangler up north on vacation (he gets back tonight), I’ve been feeding horses twice a day and, as I’ve said, it’s been ever so good for me. Nothing like horse-energy, and getting hay in your hair, (and let’s not even talk about what’s on my shoes) to get you back in touch with the real world.
Saturday morning, I got a reminder of why it’s important to shut the barn door. You guessed it–there was an escape. April, my gentlest horse, a sweet little Arabian mare, trotted right under that roll-up door, past the tractor, along the breezeway, through the tack room and right out the door made for humans! I was in hot pursuit the whole time, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. April was on the lam!
She wouldn’t have gone far–about mid-way down the fence line, she stopped to graze and lord it over the other horses, who were plenty annoyed that she was out and they weren’t. Since she’s low “man” on the totem pole, as far as my little band is concerned, it was kind of nice to see her with the upper hand for once. I went back for a halter and lead rope, but she was having none of that. When all else fails, a pan of sweet feed will work. I went back for that, and she suckered for the oldest trick in the book. While she was munching, I slipped the halter over her head, let her eat a little more, and then led her back to the gate.
Well, the other horses were all clustered there–reminded me a little of reporters after some exciting thing happens–if they’d had microphones, they’d have been sticking them in her face. “What was it LIKE out there?” “Why did you fall for the old sweet-feed gambit?” (As if they wouldn’t.) Etc.
In short, every time I tried to lead her through that gate–tricky, since I didn’t want a mass break for the open country and that was a real possibility–she spooked. Hence, our own little rodeo. Finally, the rest of the band got bored and went off to eat the hay I’d put out for them earlier. Thank heaven.
I finally got April through the gate, slipped the halter off, and patted her on the neck.
“Good girl,” I said. “You showed ’em a thing or two, didn’t you?”