SOOOO.....today I spent the morning cleaning house and then barn. Afterwards, C and I went off and did errands all over creation. We went to Scarborough, Buxton, Standish.....and by the time we got home it was mid afternoon.
As I drive in my driveway, my heart is suddenly in my throat. Where the heck was my horse? OK, where are BOTH my horses? Dear god, I figure they have been stolen. Stupid, but I admit it was my first thought.
I walk out to the barn holding my breath. Well, they have not been stolen, but are in the stalls. The wrong stalls. Obviously they had gotten loose and someone had thankfully caught them. Hmm.....Dreamy is SOAKING wet and hot, so she must have been running. I throw a cooler on her and put her back into her own stall. OOOOPS, she was in Sparky's stall, so that means she ate about half of Sparky's dinner hay.....DRY HAY! ARGH!
And that meant that Sparky ate Dreamy's DENGIE! AH!!! A Cushing's horse most definitely should NOT eat chopped hay mixed with molasses! Oh crap......now I am imagining Dreamy will be coughing and lame (because her sweat = a mad gallop around the yard = sore/strained something) and Sparky will be colicking. Life is just dandy.
Both mares were shook up - Dreamy because she had been spooked and Sparky because she was in the wrong stall. Whatever made Dreamy run and spook had not affected Sparky because she was completely dry. Weird! With horses back in their correct stalls, C and I go inside to change into warm barn clothes. I also check the messages, and there are 3 of them from various neighbors telling me my horse is loose. Thankfully one of them took it upon himself to call D & L Perkins down the road (they own STBs) and L came up to catch Dreamy. I called my neighbors back and also left a message for D & L thanking them profusely for saving my mare! From the sounds of it, Dreamy was galloping all around the neighbors' yards, up and down the hill on the road, and dodging cars as she went. Holy crap! One neighbor said she "knew where she belonged because she kept stopping to look at the barn." Well, that makes sense to a non-horse person, but it tells ME that she was very scared of something in the barn. She would have been doing that high-headed-completely-still-statue pose, bugged eyed at the "scary" thing, as horses do when they see something spooky. And then gallop around a little more, and then WHAM halt....stature girl again. I am willing to bet she did the warning blow too.
I go out to inspect the damage to the fence. She had completely busted through the front gate, so I mended that and figured all was well. There had been a lot of hunting today in the 100+ acres around us, including two deer being shot according to another neighbor, so I chalked it up to her being spooked by a hunter.
Because I wanted to keep an eye on the mares for a while, I decided to stay outside and finally bring my jumps inside. It was only about 3PM and I have been meaning to do this for about a month, but every weekend lately there seemed to be some reason why I couldn't. And with the recent rain I did not want to bring them all into the barn soaking wet last weekend.
So it took about 45 minutes or so.....C was bored and tried to help. He finally resorted to running around like a crazy child between the field and the barn as I hoisted and dragged standards and poles. As we dismantled jumps at the far side of the field, I realized the entire back fence was down.
Ah-HA! Now I knew why Dreamy was so upset. This looked like the work of a moose, as they normally walk straight through fences and drag them along for quite a few feet...and sometimes a few acres (ask my Bampie and I why we know this....). SO I go about mending the back fence as best as I can, as the sun is setting quite quickly. I figure I can 100% fix it all tomorrow morning.
So now I realize that something big and scary came through the back of the pasture so Dreamy left through the front. Isn't that a law of physics or something? For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction? I doubt it was a deer, as they normally just jump. Are bears in hibernation yet? Good lord, it could have been a bear. And I doubt it was the work of a hunter, as they would have had to have been REALLY blind to walk through a fence and break it like that. And besides a hunter would have just cut it, not broken it.
And if there was as much hunting as I suspect today (there were easily 20 cars/trucks of men clad in orange driving out of there tonight) then they must have stirred up the animals to the point that something busted into my pasture. Poor Ms. Dreamy. :(
I just went out to check the mares about 30 minutes ago. Dreamy is fine, her legs are cold and tight and she is not coughing. Sparky has gut sounds and has manured a few times, so I think we are in the clear. Whew!
I as much as I love my horses, I hate horse stress. :P