It’s every owners worst fear. On Saturday night Hal and I went down to the field to check the horses last thing, and there was a horse missing! Sapphire and Florence were waiting by the gate, but Leonie was nowhere to be seen. Leo is the worlds most obnoxiously in your face horse, if your there, she’s in the way, so something was very wrong.
The thought process went something like this:-
Perhaps she’s at the bottom of the field/eating/asleep and hasn’t realised what’s happening (yeh right). We call, we whistle, we rattle treat bags, but all we achieve is winding up Sapph and Flo.
There’s no way on Earth she can have got out – is there? Surely not. This field is totally secure, and anyway, if any horse was going to get out of this field it would be Sapphire, it’s almost sport to her. Sapph hasn’t got out since we’ve been here and that’s two years now. Also, if it was easy enough for a klutz like Leonie to get out, how come the others haven’t gone to?
Oh God, she hasn’t been stolen Has she? Surely not. Why only take one there when there were three mares for the taking? Also, our fields do not have any public right-of-way, footpath’s, bridal parts, cycle parts, or even roads, anywhere near them. The only way into is either through our garden, or across adjoining fields . Hardly ideal for the opportunist horse theif.
Oh please no! She isn’t dead is she?
Hal told me later that he’d had exactly the same though. We were bought. Desperately trying not to panic each other, neither of us gave voice to our shared vision of a heap of dead black fur somewhere out there in the darkness.
Hal had just set off quartering the field in search of her, and I was trying to keep Sapph and Flo calm by the gate, so he didn’t get flattened, when I heard hoof beats on the hedge where no horse should be.
Thankfully she was OK. In fact she didn’t have so much as a scratch on her! All three horses were confined to the stables until we could check the boundaries by daylight .
Hal and I had plans for Sunday. Instead we spent the day putting up electric fencing, and trying to work out exactly how Madam got out. There no obvious holes in the hedge, hoof prints on the banks, breaks in the stock fencing. The gate, which is barricaded with sacks of rubble, hasn’t been disturbed. There is no clue as to how she got out. We put electric fencing along a run from the baracaded gate to next door, down to the stock fencing at the bottom of the field. This is where the Devon Bank is lowest, and the hedge is thinnest. This must be where she got out. Problem solved.
Hal and I had plans for Tuesday. Hal was just on his way out the door to check the horses when one of the neighbours messaged us to say that one of the horses was in the field next door!
Low and behold, there was Leonie!
Once again all three horses were confined to barracks. Hal and I spent Tuesday trying to work out how she was getting out. Once again she did not have a scratch on her. There were no obvious signs of damage to hedges, banks, gates or fences. The fence we put up on Sunday was still in one piece. How is she doing it?
Hal and I spent Tuesday putting up yet more electric fence.
Neither of us are entirely feeling the love right now