Sunday, February 21, 2010

Adventures in Rodeo

Boy was yesterday a PITA. Eliot, our farm helper, was moving some stuff around and left a gate open before leaving the farm to run some errands. Unfortunately the gate he left open was a poor choice indeed as it was to the horse pasture.

Michael and I had just sat down to lunch when a knock came on the door. It was one of our neighbors, who told us all of my horses were out and wandering around on the roadside. So much for that hot lunch! I had also planned to go to Memphis to my first Tibetan language class at my sangha house, Pema Karpo Meditation Center. Good thing I hadn't!

I grabbed a bucket of feed (mostly out of habit, my horses are catch-able in any circumstance), Icon's halter and headed out the door. Michael drove me in the truck bed about 1/2 mile down the road where, sure enough, all the kids were having the time of their lives grazing by the side of the road. Though Icon did look a little relieved when I called him. I got the distinct impression that he'd realized he was quite lost, and wasn't sure what the next step was. He was all too happy to come up to me and be haltered and shown the way home.

When you have a group of horses loose, and there's only one of you, it helps if you know which horse is dominant (in my case it's Icon). Usually it's not too hard to get everyone to follow your dominant horse, so all you have to do is catch him/her and the others follow like ducks following their mom. Usually. They've gotten out once before and this technique worked like a charm. However things were a bit different this time, as some dipwad in a truck decided that we were taking too long and therefore it was a prudent decision to drive his truck through the group assuming that they would calmly part like a herd of sheep to let him through. Going 30, I might add. For the record, if you are wondering, that assumption is incorrect. Next thing I know I've got about 3800 pounds of horseflesh thundering around me in a blind panic, along with the 1700 pounds worth of Ikey at the end of a rope. Of course, followed by about 250 pounds of Badonkadonkey bringing up the rear. I have to admit that, even in the stress of that moment, he really is still comically cute when seen running with 2 belgian mares. I mean seriously, look:

After a couple of detours into our neighbors' yards I was able to get the girls' attention back to Icon, and finally all of them resumed their duck-like follow-the-leader formation. I am just so grateful that of all the neighbors who came out into their yards and onto their porches to watch the show that none of them decided to try and participate, or that no kids were out playing in areas that might have been in the path of the girls as they galloped past.

I am a bit flabbergasted that people who have lived in the country all their lives could be that unmindful of their surroundings. Though to be fair, most of them have cows rather than horses, and cows really do just sort of stand around stupidly. But let that be a lesson to my dear readers (all 2 or 3 of them). If you are one day driving along in the country and see horses out loose on the side of the road with one lone person leading one, followed by another in a truck bringing up the rear and frantically waving to you to stop, please do so! Not just for the safety of the horses and their handler, but for yourself as well! Trust me, if your pickup gets in an argument with a draft horse, the pickup loses.


  1. What a Hoot! I too have chased my horses down the time my stallion and his two mares got out and headed straight for the State Hiway a 1/2 mile away. You ever see a fat lady run???

  2. Oh yes, I've BEEN that running fat lady many a time!