Greener Grass and Double Takes

Sara, the horse without manners.

These last few weeks have been very busy. We went to visit Ben in Oklahoma and I came home to find that ten horses were missing out of our pasture. Being the good little farm wife that I am, I went to investigate where they had gone. Marcia came and sat with Cooper for me so I could go ripping through the pastures on the buggy.

The gate to the property behind ours was open and all ten of our horses plus two others were having a grand time eating grass as tall as my knee. Not to my surprise, the carton of apple flavored treats I had brought with me to entice them back to our pasture, had no effect on them because they were hypnotized by the dark green, lush grass.

I’m not going to say that I gave up, but I did decide that I would need to go to town and buy feed before I would be able to lure them back to our land. So, I drove back to the house. Driving back to the house includes crossing 42 acres and opening and closing two different gates. When I got back inside the house, much to my dismay, I found that all of the horses had wandered back into our pasture through the still open gate. I decided that I was going to buck up and do what I needed to do. I jumped back on the buggy and high tailed it all the way to the back of our property again. Poor Hemi, our blue merle Australian Shepherd, followed me the whole way once again. He probably thought I had lost my mind. Anyway, I got back to the horses and found that they seemed happy to be where they were for the moment. The only problem facing me now was that two of the other man’s horses had also decided to come into our pasture. Please understand that ten horses that all look different would not be hard to tell apart. Unfortunately, three of our horses looked like one of theirs, with the exception that their’s was a male gelding. For anyone who doesn’t know what a gelding is, it is a horse that has been neutered. I made myself proud when I was able to get the first horse that was not ours back into its pasture. Now, telling the other horse from our three horses became somewhat of a challenge. My first attempt was not good. As soon as I got the gate closed and the horse turned to its left side, I realized that it had a brand on it and it was clearly ours. I opened the gate and let it pass back through. On my second attempt, I was proud. Both horses were back where they came from and the gate was closed. I checked the undercarriage of all the horses that looked alike three times and began to wire the gate shut so they couldn’t open it again.

We have a palomino horse that Ben bought for me when I first moved to Texas. The previous owners named her Sara. All the reasons that I liked Sara had to do with the fact that she liked me. She is one of the only ones who will come up to me in the pasture and practically beg for me to touch her. In the process of wiring the gate shut, my friend Sara decided she needed attention. While I was working with my hands she moseyed on up and stood as close as she possibly could to me. It only took me a few seconds to figure out that she had my body pinned between her 1,200 pounds and the barbed wire fence. In those few moments when it crossed my mind that I could possibly get hurt, I started looking for exit strategies. Then I remembered what the man we had bought Sara from had said, “She has no manners”. I realized that Sara just needed a little nudge. I pressed on her side and patted her hind leg and pushed. Sure enough, she moved. After I secured the wire on the gate, I jumped back on the buggy to return to the house. As I was pulling away, I noticed that some of the horses were acting funny. I saw that one of the look-alikes was making a lot of commotion and seemed a little aggressive. I got closer to it and sure enough, it had man parts. Our horse was now on the other side of a gate that I had just wired shut.

I decided that I had been in the pasture long enough and figured I could get some help from someone else to get the two horses I had mixed up back where they belonged and I headed home. I got back to the house, washed my hands, changed my clothes and told Marcia what had happened. She looked out the window and observed the imposture horse to be chasing all of our other horses around the pasture. I decided not to be too concerned and figured they would settle down in a few minutes. Marcia left to go and meet her family for lunch and Cooper and I settled in for the rest of our day. Not 20 minutes after Marcia had left I caught myself looking out the window as I passed by it. I stopped and waited. I don’t know how long I stood there. Was it three minutes? Was it five minutes? Was it 10 minutes? I could not see a single horse. I was tired, I was disgusted and I did not have a babysitter. I decided that I would worry about it the next day.

The following afternoon, Kasey and her two kids came out to the house after work. She sat with Cooper while the kids and I took a ride out to find the horses. When we got back to the gate that I had wired shut, it was still closed. The other gate was also closed. I looked over to the knee-high grass pasture and there were all the horses, once again, eating someone else’s grass. I went up and down the fence line and found a hole in the fence. A few days later, I paid a man to fix the fence and this weekend, my husband came in and put them all back where they belong.

Although I was proud of my horse wrangling, I guess it really is true that some things are not what they seem and sometimes, the grass really is greener on the other side.