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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2007

    Default Sunday Morning, Plan A vs. Plan B

    Sunday morning, Plan A:

    Get up at 4:30, take a bath, and type for two hours.

    Out at daybreak, do chores, feed the critters.

    Back in to feed dog and then self and change into going-places clothes.

    Off to church and then to visit Mom.

    Sunday morning, Plan B:

    Get up at 4:30, take a bath, and type for two hours.

    Out at daybreak, automatic critter count. Barn cats, check. Correct horses, all upright and on 4 legs. They were at the far side of the front pasture instead of by the gate waiting, but they gave breakfast nickers when they saw me. I fed the barn cats, headed to the feed room, dished up buckets, and went back to the pasture.

    Houston, we have a problem. For the first time, I realized, as the mares had come across the pasture to breakfast, that the silver colt was still on the far side of the pasture. Was he hung? Nope, cantering back and forth. As I entered the pasture with buckets, he started agitated whinnies. Belatedly, in the dawn's early light, I realized that he was on the OTHER side of the fence.

    One horse only on the other side of the fence? He's the most compact (Arab-Mustang cross and young, the mares are Trak). Maybe a compact hole? Anyhow, I dished up for the mares in their feed pans, then walked over to the far fence. No hole. Walked it up and down for all 400 feet of the upper pasture. No hole. Toccata pranced along the other side, keeping pace with me.

    Had he jumped? He has never shown any interest in jumping, nor in escape. Freedom is the Houdini. (PSA: Never name a horse Freedom. ) He's a happy-go-lucky socialite. He is the last candidate I could imagine for a solo expedition.

    So there must be a hole farther back along the line. Therein lies the rub, as below the upper pasture, we get into what I call the V. I am taming the V slowly, but the back part of it still is a wild woods maze. You cannot walk straight for 5 feet without having to dodge a tree branch. I started to walk the fence farther back. No hole. Got to the junction between my replaced fence section, relatively tamed, and the true wild back 40. No hole yet. Toccata, meanwhile, was going nuts. He did not want to leave sight of the herd having breakfast to follow me back into the wild brush.

    With a sigh, I parked his bucket, went back for tools, and told the dog, who was prancing around waiting to go back in for her breakfast, that there had been a delay. I returned to cut a hole in the fence, at least picking the OLD fence, not my no climb I'm gradually replacing it with. I then had to convince him it was a legitimate hole. As this wasn't his route over, he wasn't quite convinced. Finally got him through, and he galloped back up the hill.

    Quick patch of the new hole. Back up to the herd, dished up a bit more to occupy them since they were almost done and give him a shot at breakfast, apologized to the dog ("Not yet, Hannah"), fed horses again (no objections ), and headed back down. I still could not picture Toccata jumping that fence, nor leaving the herd to do so. Had to investigate the real outback for a hole before I left for the day.

    Off we go into the wild, brushy yonder. Down the V. Checked my year-round spring - alive and well. Up the other side of the V. This part is so steep that I've thought it would make a good rollercoaster if a track were available between trees.

    Ah ha! At the VERY back end of the property, after a very long, steep, tangled walk, I found a large tree that had fallen overnight or at least in the few days since last fence check. 20 feet of fence down. This was far beyond what I had with me.

    Returned all the way to the top. Apologized to the dog ("Not yet, Hannah"). Collected chain saw and more material. Back down and back up to patch fence. Not perfect but will hold until I can get another roll of wire. Looked diligently for neighbor's cows - that hole was an open highway. Found no cows. I was still amazed that only Toccata got over. The others must have been closely paralleling him on my side, and he didn't realize they were separated at first.

    Out of paranoia, walked the other two sides of the V completely. No further problems.

    Back up top, put away all tools. Indoors at last, much to the dog's delight. She was dutifully waiting outside the gate, but she couldn't understand why I took over an hour and a half and several trips to do morning chores this morning. Fed Hannah, got myself a bowl of cereal.

    I have already missed church, with the drive added in. Emailed apologies to the choir director. Now with breakfast (brunch?) finished, I will head on to Mom. At least I'll have a good story for her today.

    Life on a farm: Many things, but never boring.

    P.S. Here is an awesome picture I got of Toccata in a snowstorm earlier this week.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007


    That looks like a ghost horse, the kind that doesn't really need a hole in the fence to transmigrate somewhere else.

    Some days plan A works, some you have to go to plan B, those are the breaks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
    Rock Chalk!


    Quote Originally Posted by dressagetraks View Post
    PSA: Never name a horse Freedom.
    Self fulfilling prophecy? We learned that when we named a pup we bred Repo. Darn thing came back three times!
    A proud friend of bar.ka.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2003


    He looks like he has a devilishness in his eye that leads to mischief! What a cutie!

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