Last week we had a little excitement here! I was looking out the back window, and saw one of the horses out of the paddock. The daughter had just been out there letting her dogs run, so of course I immediately blamed her for leaving the gate open!
We both ran out back, and discovered it was only the ‘old man’ out happily munching in the hay field. The ‘big guy’ was behind the paddock fence, looking forlorn. My daughter was falsely accused. The gate was still locked, altho a little bent out of shape. It looked like it had been head butted several times!!
Usually, when we let the dogs run, we have been turning the horses loose in the hay field. Since the first frost, the grass in both paddocks is pretty much brown. The horses are not quite ready to eat the baled hay, especially when they know there is green grass within eyesight and reach! The hay fields are green and very tempting, so once or twice a day, with supervision, the horses are turned out to eat.
When the daughter went to run her dogs that day, she did not turn the horses out. The ‘old man’ took offense at that, and when the daugher left, he went back to his old ways, and hopped the gate!
Before we moved here, both horses were boarded at a large facility in northern Virginia. The ‘big guy’ does not jump, but was kept in a back field with acres of woods, so there was always alot of grass. The ‘old man’ and his closest buddy were, unfortunately, in overgrazed fields, and got in the habit of jumping the 3 board fencing to greener pastures. It used to drive me crazy, but they always returned when everyone was brought in for the night!
We don’t have board fencing here – just electrified wire and the 4 1/2 foot gate that he scaled with very little effort!
Now, keep in mind, the old man has done very little work, in the time he has lived here. He is retired from the hunt, and racing and jumping, and is 25 years old. But, when the lure of green grass was calling, he managed to clear (almost) that gate pretty much from a standstill !!!
I think, he realized, after the fact, that it was not as easy as it once had been- because he did dent the fence going over, and scraped his leg. I caught him attempting it a day or so later, and it was almost as tho he was just bluffing and trying to scare me into opening the gate a little more quickly – his plan worked!!!
The next day, I had the husband reconnect the electric fence and extend it to the gate. The ‘old man’ approached the gate, touched it with his nose and the spark and small shock sent him flying to the other end of the paddock!!
Needless to say, he hasn’t attempted to jump it again. But he still will have quite a large hissy fit, if we are a little slow in letting him out to graze!!!
All is well, peaceful, and cold at Mountain Meadows tonite…………………..