Sunday, October 9, 2011

Walk-About Weekend

In which one of my nightmares comes true: the boys take an unscheduled excursion...

Last week the lady that owns the farm had asked if I'd be interested in driving down to Kansas City with her for the weekend.  She had a family event to attend, her husband had to work, and with I-29 still closed, a 6+ hour drive becomes 9+ hours.  She didn't want to make the trip by herself, and it's been a while since the two of us have had an opportunity for a road trip.  Since T was also headed out of town (Manhattan for a K-State football game), I said sure, why not?

So there we were, smack in the middle of a 2 hour detour down IA-59 when her phone rang.  It was her neighbor (the one about a half mile away), "Are you missing something?  Your horses are in my yard.  Want to come get them?"  WHAT!?!?! 
The neighbor'd just gotten home.  It was pouring rain, blowing to beat the band, and she couldn't catch them.  Her husband wasn't home.

Since I was sitting in the car, the farm owner's husband was at work and unable to leave (and doesn't do horses), and T was with J on the way to Kansas we spent a few hurried minutes comparing names and phone numbers of people we could call who a) might be available and close enough to help, and b) that we had in our phones. 

It was an absolutely awful 10 minutes.

We were 4 hours away.  Nothing we could do except send what help we could round up in her direction.  And wait.

Thankfully she called back fairly shortly
to report that she'd finally managed to corral them safely.   

Since we didn't know where or how or when they'd gotten out, and the farm owner's husband wasn't going to be home until well after dark, we asked if, if it wasn't too much trouble, the boys could possibly stay until Sunday afternoon when we'd be home to check fences.  Other than being freaked out and blowing, she said they appeared to be fine - no marks on them.  T and D have horses, too (it was the trainer's place they ended up at, thank goodness) so when she said they were okay, that was huge relief number two.  And she said it would be fine - bless her - if the boys stayed in their round pen until I could collect them Sunday afternoon.

My other thank you sent heavenward was that we'd decided NOT to pick up Amyra late in the week. Since we were going to be out of town, I didn't want to risk it, so at least SHE wasn't in the mix, too.

So, we got home about 5:30 today, I changed, threw a saddle & bridle and two halters in the car because T (my T) was driving and the truck was still in Kansas, so I couldn't just pop them in the trailer, and headed for the trainers'.  No one was home, but the boys started whinnying as soon as I stepped out of the car.  They followed me along the round pen to the gate, and practically shoved their heads into their halters. 

I checked them over pretty thoroughly, and other than being muddy here and there and sporting a cockleburr or two, they really weren't any worse for wear that I could tell.  Saddled and pointed toward home, we covered the distance in short order at a steady working trot.  The farm owner was waiting for me, and we penned them in the top lot until we'd had a chance to walk the fence - her husband swears up and down he didn't leave the gate open, and we couldn't find anything down or loose. 

BUT, during the weather Friday the power was off for a while.  And even though they never have, I suppose they could conceivably have jumped the (four strand, chest high) electric portion of the fence if they were spooked enough.  G had had a round bale feeder tipped up on end in one of the pastures, and it was blown all the way across and tipped into another interior fence - if it suddenly started rolling in their direction, maybe it scared them?

They were happy to be home, had a good drink at the waterer and then tucked their butts to the grain bin as it started to pour again.  They might not have been phased by their outing, but I think I lost a few years! 

We left a nice thank you card and gift for T and D for coming to the rescue, and I'll stop by tomorrow and thank them in person. 

Other than those few heart-stopping minutes in the car, it was a fun trip and I'd gladly do it again.  But maybe I'll nail the boys' feet to the ground before I do!

It was a complete fluke that everyone who would ordinarily have been first on the list in case of a horse emergency was simultaneously out of town, but I suppose not completely unlikely.  So what about you - how deep is the list of people you have to call in an emergency?  Do you have a list?  Is it in your phone? 

1 comment:

Sarah said...

thankgoodness they went somewhere where someone could do something with them! My list, I suppose, is only as deep as my in-laws, where the horses reside while I'm gone. But we're so far out from anyone, adn I'm the only one for miles and miles that has paints, so I guess various neighbors would know whose they are anyway. And most of the time when anything gets out, someone puts it up until the owner is found. But I can imagine how unsettling it would be to get that phone call and be so far from home. I always dread hearing about a problem b/c I'll be in CA or somewhere and unable to do anything about it. And you just want to be there to take care of your own. You know how it is!