|Friday, February 18th, 2005|
7:15a - Father and Son
Boyoboy left Tuesday, the birthday of his new owner. Things were going well, until...
Well, you know this farm is named "Pandemonium", so things just CAN'T turn out as if it were the best of all possible worlds...
M was blindfolded for the nearly 30 minute drive, after being told she was going out to a special restaurant for a super desert... Well, that's a different marketing ploy. "Pandemonium Pintos and Arabians Restaurant" Wonder if horsefingers will catch on?
Originally, I was to put a tole bow on the colt right before they arrived, but I'd spaced off the parent-teacher conferences that were scheduled from four to six that night. I called and moved it to 6:30, pulling into my driveway just behind the family's van.
It was pitch dark, of course, and the mud factor prohibited taking M down the hill blindfolded. I was surprised and delighted when I got the hug momma really should have had. Boy was hot as the excitement translated itself from the people to the horses. Once he was haltered, he was fine, but instead of trying to hold onto him AND negotiate the mud, we let him run loose up the hill beside momma. The trailer was a huge stock trailer with the full back door open, generally a snap to load into. The two blue gates can serve as wings to guide wanderers into the center.
Well, Coqet got right on. But Boy, who beat the people to the top of the hill, dashed into the drive alongside the trailer and cut to the edge, heading down the hill again, but along the outside edge of the stud pen fence. Momma called from inside. Daddy answered from the front yard. Boy dashed up and down, unable to see mother, so he turned and dashed through the hot electric wire, snapping both top and bottom, and ran for the protection of his father.
I've always prided myself on how well-adjusted the stallions here are, how readily they take up with the youngsters even without the protection of the dams. Omyno got right into the spirit of the chase, dashing from one side of the yard to the other, keeping pace with the frantic Boy. I opened the gate to the stud pen, intending to cut NO out and let him go inside.
A bit of lack of planning here -- the last person to gain the hill did NOT shut the huge heavy gate at the mid-point of the hill. The stud pen was still open to the driveway, but in the dark, this was not obvious from the bottom of the hill.
I had someone bring Coqet down the hill and around to the driveway gate (which is on the road). Boy broke through another piece of fence and joined her, where he was readily caught. No, who did not seem to realize that if Boy ran through the electric wire, it was safe for him to do so, too, stayed in the yard, but he was going to be a problem. I took the end of the mare's lead rope and made a makeshift halter for him, holding her on one side of the fence and him on the other. Someone went for another halter and lead rope, back through the mud, to the tack room. A semi came by.
Finally I put a real halter on No, and sent one of my students, whose father is the uncle of the birthday girl, to put him in the stud pen and chain the gate. He did not hear clearly and was trying to chain the stallion at first. Finally, No was turned loose in the pen. BUT, he immediately came down the driveway, having NO TROUBLE spotting the wide open gate on the opposite end of the pen.
As he came up to the mare and foal, I snapped a rope back into the halter he was still wearing. He was again escorted to the stud pen and this time, he stayed inside.
The mare got on the trailer. Boy was a bit more reluctant, but with the father on the lead in front and my student and I locking hands behind him and giving him a bit of impitus, he was soon to the edge of the door, then climbing right on in.
I'd suggested before that the mare go with him at first to keep him company until he settled in, and the way it turned out, that happened.
Unloading went smoothly, with Boy sticking tightly to momma's side. One possible explanation for that happy phenomenon is that they weren't at Pandemonium any more.
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