Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snowy Days

This is Patch! I think you've met him on my blogs before. Well, HE is at the top of my poop list right now.

He's my escape ar-teest.

See the loafing shed and paddock behind him? He frequently checks the door to that paddock with his muzzle, trying to slide it sideways. Once out, he'll even go to the stall door right beside it, and slide that door open to check for any goodies that might be in there, or to let the resident horse out. Currently, Cricket the foundered horse is in there and even with the door open, she's not going anywhere.

I'm forgetful! And go in and out that paddock door often. Sometimes he does get lucky and finds that I've forgotten to latch it. He got lucky the other night just before we went to bed. It was bitterly cold out. Of course.

The dogs were barking their heads off and Rich went out to see what was up. There were a couple donkey's in the front yard headed for the road. All the others where headed down the dead-end (thank goodness) road. The 3 P's - Pearl, Peach, Patch, the two mini mules, Trudy and Mouse, and Harley the moxy mini horse, with Spencer bringing up the rear.

They looked like a little parade of breeds, sort of. I wish I had gotten a picture. It was pretty cute to see little Harley's tiny rump swinging as he clip-clopped down the road next to Spencer's great big rump bumping along.

Rich and I jumped in the gator and went in hot pursuit after the little group of escapees.

When they heard us closing in on them, they turned off the road and went frolicking around in the neighbor's yard whinnying "Whoo hoo!" to each other. There was snow on the ground and they were slipping and sliding, bucking and farting and in general having an "Equines on the loose party!" Except Spencer. He just seemed confused.

But when they realized their escape wouldn't produce any greener grass for them, they turned to the alfalfa in the back of the gator and followed us home.

That was Spencer’s first escape. When he initially came here to live, I had nightmares of him getting out - a giant, agressive stallion, tearing around the neighborhood, kicking and biting all the little children who ran out to greet the big horsy.

Well, it’s finally happened, but he’s no longer a stallion and it was after dark so no kids running around, thankfully. He is still unruly at times, but a friendlier giant than before. He seemed unsure about why they were all traipsing down the road without a human in the around, so he just kind of followed Pearl's lead, the psycho Arab.

Rich’s comment was, “Oh good, two skitsos (sp) running around loose together. That’s great.” He sees the positive side of most situations like that:0)

Well, that was then. Today, everyone is safe and sound and enclosed.

(Pearl and Spencer are a couple now.)

This is Spencer’s feeding station. He is fed separately from the other horses normally because he has different nutritional requirements (he eats a hell of a lot more than the others) and he is a bully at feeding time.

This is a good plan for him also because he is very claustrophobic and has issues with going through narrow passage ways. If he has to go between two objects (the squeeze game for Parellites) he freaks out a bit and moves very fast and sometimes slides or trips over his hind feet.

(This is the paddock doorway that Spencer has to come through to get to his food and the one they all left through on that exciting evening.)

He’s a big uncoordinated boy. Is that a draft thing? He’s not real nimble on his feet when he has to move quickly. Forrest is half Clydesdale and he actually moves with the skills of a talented quarter horse, but then his not as big boned as Spencer either.

Anyway, we’ve been having fun in the Winter Wonderland, we call, the Rainier Hoof Recovery Center!


SunnySD said...

How I sympathize with your round-up "fun!" The horses have been out twice this winter - thankfully staying on the farm just not where they're supposed to be. Thankfully, both times they were discovered & returned to the right side of the fence before they a) headed down the road, or b) helped themselves overly much to the 5 gallon buckets of corn set out for the sheeps' evening feeding. Scary as all get-out!

Love the fuzzy critter pictures - nice to see a post from you.

Rachel said...

I love the fact that I got down to the bottom of this post, and the one right beneath it was titled "Quiet Times"... what a difference, huh?

What a great story with a happy (and safe) ending!

So Pearl and Spencer are a couple now? Opposites attract?

Well, glad to see that Spencer reacted in a way that was actually pretty smart: what are we all doing out here without our alpha? :)

allhorsestuff said...

Yes dearie Pat..
soo good to have you on top of my blog post list again with thoughts, words and news and farting and bucking and such!

Speaking of escape...I am going to share my space with someone soon and I have had a repeated nightmare of my talented and resourceful mare getting out. She will look for the chance, she'll study the chance to be sure...then she go, go, go!
So I opted for the inner paddock, so no one will have to walk through her space to get to their horse and also, not have to guard the gate as they come to and swings open often and I have to be on it with another horse thinking they must go WITH US!

Glad all went well with the round up and RICH is wonderful!

firecoach said...

I find your comments about Spencer inspirational. I hesitated to put my Morgan mare with Tank, my Belgian/Morgan cross after her encounter with Jerry, the Quarter/Percheron cross. First I put my miniature mare, Autumn with Tank. She must have had a tough life before us as she takes no crap from anyone. Autumn and Tank got along just great. Then I put Katie Rose with him with no problem. My problem rose when I put Tank with Katie and Autumn. When Katie was her hormonal self and chased away Autumn, Tank took it upon himself to chase Katie. Katie does not deal well with being chased, and tripped and fell on the pea gravel. So now the only one that will go out with Tank is Autumn. But right now with all the snow no one is going out much at all.
I guess it is the rare horse than can not be rehabilitated by the right person.
I also read the blog about the miniature mules. I saw one on Craig's list that was a beautiful Chocolate. I really wanted to get him, but I did not. Are miniature mules that difficult to deal with?

Pat said...

Hi M, yes, the two mini mules I've dealt with have been stinkers. Neither one has any use for people when they are loose in the field. Haltered, they are both sweethearts unless you want to do anything with their back feet. They both kick. One, Trudy, doesn't just kick, she comes looking for you to make a direct hit! And she does get me at least once every time I trim her hinds. With my farrier apron on, it's not a big deal, and I don't think I'll ever be able to break them of it.

The thing about mules, big or small, is that once they learn to solve their problems by kicking, it's nearly impossible to break them of it. You've really got to be smarter than the mule to do it, and not many of us horse people are smarter than a mule.

Evergrey said...

HAHA, my horse always bucks and farts when he's happy too. Rocket propelled horses!

SunnySD said...

Happy New Year to you and Spencer, the family and all the critters! Hope 2009 brings you all the best :)

Rachel said...

Good Goll... we had our first escape today. And as you know, we live in a terrible place for horses to get loose. And on a day when we were mostly underwater too :(

Thank God it ended safely. Though I think it was a bit of an education for my husband's family about how verbal Kona is!

Anyway - I linked back to you on that post if that is okay? Let me know if it's not and I'll take it down.

Looking forward to seeing you next weekend!