Drama on the farm
It’s been a while since I’ve posted and it’s been a busy time.
First I hauled my travel trailer to the farm – I will be living in it until the house is renovated. Once I was in place I started working on fencing. I had purchased a weed eater, however, it was not up to the task of tackling weeds that were over my head. I resorted to hedge clippers to hack out a fence line for my first enclosure. Not pretty, but it was effective.
Once that area was finished, I hauled in my two oldest and most stable horses, Huey and Bettina. The ones I felt would be least upset by being alone in a strange place. All was good. The second day the horses were there I decided to enlarge their area to include a 2-stall section of the barn. It took longer than I thought (more hedge clipper work) but I finished just as it was nearing dark. As I was moving the portable fence posts and the electric tape, I created a 20 foot gap. And what did the horses do, but go out it! I wasn’t too concerned and honestly thought, if anything, they would head for the 2 horses at the end of the property, owned by a previous tenant. Wrong!!! I closed the gap, turned around and they were gone. There was absolutely no sign of them. No sound. Nothing. I walked to the meadow at the top of the hill – where I felt they would have gone but they weren’t there. Now it was fully dark.
I called the Breckinridge County Sheriff’s office and reported them as missing, in case someone found them. The next morning I was up again searching. Since it was long grass there was not even a hoof print as evidence of where they’d gone. I called, in hopes that they’d at least whinny to me. Nothing. In town at Southern States (farm store) I let them know I’d lost the horses and left my name and number. The woman at the counter – brilliant – suggested I call the radio station. Her husband suggested I contact the vet, whose home backs up to that area. I took both suggestions. Back to more searching.
Thankfully, I was exhausted from more fence line clearing and all that searching and could sleep. But I was awake at first light every day. I had images of them being shot (there was hunting going on) and lying dead in the woods. I imagined all kinds of dire fates, from falling, to being caught in barbed wire. I pushed it all to the back of my mind, but really, I was sick with worry.
To make a long story short, Monday morning I got a call from the vet’s office. The horses had been spotted via the vet’s ‘trail cam’, which he uses to watch deer. What a relief. I had been afraid they had headed back to Paris! Dr. Burke gave me directions to his farm and I headed out with the horse trailer. I arrived, saw the hoof prints and the pile of manure where they had passed. I searched the area for a couple hours but gave up. Saw no more fresh sign and another pile of manure further up the road toward the main road, indicated they had gone that way. At the junction of the dirt road and the main road was a house. I knocked at the door and asked the woman who answered if she’d seen two horses. She said she had! As I was hoping it was not too long ago, she said her husband and a neighbor had gotten them corraled. She pointed and there they were!!! I was never so happy to see them. I thanked the woman profusely, and gave her a hug, then loaded them up in the trailer and hauled them home.
In all they were gone 5 days. Torture for me – vacation for them.
I will add however, that the next time I enlarged their area (it was secure) and I took down the unnecessary line of cross fence – leaving at least a 300 foot gap – Huey watched me closely, but never made the slightest move toward the open area. So maybe it wasn’t such a vacation after all. It was over an hour before any of the now 6 horses made a move to leave the area they’d been in, and then it was very tentative and they didn’t go far past where the cross fence had been.
As of Thursday, all 7 horses are now here at the farm. What a relief.