My filly jumped out of her pasture today--over a 4'+ foot gate. Time to wean?
I got a call from my BM this morning telling me that my filly (who will be 5 months old this upcoming week) was found outside her (and her mom's) pasture late this AM, doing galloping laps around the main barn. :eek:
My poor mare was running the fenceline and screaming for her, and luckily the young woman who does most of the baby breaking and young horse training at this farm drove up upon the scene, and had the presence of mind to go into the pasture, halter the mare, and open the gate all the way. The errant filly came cantering back into her own T/O field after doing a few more "laps" of the property.
They have no idea how long she was out, but probably not more than a few minutes. She has a small dry scrape on her left stifle--nothing even "ointment worthy"--and otherwise there is not a mark on her (I went over her carefully, palpated everywhere, displaced her HQ in both directions, watched her move, etc.) WHEW! The gate to the pasture has a low, bent down side (where a former resident obviously leaned on it), and that side is about 4', the opposite "high side" is about 4 1/2 feet, as is the pasture fence; the assumption is that she jumped over the low side of the gate, but there were no witnesses.
She is by Escudo II, and when my mare was in foal (TOO LATE!), I read some accounts of his babies, um, being prone to "pasture escapes" by fence jumping.
There are some other foals (and other horses turned out) in adjacent pastures, so my guess is that she was "feeling social", and since it was COLD and windy this AM (she had a wild hair up her ass and was dancing on her tiptoes and passaging around when first turned out, according to my BM), she may have just gotten galloping, worked up a good head of steam, and then WHEE, decided to escape the boredom of being turned out with "just mom."
She is a curious and social baby, wants to "visit" with the other horses she sees, and has been pretty independent for awhile. Her mom is an Alpha Extreme, so they have only been out by themselves; they don't even share a fenceline with anyone.
Since she was a late June baby, she is the youngest foal at this farm (most of the others are TBs), so the BM had planned to wean her in Dec. Based on doing it by the signs, we will have to wait until the 17th, 18th :sigh:, and the BM plans to sedate both her and mom, leave the filly in the stall, put mom on the trailer, and move her to a nearby barn on her property--a mile or two away, so out of earshot (I hope?), where she too will remain in a stall. They will both stay inside with hay and sedation (and Ulcerguard) until they calm down, and then my filly will be turned out with two other foals in a foal herd. I think she will be in heaven ;), though there will obviously be an adjustment period. (Mare we will *try* out with another mare or two, see how it goes, and be willing to change the plan if that looks like it won't work. Fortunately BM has LOTS of space and a variety of pastures so can juggle turnout as needed..)
All of this is predicated on the weather, too--and the situation not ideal--but I think it's the best and only plan under the circumstances. BM is very experienced, and likes to do things "her way", so I don't have much of a say in the matter ;), but I trust her expertise. I was thinking of having a talk with her about possibly weaning earlier than Dec., even though it will already be maximally stressful, and if we don't do it by the signs?, maybe even more stressful.
(Filly is not that big, maybe 13ish hands, mom looks great and is still "madly in love with her baby", filly nurses fairly frequently, but also spends lots of time off on her own. I was hoping to wean later than 4 3/4 months so it made sense to wait until Dec. based on the conventional wisdom--from this board and elsewhere--which encourages keeping them on mom for as long as possible. At least unless the foal is huge, the mare is getting tired of the baby or losing weight and condition, etc.)