Wednesday, May 16, 2012


I was awoken this morning at 4:30 am by the sound every livestock owner dreads: the sound of hooves where they shouldn't be. This far north, it's quite light at that pre-dawn hour, so I lifted my head and looked out the window. "Oh, they're not gonna like that," I murmured as I watched five horses gallop across our neighbor's -- the wrong neighbor's -- field.

I got dressed and headed downstairs to call the Neighbor A, whose horses had escaped. Just as I reached the bottom step, I received a call from Neighbor B, whose field the horses had just galloped across. He was spittin' mad because the escaped horses had trashed his fences in an effort to reach Neighbor B's horses. (Horses can be hell on fences.)

The reason Neighbor B called me was because he didn't have Neighbor A's phone number, and Neighbor B knew I was an early riser.

So I called Neighbor A (who, to his credit, actually answered his phone at that hour) and explained the situation. Meanwhile I headed down our driveway to keep on eye on the escapees.

The light was still a little dim, so the photos aren't the clearest; but here are four out of the five the culprits.

The thinnest slice of moon shone in the eastern sky.

A blurry shot of one of the horses greeting Brit, our mare.

"Hey, I like this freedom stuff!"

"Crud. The party's over." Neighbor A drives up on his ATV, grain and halters in hand.

"If one comes, the others will follow," he told me. Here he's haltering up one of the horses...

...before slowly driving away, pulling the horse along.

Sure enough, the others followed.

The drama ended just as the sun rose, 5:20 am -- though Neighbor A still has to mend some fences (both literally and figuratively) with Neighbor B.

I'm so used to it being us whose livestock escapes. In a weird sort of way, I'm glad it was someone else this time.


  1. Oh the relaxed glamor of country life and wayward critters!


  2. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)May 16, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    I guess Neighbor A was fixing fences today!
    (and Neighbor B now has Neighbor A's phone number)

  3. Ah yes, a familiar sight. I will never forget the first time I looked out our window after moving to the country and seeing a LOT of cows in our pasture. I smiled and walked off...until it hit me we didn't have cows. I ran back to the window and yes, there were cows in my pasture.

    After figuring out where they came from (meaning, finding the torn down fence row so I could discover which neighbor had a lot of work to do), we got them mooooooooved back (sorry, the joke was just laying there waiting to be picked up) to their home and fences mended (only literal, that neighbor didn't care about the other). It is just an odd sight to see animals where they shouldn't be standing.

  4. Patrice,

    There's nothing like neighborly love :-)
    Beautiful horses, probably strong willed too.
    Love the pictures, were you sitting back with your cup of tea, thankful they weren't your horses that destroyed the neighbors fencing.

  5. I had a horse growing up that tormented us enlessly with his escapes. First, the previous owners didn't mention he was a champion jumper, so we raised the 4' fences to 6' feet (lots of work!) they also didn't mention that he knew how to open the spring-and-hook style closues on electric fences. So not only did he let himself OUT of our fields, but then let himself IN to the neighbors! My mom originally thought his escapes were cute, and would come out the back door and feed him a carrot and take him back.. until he learned that the back door had a bell, and if you ran the bell the nice lady would come out with a carrot :-) Mom didn't think it was so cute anymore!

  6. in our neck of the woods i am the only homestead that does not have livestock-but i have a good fence..but, sure enough when others livestock make their escape they can be found on my property every is the reason i have gates everywhere!