Peanuts, I had known since she was a baby so I didn't have too many qualms about her, but the new one Smokey, well he had a very different personality. All I had to do, he said, was feed and water them every day. Sounded simple enough(That should always be the 1st clue that you are making a mistake).
He had a small corral for feeding them etc. and a larger fenced in area where they could run and so forth. This was surrounded by other pasture that they were not allowed in because even though part of it was his, it wasn't fenced from his neighbors property. The horses chased his cattle and made him angry.
I was soon to discover that horses have a natural instinct to escape from confined quarters. They also resist all attempts to return them to where they belong with a stubborn determination I thought belonged more to mules! The first escape was not only from their area but out the front gate at the front of the property. When I went to feed them both gates were open and they were gone. Who opened the gate? It didn't matter. They were gone. I drove around looking for them with no luck. Finally I decided to track them on foot. I saw the direction they had taken and walked along but couldn't see them anywhere. I was walking past the house on the hill, ready to give up when out of the corner of my eye I saw the swish of a tail behind their shed. They were hiding from me there. I swear this is true!
OK, I found them. Now how to get them home was going to be a problem. I decided that Peanuts was the one to get,the other one was too skittish and would probably run. If I could get Peanuts, maybe Smokey would follow since he never left her side.After two hours of getting almost close enough to get the lead rope on and then off she would go. I finally got the rope on her. Off we went , down the road, I led Peanuts and Smokey followed at a safe distance. When we got inside the first gate he followed us in. When I got to the second gate I heard the sound of a horse running full out behind me so I let go of her rope and in they went!!! Off I went to town to buy a lock for the front gate
Since I wanted to take care of the horses properly I began reading about them(another mistake). I decided that they needed to be given a medication to prevent worms. The thing that still amazes me is how simple the instructions sounded when I read them at the store. How could I have missed the full meaning of insert the syringe into the gap between the teeth and hold the mouth closed until the horse swallows the medication? When confronted with the task of doing this I quickly got the picture. I decided to grit my teeth and get it done, I mean I really didn't need all my fingers did I? It is an understatement to say they resisted this procedure. I finally got it finished after 3 hours and a trip to the store for 2 more tubes of the medicine.
OK, I gave up reading about all the misfortunes life can bring to a horse. Some things are better left to chance I decided. The area the horses were in was a half mile from the main road and after several days of rain I decided the driveway was too risky to drive down. I knew from a previous experience when I had a U Haul truck and a travel trailer stuck in there(well that is another story)that I needed to be careful.It was raining so since I had no raincoat I cut holes in a large trash bag, put it over my head and walked down to feed them. They were inside the shelter so instead of going around the big corral I went over the fence and started walking across. when I was about halfway across they spotted me. I don't know what they thought I was but there was no doubt that whatever they thought I was they were going to kill it. They came at a full run and I retreated at the same speed trying to get the bag off so they would know it was me. Fortunately I didn't fall down or I would have been squashed by them to say the least.
I learned a lot of things during those weeks. The pump on the well can quit working. Hauling water in 50 gallon drums is a lot of work. Water in the trough freezes when it is cold and you have to chop the ice with an axe to get to the water. Hay that is spread on the ground around the haystack will burn if you drop a cigarette in it. At a full run a horse can and will jump the barbed wire fence to the next pasture. They are not afraid of the bull who lives in there. They will not jump that same fence to get back. They are very messy animals. I do not like raking their mess into the compost pile. Horses roll in the dirt immediately after you spend 2 hours grooming them.
I suppose you have guessed by now that it is not my dream to someday have a stable full of horses. No I will leave that to anyone who has such a love of these animals that they are willing to put up with the rest of it. I did learn that I can do anything if I try very hard. The biggest lesson was of course,Be More Careful Deciding What I Will Learn To Do!!!!!!
PEANUTS AND SMOKEY, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I LOVE YOU!!!!! WE HAD A HECK OF A YEAR!!!!!