Thursday, March 17, 2011

Off they go!

It's St. Patrick's day and you know what that means? Spring is literally just around the corner! I have green grass poking its head through the mud and my daffodils are blooming. The horses are shedding like mad and Gabe is acting like he's been cooped up in a stall all winter. Even old man Chief has been feeling his oats, bucking and farting around like a yearling.

We still have massive amounts of mud. We had the wettest February in almost a century and my ground is definitely showing it. There's no where left for the water to go so it just sits on top of the saturated ground and turns everything into a smushy bog.

My daughter and I couldn't ride last night, although the weather was perfect for it, because of the mud, but we got the horses out and gave them a good grooming instead. I could make two new horses out of the hair I pulled off Gabe and Calypso! Chief is shedding a lot, too, and as usual, his white spots are shedding first and most.

We had a little minor emergency last night that made me so, so thankful horses are ruled by the tummies and tend to prefer being in each others company.

I had finished grooming Gabe and was letting him graze on the new grass in the yard while Kayleigh put Chief back into his paddock and caught Calypso so I could groom and worm her, too. Instead of hooking both electric ropes back up at Chief's gate (we have a gate that connects the two paddocks, it makes turnout easier during the summer), she just hooked the top rope. Well, Chief, being the sneaky little escape artist he is, took advantage of the situation and shot under the top rope of the gate into Gabe's paddock and straight out the open main gate into the yard. Of course, as he whipped by Gabe (my back was turned to the paddock while I let Gabe graze) he stirred up his blood. Gabe spun, lunged forward and took off after Chief, ripping the rope through my hands (ouch to torn flesh!) as he did so. I thought they were GONE! as they both tore up the bank next to the house and headed towards the driveway.

Suddenly, they both realized Calypso was not with them. Kayleigh had a nice snug hold on her and that mare is so well-mannered she just stood there, tail up and blowing with excitement, but not moving a single hoof to go after them because Kayleigh told her to whoa! Good girl, good girl. I tied her up and sent Kayleigh after a bucket of grain to entice the two bad boys back to us. I knew if I put Calypso back in the paddock she'd just rip around the paddock screaming at the boys and get them even more whipped up.

I shook the bucket, Gabe's ears came forward and he came right to me, like a bee to honey. What a good boy.

Chief is usually a pain in the ass to catch. Honestly, the only one who never has any problems catching him is Kayleigh. I can follow that jerk around the paddock for hours and he lets me get JUUUSSTTT close enough to touch him, then he turns and walks away. The faster I walk after him, the faster he walks. He never runs, he just stays right out of reach. I thought we were going to have a major issue with him, but Kayleigh took the bucket, shook the grain, put it on the ground and he took the bait. She flipped a rope over his neck, buckled on the halter and he never flinched or made a single move to get away.

My poor kid was shaking so bad! She thought her horse was gone for sure. And she kept apologizing for not hooking up the bottom rope...of course, I told her it wasn't her fault, neither one of us thought Chief would decide to make a Great Escape. We just know not to do that again. Lesson learned.

All ended well, everyone got wormed and brushed and we managed to inject a little bit of excitement into the evening.


  1. It's hard to be calm when horses are loose! Glad you rounded them up in short order :)

    I was just commenting today about the importance of bribery in horsemanship ;)

  2. Oh man, makes you feel like you want to puke when something like that happens but it all turned out for the best - shew!!!

  3. glad it all worked out good. Oyes, you do bring up some good memories hahaha. You have one good young horse girl there, Kayleigh..Hope your hand not to sore?