Every morning of every day when I get up, I look out the window to gaze at the horses. It is a fine way to start a day for me. Sometimes they are over a hill and cannot been seen, which was the case one morning this week. At least that is what I thought…
An eerie feeling of “empty” met me as I made my way to the barn. So eerie, in fact, I whistled several times for the horses. This usually brings a friendly whinny from High Hope along with a quick appearance. Not this morning. After several more whistles, each more urgent than the previous, the knot in my stomach grew tighter.
Our horses were not in the field anywhere. They were gone.
I knew this was my fault. I had not followed through on the “something told me” voice that said, “check the fence line” to the new paddock they had just been turned out in that day. I found a hole alright. Only it was, as my mother says,”A day late and a dollar short.”
Where does one begin to look for two horses on mountains and acres of forest? Horses are curious critters and have a knack of getting themselves into trouble. I knew two things: only God knew where they were, and horses eat grass.
So as I grabbed halters, leads, a bridle (to ride one and pony the other) and a bucket of feed, I prayed for help. Down by the beautiful Cowpasture River is a lovely hay field full of spring grass. This is where I would begin my search.
As I made the turn in the road , two heads looked up at me. They were busy eating grass! Approaching them quietly and with a calm, steady voice, I haltered them and lead them calmly back to their pasture.
This frightful episode ended well for us. I am thankful for that is not always the case. A horse belonging to a friend of mine was recently struck by a car and killed when he got out of his pasture. So, once again, I count my blessings.
What I learned and tips to remember:
* Be sure your neighbors have your telephone number. They will call if they see your horses are out.
*Always have halters, leads, and bridles where they can be gotten in a hurry (I do not leave halters on our horses at night, some owners do).
*Take some feed in a bucket when going to look for them. They come to the sound of feed and it will help calm them.
*Check fencing regularly!