(Okay, that title is a bit of an exaggeration…)
I’m hoping to find the herd and my fences/gates intact when I go to the barn tonight. This week has been wonderful with the arrival of Joey, as he is currently called. I could change my mind, but that seems to fit him. On the flip side of things, I’m discovering lots of maintenance that needs to be done on the property…most of it caused over the last few days…possibly my horses have lost their minds due to the full moon?
Paige started the destruction after having Joey on Friday. A and I went to town for food after things looked all clear with them. We were up there for 2-3 hours before breakfast and it was mid-morning and we were HUNGRY. I also needed to let my dogs out to potty, so we spent 45 minutes or so in town. When we returned, the gate to Paige’s stall was mangled and there was blood running down it. I swear both of our blood pressures went up immediately. Paige was standing quietly as though nothing happened and Joey was sleeping in the same spot he’d been when we left, but we picked up all of his legs and inspected him thoroughly before find a sizable scrape on Paige’s left hind canon bone area. She will recover and be fine, so A and I shoved the gate back into a gate shaped condition and I lined it with square bales to avoid Paige laying close to it again. Our theory is that her contractions made her dumb for a few minutes and she was rolling in pain and got her leg hung. Thanks Paige.
Mangled gate count: 1
So Sunday night, I had a big glass of wine before bed. I haven’t had any in several weeks because I figured as soon as I imbibed, Paige would go into labor and I didn’t want to be buzzed and delivering a baby. So naturally Sunday night, my brother called me at 12:30. I’d been asleep for a while, but apparently Jason was still awake, so he heard my conversation with C.
Basically the horses were out. Oddly enough, this didn’t alarm me lots since our neighbors horses get out on the regular is seems and mine never get out. Lolz…you see where this is going. So I asked C to describe the horses.
“Well, one is definitely Copper. The other one is brown with a white spot on its nose and a big white spot on its belly.” Copper is in a field with Highness only. Not a white hair on her body. Um. And nothing on the farm has a white spot on its belly…
“So, you’re sure it’s Copper?”
“Well, let me look. Well, it has a stripe down its face with two brown spots inside the stripe.” What the heck. Not Copper.
“Oh, that is Rita. For sure. The other one, a white spot on the belly?”
“The spot is gone now. It has a stripe on its face too.”
“Does it have a LOT of mane.”
“Yeah, it’s hairy.”
“That’s Piper, the mustang. I’m on my way.”
So Jason and I headed to the barn to assess the damage and put the mares back in their field. The alarming bit to me was that there are three other mares (Harley, Robin, Kricket) in that field that my brother didn’t mention. When we get there, I grab two halters and a bucket with grain in it, and head to where my brother and his wife are standing at the top of the hill, feeding the loose mares sliced bread.
Harley was standing in the field reaching for bread. Pigs, all of them. I passed the bucket of grain over the fence to C and he led them back through the opening they created by popping the gate off its hinges. Robin and Kricket were still unaccounted for, but are always together, so when I saw one horse silhouette in the distance, I figured (correctly) that they were together away from the drama.
So we put the gate back on its hinges and got ready to leave. Copper and Harley are apparently in love right now. Which is likely what prompted all of this drama. Piper was charging the fence trying to get Copper to go away, yet Harley was distraught when he left, so naturally he came back and Piper charged him again. Mustangs. So I just opened the gate and let Harley in the field with Copper and Highness and everyone went their separate ways.
Well, when I got there yesterday I walked up to look over everyone and saw that the gate between Copper/Highness/Harley and the 20 acres pasture bent into a pretty dramatic angle and with a very sharp broken tube. Wth guys??? So I walked out and checked everyone. No injuries. Copper has some weird scrapes on his hind legs, but no open skin. So I guess he did it and I got lucky?
Mangled gate count: 2
So now I have two busted gates (actually I have several, but these are the newest to join the club) but at least Paige didn’t leave sharp edges on hers. Naturally I don’t have any duct tape at the barn, so I busted out a roll of vet wrap and hid the sharp edges from the
crack heads horses that are apparently out to destroy everything and each other.
I’m hoping to arrive and find
magical new gates everything as I left it last night and no injured horses. C also told me that he’d seen Copper leaning over the fence at the part of his paddock that borders their yard. As you can imagine, their yard is lush, fluffy, and hasn’t been mowed yet. Apparently my dear horse, Copper, has been taking time away from his round bale to completely destroy my fence eat over the fence. The entire farm used to have a strand of barbed wire at the top, but with the anticipated arrival of babies, I was proactive and removed the barbed wire from the paddock and the smallest pasture so I’d be less paranoid about them getting into dangerous things. I do have most of the stuff to put a string of hot wire at the top to keep the leaning (and hopefully fence fighting) from happening, but I am but one woman and I struggle to convince people to help me with things around the farm for the most part.
Jason and I were planning on taking the evening tomorrow to work on things, but alas, we just found out that he starts his new job at the local TSC tomorrow, which is good, but I just need someone to devote a few hours into helping me with some things lest I lose my mind. That employee discount will be nice when I have to replace every gate on the farm….
I’ve got the paddock fence (which only houses my miniature donkeys now that Copper and Highness have been kicked into the middle pasture where they’re wreaking the gates…) propped up well enough. The only problematic part for me to do solo is getting it pulled tight while putting staples back in the post for where they appear to have just popped out from the force of Copper’s weight.
Also, the vet is coming on Friday to look at Joey, test Copper for Lyme disease and give everyone rabies vaccinations. I’ve decided to buy the other vaccinations separately and give them myself. I’ll be grabbing Copper’s before Friday so I can stab him with it while he’s still sedated. Cause I’m a chicken.