I know we’re not the only ones who had extreme wind today. When I was working my young stallion this morning, a tree blew over not far away. Little did I know it would be only the first of several to make the day interesting. My husband asked me if Robin had been good during our session, and given that fallen tree and his mellow response, I had to say yes.
An hour later when the wind was even stronger, I took hay to the turnout fence where usually five ponies greet me. This time there was only one, and she seemed uninterested. None of the other girls were in sight, so I knew something was up. Sure enough, they’d opened a gate that allowed them access to some old hay, and they were enjoying sampling it. This is when I got the first of several gifts despite the wind. There was an old tarp in the area that the girls were in, and when Libby, my two year old filly was reluctant to leave at my urging, I picked up the tarp and flapped it in her direction. She kicked up her heels and moved out as I’d hoped, but Rose, my five year old mare, just looked at me. Good sign – not spooky! Given that I haven’t done desensitization with Rose around tarps, I was very pleased. And the gate that the mares had opened is now secured with a chain.
About 4:15 this afternoon, my dog started barking urgently. I was just heading out to feed, so I soon discovered what had my canine companion so upset. Two ponies were loose, causing Robin the stallion to do lots of theatrics. Part of Robin’s antics were because one of the ponies was in heat. Another gift from the wind: this mare’s heat explained her strange behavior yesterday when we were working. I’m glad that mystery is solved.
A third pony appeared about five minutes later. I was quite impressed that these three let me halter them with ease given their high spirits after a gallop up the road. One of them even approached me to get some medication that I was headed her way to administer, another gift.
Upon returning the three escapees to their pen, I discovered the cause of their freedom. A tree that had been a fencepost was down, taking the fence with it. Further investigation found a second tree down in a different place, also laying the fence on the ground. The three escaped ponies spent the next half hour tied up while we executed repairs. The wind continued to gust, and I couldn’t help thinking that these ponies were amazingly calm given that two trees had fallen in their paddock, the larger of the two spraying dead branches in every direction.
I’m about to head out for the last feeding of the day. The wind has continued to gust, so it will be interesting to see what I find. I know two hay stacks are missing their tarps. I’ll have to deal with that tomorrow when the wind is supposed to be calmer. I feel fortunate for the gifts the wind gave me today; they make the trials of missing tarps and downed fences much easier to bear.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2012