Monday, 10 October 2011

Runaway Pony

I think probably one of my biggest faults when it comes to horses is that I'm too trusting of them.  I trust that if they know better, they won't misbehave.  I learned today to never trust a newly weaned foal.

She started off really well today.  My mom and I went out to the field just as V was bringing Charlie and Toy up.  All the horses were at the gate except for Tona and Artemis, although Tona came running up pretty quickly.  Artemis was far off in the middle of the field, eating by herself.  She couldn't have cared less that the herd had left.  Because there's a creek in the middle of the field we had to go the long way to get to her which takes about ten minutes to walk.  We started to walk but got distracted by the neighbour's horses.  We had our backs to Artemis as we admired their foal and then we heard her call. We looked back at her and was watching us.  Then she took off at a gallop towards us.  I took pictures at first and then decided to video it, so I missed some of her running in the video.  I apologize how shaky the video is, my camera was really zoomed in for most of it and it gets really shaky when it's zoomed in that much.

She was more than happy to be caught, she hasn't been really worked with in two weeks because she was weaned just a week ago.  We started leading her up the hill but even though she doesn't really hang out with the herd anymore, she's pretty herd bound.  We spent a lot of time with her today working on leading her away from the pasture.  We brought her in the barn to give her the usual beauty treatment and she was complimented by other boarders.  The barn was really busy today and some of the boarders hadn't actually seen her up close yet.  She was the perfect angel while other people were watching.

After her grooming we worked on leading some more and then put her in Jimmy's pen.  We were planning on working with her again after we rode.  We brought Jimmy and Socks inside and saddled up.  There were so many people out the arenas were too crowded and the only place left was the back hay field. The problem was, we needed to ride by Jimmy's pen.  The first time actually went pretty well.  Artemis saw her mom and called and ran around a bit, but Socks didn't notice her.  Socks thought she was still out in the pasture and kept looking for her.  The problem happened on the way back.  Artemis figured out to come to the top of Jimmy's pen, and she managed to squeeze her way under the bottom wire (there's the top railing and then two wires in each pen, which work well if you don't have a baby pony determined to get to her mother) right into the next pen, which thankfully, was empty.  I jumped off Socks before she'd even stopped, threw my reins at my mom and bolted to the gate.  I managed to shut it before Artemis got out.  My mom led Socks around the barn and out of sight while I stayed with Artemis.  She ran in circles and called but eventually calmed down.  I didn't have anything lead her with so I ended up leaving her.  That was my mistake.  I should not have trusted her.  I got around the barn and within seconds we heard her call again, much closer than it should have been.  Sure enough, Artemis came barreling around the barn, headed straight for her mother.  She put her head down to nurse once she got to Socks (although Socks is dry now) but I grabbed her halter before she could do anything.  I led her in circles while my mom led Socks and Jimmy again and then put Artemis in the round pen (thankfully we were right beside it) so I could help my mom with the other two.  We didn't end up doing much other work with Artemis.  She went back to the pasture with a lecture from me that she didn't pay attention to nor understand.  I kept telling her that Cas would never have done that although I was lying, but she doesn't need to know that.

We then went back to finish our ride while the other boarders chuckled over our runaway pony and shook their heads at her.  Socks and Jimmy were both great considering they haven't been ridden much lately.  We only walked but I'm happy to say I only got one headache and it didn't last very long.  Take that concussion!  It was great to be able to ride again.  After we put Jimmy and Socks away we went out to see Artemis again.  She was in the same place but did not come running over to us, it was sad.  Her and Tona were far from the rest of the herd.  It makes me wonder if Artemis is going to be like her mother.  Socks stays somewhat near the herd but not really with them.  They just tend to follow her. 

And that's how I learned to not trust her.

Edit: I'm currently reading Denali's Mom's blog, Green n' Green= Black n' Blue, and in one of her posts she has a list of things someone wrote that they learned in the first year of owning a horse.  One of them is,

A horse will respect two thin wires of electric fence. If and when he wants to.

That sums up Artemis' little escapade perfectly.


Megan said...

Oh my! It sounds like Artemis is little escape artist! Had you caught her and everybody managed to stay safe.

Megan said...

Ahh, if horses aren't making you worry, there must be something wrong lol.

I love that video, she looks so cute =)

Haha, Sugar was an escape artist with electric fences. We never had ours turned on and we had a perimeter fence so nothing bad happened, but she would run her nose over each strand (like she was counting them) and then poke her head through the middle one, slip it over her very small withers and step through it. So electric fence is a no-no for us. Even when it is 4 strands that are close together.

Cjay said...

Australian Megan- Oh man, I hope Artemis never figures out how to do that! It's a funny image to picture though. Socks is a master escape-artist. She can and will, untie herself and anyone around her if she feels like it. Once while camping she untied herself and went for a run. We found her in the morning ten kilometres up the road, headed back to camp. I can't tell you how stressed out I was that day! I have yet to hear of a knot that can survive her lips.