Yesterday was one of those days where things seem to come at you from every angle. I woke up to a phone call from the Sheriff’s office telling me that I had a horse in the road…a brown and white one to be specific. The voicemail said that they put him in the field beside the “brown quarter horse.” So it sounded like Joey was out and that they put him in the donkey field since I assumed the brown quarter horse was Paige. I called the deputy back while getting ready to go and check on things and he described the opposite side of the farm and a silver gate, which meant that Joey had been put in my neighbor’s field. So I drove down there to scope things out only to see my new black and white boarder mare in the neighbor’s field. Joey was still with Paige, which was a relief since I couldn’t fathom how he would’ve escaped without taking Paige with him.
As it was, I wasn’t too surprised that the new horses got out (the gelding was out before the police got there, but he put himself back in the appropriate field). The two new boarders have been hanging out on their own instead of trying to integrate with the herd, which is good in that there has been very little scuffling, but not ideal in that it has allowed them too much time to explore on their own. And explore they did…right out into the road. You see, I have a sketchy stretch of fence on the opposite side of the creek, but my horses have never challenged it. I’m pretty confident that it would take very little to knock it over and that 80% of its structural integrity is due to the trees that have grown up in it over the years. Apparently one corner has been taken out entirely by a large tree limb that fell at some point, but I never noticed it…and neither had any horses…until yesterday. These new boarders took advantage of the opportunity for freedom. Luckily they got out on a quiet Sunday morning and wrangling them up to Joey/Paige’s field to keep them out of trouble was easy enough. So I patched the fence yesterday by putting a corral panel across the corner to keep them entirely away from the hole.
As I was working, I couldn’t help but think about how much simpler my life is now. Previously I would’ve drug my ex along to help me catch horses and patch the fence and I would’ve had to listen to him complain about it all. The rain, the horses, the farm, why he had to help, etc. But yesterday I just put on all the layers, caught the horses, walked them straight up a hill and let them loose with Paige and Joey. I stood in the rain and watched them run and establish dominance before walking back down to the creek to assess the damage to the fence. I was wearing enough clothes that I wasn’t sure if I was sweating from trekking up and down the hill or if I’d just been standing in the rain too long.
I found the hole, removed all of the debris from where the tree branch fell, then drove the truck over to the hay barn to load up a corral panel to use to block the hole. I’ll admit that I did call a guy friend to see if he could come help me, but when the call went to voicemail, I just went ahead and loaded the panel and drove it down to the creek myself. I couldn’t help but think about how my ex had tried to convince me to sell the truck this time last year, but I’d resisted and traded in my little car so that he could have the car he wanted instead.
Maybe that was his way of testing the water to see if he could talk me out of buying a horse trailer and becoming more actively involved in the hobby that he loathed. I guess he thought he could talk me out of a hobby that is generally more manual labor than it is riding, but here I am, doing manual labor by myself on a Sunday in the pouring rain, just being tickled to death to own a truck to make the work easier and to be working on this project during the daylight hours. I generally consider myself more of a realist than an optimist/pessimist, but where farm labor is concerned I’m apparently a glass half full sort of person. None of the horses were injured, there was no property damage minus the decrepit old fence, and I had all the supplies I needed in order to resolve the situation on my own. I’d call that a win.
As much as I could’ve done without having loose horses and loose dogs yesterday (yes, my tiny furboys got out at the house for the first time yesterday too… ), I couldn’t help but be filled with gratitude (once all animals were secured…) for what I have. I’m so grateful to have a farm that meets my needs-minus one stretch of sketchy fence. I’m grateful to have three boarders to supplement my income once Joey goes into training. And dammit I’m grateful that I didn’t cave and sell my truck to keep the peace last year.