My Horses : Honey Escapes!

Yesterday, Juliana took Bay out for a ride because Honey’s right front foot was a little tender due to a thrush infection.  Cheryl walked along with Mairsiedotes, for the exercise, and I followed.  We went out to the field at the end of the street and explored a little.  As we started for home, I got a phone call from my daughter Melanie who was visiting us with her children, “Honey got out!  She’s at Penny’s house,” was her frantic report.

Penny is our neighbor at the end of the street, by the fields.  She has two Tennessee Walking Horses who have whinnied to our horses as we have ridden by.

I took off running.  My grown son Matthew was entering the yard where Honey was reported to have gone.  She was there, touching noses with the two Walkers, geldings, sweet gentlemen.  Matthew and I approached slowly and she allowed herself to be caught.

Honey had pulled the unlatched gate open, I heard, and let herself out.  The gate stays shut because it is a tight fit, and it is difficult to latch, so I left it pulled tight but not latched.  Now I know better.

Jessie, my nephew’s wife, said Honey opened the gate, stood there awkwardly at first, as if to say, “Am I really out here?  What do I do now?”  Then she began trotting across the yard.  She was on a mission now, to find her herd.  The children scattered as she whinnied and took off.

I guess Mairsiedotes is not the only smarty pants among the horses here.  I won’t underestimate any of them again.

Bringing Honey and Bae Bee (aka Dixie Mountain Gal) Home

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Bringing my horses home was eventful.  Our old ’89 Ford pickup truck did the job but not without a few senior moments.  Oldsters need naps now and then.  The old truck has the muscle but gets a little hot on a climb, or on a hot day.  Yesterday was both.

By the time we got to the top of Dixie Mountain Road, the old truck had had it.  Boiling over furiously we let her rest while we went to collect the horses.  Not only did we load the two large plump horses (my daughter Juliana called them BBW-Big Beautiful Women) into the horse trailer we rented, we also loaded several bales of hay and bags of grain and boxes of other assorted horsey things the previous owners threw in for good measure.

Although we filled the radiator up with water before leaving the ranch, the truck was not as game as earlier in the day.  It was too hot altogether.  We got down the mountain and had to pull over into a neighbor hood while John went to get some antifreeze.  After refilling, we started out again only to pull over a few minutes later, in a Walmart parking lot, to buy more antifreeze.  This time I bought 4 containers of it, just in case.  We put two and a half in before it was full.

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Starting out again, we overheated.  The day was just too hot and the traffic too slow during rush hour near Portland.  We found another shady spot, a lovely little oasis, opened the windows of the horse trailer so both horses could stick their heads out, and let the traffic go by.  We fed them some alfalfa nuggets, and gave them more water.  We entertained a few little girls coming out of day care, with their fathers in tow.

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Juliana and I fed some ducks as we relaxed in the grass under a shady tree.  At 6:30 we decided to try again.  Traffic was better and the day was cooling off some.

The window where Honey was tied kept falling open as we drove.  We would shut it securely each time we started out, but a little bump in the road would send it falling, BAM!  Open again.

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Honey was delighted to stick her head out the window and watch the other cars going by.  She reminded me of a dog.  She got some waves, and smiles too, from other drivers and passengers going by.

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Finally we were home and we led them out of the trailer, one by one.  They were so alert; sniffing the air, looking around, taking in everything.  They were so different in their awareness compared to when they were at their old home.  This was a huge adventure.  In fact, every time we stopped to rest the truck, they had the same reaction when we opened their windows and they looked around.  Then they would get a little bored and be ready to go, stomping their feet and snorting out their noses.  Their personalities were beginning to show.

Juliana and I led them to the back yard as they continued to look all around, stopping suddenly to look more closely, or sniff at something.

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We put them into the smaller corral with the lean to.  Mairsiedotes was in the little pasture, out of their way for now, but not out of sight.

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They did a lot of sniffing and getting to know each other.

Our Mustang Rescue Project : Part 9 – She is So Smart!

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This morning, Cheryl went out to check on Princess Mairsiedotes, and found her in the gated stall, the stall she is not supposed to go into.  The stall that holds all the hay, grain in a closed barrel, tack, etc.  She looked up from munching on the open bale of hay as if to say, “Good Morning”.

Cheryl led her out of the stall and shut the latch.  The next time she looked over, Mairsiedotes had unlatched the stall and was inside eating the hay again.  Cheryl led her out again and shut the latch, this time putting a wire through the lock hole and twisting it so she couldn’t get in again.  Cheryl admitted to me that she couldn’t help being proud of how smart Mairsiedotes is.

Later, at dusk, I took Mairsiedotes out of the corral to let her graze on some nice grass in the yard.  She loved that!  When it started getting too dark, I put her back in her open stall with some hay, and turned to go out of the corral.  I had forgotten to shut the gate though, and Princess Mairsiedotes was out of her stall and around me before I knew what was happening.

I hurried after her, but the faster I hurried, the faster she went.  I had flashbacks of when my shetland pony got loose in the alfalfa field one day and didn’t want to be caught.  I had visions of my neighbors and what they would say if I couldn’t catch her, and her galavanting around the neighborhood, through their flowerbeds.  Fortunately, she allowed me to catch up to her when I walked slowly.  I put the lead rope around her neck and coaxed her back into the corral and Cheryl shut the gate.

This horse is no dummy!  One look at her and anyone can see her intelligence.

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Mairsiedotes keeping her eye on me the day Denise brought her to her new home.