Monday, March 16, 2009


I am a gate closing fanatic. If you go through a gate check it, check it again, and then go back to make sure, for certain, that it is unequivocally, completely, totally latched. If I were to write ten commandments, of course the first one would be: "Just be nice!", the next nine would be: "Close the gate!!". This post is somewhat of a red-faced apology to all my friends and family that have been scolded, by me, for not closing the gate.

This morning I went about my usual morning routine. I fed the barn cats and roosters, went around back to throw the rams their morning hay, fed the horses and filled their water, carried hay to the ewes and llamas and gave them their grain ration, and lastly, checked on the hens. What a beautiful day it is today. Warm sunbeams shining down, little bits of green starting to show through the grass, and the birds are in full voice welcoming in this lovely weather.

With my chores completed, I headed down the driveway to retrieve the morning newspaper, thinking to myself what a glorious day it was.......that feeling of euphoria was shattered when I turned back toward the house just in time to see our 3 horses running, bucking and generally frolicking around the yard.....the gate to their pasture wide open. This was not good. I threw the paper down and headed for the barn to get a bucket of grain and some halters. Normally my horses will come running to me if I call them, but knowing that this was a lovely spring morning and they were already in a very frisky mood, I knew that this was not going to be the case. By the time I grabbed lead ropes and halters they were already off on a little adventure, gleefully trotting along the road to who knows where. I threw my ropes and grain in the truck and headed down the road after them, Gary jumped in the other vehicle and followed behind. Luckily several passersby stopped and alerted cars to slow down as I got out and went after them on foot. One very nice lady wanted to help and asked me, "What do you call them?"...that was probably not the time to ask me what I called them because, I believe at that time, I was cursing like a sailor. Eventually they got away from the busy traffic and headed into the neighbor's neatly manicured lawn, and continued to the edge of the corn field where they stopped and looked at each other like, "Dude, we're lost". They stood and thought about it for a moment and then they promptly turned back toward me, and my daughter's old 4-H leader who had joined the chase somewhere along the way, as if to say, "OK, we're done, get us home now". We haltered each of them and Gary and I walked the 3 knuckleheads back home, which was now about a quarter of a mile away, through the exceedingly muddy corn field where our boots accumulated upwards of 20 pounds of mud to add to our already dragging feet. I then reminded Gary that life is never dull being married to me....he muttered something...still not quite sure what he said.

This is what happens to soft spring ground when 1200 pound horses go running around on it.
After we got the horses put away, we spent the next half hour replacing the divots in the they do on the golf course..I guess..I don't think I've ever actually been to one, but I have, however, seen "Pretty Woman" and I remember Julia Roberts doing that. What a mess!
The now very tired and muddy horses, in a very unapologetic manner, peeked around the corner to watch us work.

"We were framed I tell you!"

I apparently didn't latch the gate completely the night before, and being the little tricksters that they are, one of them decided to push it opened....probably Jake. Again, my fault, I taught him how to open and close gates, which is a very useful skill when you are trail riding but obviously it can backfire.The moral of the story? CLOSE THE GATE!


Juliann said...

I know what a horrible feeling it isj, that feeling very close to panic, when one's horses get loose. I'm so relieved they were caught up and that no one got hurt, including them!

Ebonwald Cardigans said...

ok i'm not a gate fanatic but I am a lawn fanatic! I nearly fainted when I saw your lawn! I HATE SPRING for this very reason......cuz the cows always get impatient to get to pasture and they always find a way (by either an open gate or breaking the fence) and then promptly run over the lawn and make 1,000s of divets and then run through my landscaped back yard. Oh the joys I'm looking forward too :)

Sharrie said...

When our calf got loose in the barn on Saturday, I ended up with a badly squished finger. Finger is better now and only divets from the neighbors horses.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Oh, I have sooo been there. And I'm a yard fanatic as well. Coincidentally today the farrier was out and when we got done trimming the really old mare I "let" her sneak off to the yard to graze while we did the others and then I took some pictures...just to prove I'd actually "let" a horse tromp around ;-).

Unknown said...

Wow! At least when my cat sneaks out an open door I don't have to face those problems!

Didn't your mother teach you to close the gate? [No, no, don't hit me! Just joshin'!! :) ]

Nancy in Atlanta

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