Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lessons from the horse barn


Are you a horse lover? A rider perhaps? A horse owner? If you can answer yes to one of these questions, then you'll surely be able to appreciate this story.

Shortly before the early morning start time of horse camp last Thursday, a frantic telephone call attempt was made to our home, but we had already left on foot for the barn.

The call was from the owner/instructor of the horse farm, the message not retrieved until after the day's event ended .

During the wee morning hours, an entire paddock of horses had escaped, the gate not closed properly the night before by one of the helpers.

The horses (all of the ones shown in the photo below) were spotted too late, all trotting up the long winding driveway in a horse parade fashion, one behind the other.

Following the leader, the rascal horse leader that is, all quickly began to gallop in sync down the road, deep into coyote country.

Actually, lucky for the owner of said horses, someone quite a distance away managed to corral them all within her own property horse paddocks, just happened to know her phone number from her sign at the end of the property, and called her to say they were safe there with her until she could retrieve them.

When we crested the top of the hill and rounded the bend, with both dogs in our midst for their morning walk, both girls were frantically summoned into immediate action.

The horse camp was delayed and parents remained with their children while our girls, along with another camp helper, hopped into the owner's truck and were driven to rescue the herd of horses. All of them were placed on lead ropes and led on foot back to the farm, and then securely replaced back into their original paddocks.

The horses were physically exhausted by the end of the saga, all heavily dripping with sweat. Worse part? The ponies and the sweet baby horse were too tired for the young children to use in their horse camp! Good thing for the owner with many other horses to use, though many hands higher.

Even the baby (shown below) was among the escapees, so worn out and tired after trying to keep up with the big guys, obviously ready for recovery upon return.

Oh, and the girls were very adrenaline filled, though fatigued like their counterparts, especially one small eleven year old girl who managed to command the attention of two ponies on their walk for over half a mile.

All involved shuddered to think what could have happened to one or more of these horses as they sauntered down the road in the early morning hours. But, they were safe now. A great ending!

Moral of the story?

Have you always wanted to own a horse? Wow, then you might want to take note of this heart skipping story. It only takes a few minutes to lose a horse.

Just imagine, your beloved furry pal bolting down the road and perhaps not being able to secure a happy ever after like our girls experienced. Praise God, this won't happen again. What a huge ordeal for all!

As our girls chat about buying a horse for themselves to own, I know their eyes are "wide open" now, and they were definitely gifted with another great learning curve experience to place in their memory banks for the future.