Saturday, December 26, 2009

Escape Artist

I have a friend that has two horses. When I go away she takes care of my horses and when she goes away I take care of hers. She and her family went away for the Christmas weekend so I am taking care of her ranch. Unfortunately when they left in haste they didn’t close the gate at the end of their driveway. I drove up to their place in the pre-dawn hours to find their one escape artist standing in the road.

Often times a horse that liberates itself has an objection to being recaptured. I tried to lure her home by putting food out for the other horse. I called her name. Nothing worked so I grabbed a halter and a rope wan walked out to the road. I approached her indirectly and slowly, talking to her the entire time. She ran when I reached out for her. I’m now thinking I’ll be chasing this mare through the clear-cut all morning, but I figured I’d try other horse catching techniques. I walked a couple steps away from her and bent over slightly like I was bowing but not rising back up. I slapped my leg twice and she cane toward me. I held out my hand and she came to sniff it. I then stroked her nose and slipped the halter on her.

Her pasture mate was relieved upon her return. I finished setting out the rest of their hay and I breathed a sigh of relief that I didn’t lose my friends horse. I closed the gate at the driveway when I left. I hope all will be in order when I return for their feeding tonight.


Blogger Tango said... please explain why that technique worked..slapping the leg??

5:08 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Good thing you knew the secret handshake. I'd have still been out there chasing the thing when they came home again. Next time there is a critter loose, I'm calling you to come get it.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL! My horse had a pasture mate who would escape frequently. He could open any standard gate latch and was known to chew through ropes tieing gates shut. We think he was originally a wild horse then owned by some one with a beard who was mean to him. He would attack any bearded man who got within striking distance.

Lucky for us he dearly loved cereal and would come to a the shaking of a box of cheerios. Unfortunately the other horses would follow him out of the gates he left open and they were harder to catch.

He was old when I knew him and rarely ridden but was the favorite of the 6 horses because of his lively personality.


8:08 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Tango, it just works, just like when you do the thing with your fingers to make them look like they are walking through the yellow pages, that calls cats in.

Darevn it is a secret handshake. It was observed behavior with wild horses. When a horse turns to the side and lowers it head it communicates a lot to the other horses.

Critter, you never forget the smart ones because they make you think.

6:00 AM  

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