Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Midweek Confessions: Tails from the Corral

Oh yes, I did intentionally mispell "tales" to be punny.  I am just that clever. (ha.)

My Midweek Confessions for this week can be summed up in one ridiculous story.

First, a bit of background.

This is my horse, Cowboy.  He's been mine for 15+ years and is now about 30 years old, and doing really well.

That has not always been the case.  A couple of years ago he impaled himself on a fence post and really should have died (I have pictures, but they are just too gross to put out for public consumption.)  The stories I could tell you about taking care of him during his road to recovery - priceless.  If you're up for a good one some time, let me know. 

Anyway, as a result of his injury, Cowboy has some significant muscle lose in his right hind haunches and is "retired."  He lives at my parents' house in the forest with a lovely pen, a nice shelter that matches the house, and a pasture down the path to graze in during the summer. 

Cowboy loves to eat.  He particularly loves grain, and he particularly loves to graze on fresh grass.  He likes Alfalfa hay, and will eat but is fairly neutral towards grass hay. 

Our story begins at meal time yesterday.  Husband and I headed out to the forest to do a little corral cleaning, feed the horse, and put his blanket on (he's old, and it gets cold at night).  Grain in the bowl, Cowboy begun chowing down while I blanketed him and Husband got to cleaning.  Deep in the midst of a good conversation, neither of us realized the gate was open.

This wouldn't normally have been a problem - he was eating his grain.  Well, neither of us realized that he'd finished his grain, had sniffed his grass hay semi-uninterestedly, and then had seen the open gate.

He was half-way out before I noticed.    And here come the confessions.

1. I've been a horse-person for years and have known this horse well forever, and I shouted at him and chased after him, despite that I should have known that would just encourage him to run away from me.

2. As Husband chased the horse up the street (which of course encouraged Cowboy to break into a run), I was shouting for my dad (who didn't hear me) while I looked for a halter and got some grain in a bucket.  I may have used a bad word when looking for the halter.

Cowboy crossed the street and disappeared into the forest (you have to understand - there are houses every so often and then acres and acres of trees), with Husband following as closely as he could and me trailing behind.  Eventually I caught up to Husband, who had lost the horse in the trees.  He called my dad to tell him to get in the car and drive around and then gave me his cell phone because

3. I had left mine in the truck and was off without a way to communicate with anyone and then went back to the house to get in the truck and circle the "block" where we knew Cowboy was.  We're talking acres, here, people, but Cowboy was moving pretty quickly and as there was no fresh grass to be found, wasn't stopping anywhere.  Still, we thought that, perhaps he or my dad would spot the horse.  My cell phone was in the truck, so he would have that. 

4. Of course, my cell phone was really buried deep in my purse, so Husband couldn't find it, and he was left without a phone for the rest of the story.

5. I then proceeded to traipse through the forest, which, in many parts, was covered in six inches of snow, wearing flats, shaking the bucket of grain as if that would lure the horse to me.  I had no idea where he was, I wasn't following any tracks or being very logical, and I am 27 weeks pregnant. 

6.  I was semi-rude to Husband's boss and dad when they called, because I was too concerned about the horse for formalities.  Fortunately, they understood.

Eventually I realized that I shouldn't be wandering through the woods anymore, no matter how much I love that horse.  I'd met a nice old man (I was in his "yard," after all) who walked for a while and looked too, and eventually we met up again on the road that runs parallel to my parents' street.  He got in his car to drive around the "block" and look for Cowboy while I called my dad to come pick me up.  Husband couldn't be reached, because my phone was buried in my purse.  We had no idea where he was.

7.  I had to pee, of course, so my dad drove me back to our house.  I confess that I was quite snippy with him, expecting to him to understand everything even though it hadn't quite yet been explained to him.  Sigh.  I apologized later.

I changed my shoes and we got back in the car to look for Husband so we could switch roles.  As we were pulling out, my mom was pulling in, oblivious to what was going on.  Because we had to stop to let her by on the drive, my dad saw Cowboy making his way back through the trees, back on our side of the street, towards his "house."  Mom honked, thinking that Cowboy had just gotten out, and we all went after him again.

This time, after a little coaxing, we were able to catch him and take him back to the corral.  As we were doing so, both my sister and my Husband pulled in.

8.  I told the horse I was really mad at him, and that he was stupid.  And then I cried.  Buckets.  Like a little girl.

9.  I was too tired emotionally and physically to do anything else, so my parents took us out to dinner and then I got into bed at 8 and stayed there until I woke up this morning.    So much for my "menu" and for doing the much needed lesson planning I was supposed to do.  I cancelled a coffee meeting, too, so I could just go to bed.  Lame.

The rest of the story?  Well, apparently Husband had, shortly after driving around, found the horse, cornered him in a pen in someone's yard (but the pen was open on one side), worked his way over to the horse without Cowboy running away, and tried to get the bridle he'd grabbed to go on the horse's head. 

Anyone who knows Cowboy knows he's a pain (if that wasn't clear yet), so of course he resisted the bridle, and since we haven't been able to ride Cowboy pretty much at all during our marriage, Husband wasn't quite familiar with how it worked.  After about ten-fifteen minutes of Husband working on it and hanging on to the horse by his mane, Cowboy decided he'd had enough, man-handled Husband (horse-handled?), and took off again.  Seriously, you try stopping a horse that ways 600 or more pounds than you.  Husband ran after him a little bit, but as Cowboy disappeared over a hill, ran back to his truck to head to our house to reconvene and figure out the next step.

Meanwhile, Cowboy made his way home (who knew he knew where he lived?  That dumb horse is actually pretty smart!) and we caught him just as Husband pulled into the driveway.

The bright side?  My 30 year old horse is still pretty active, full of spirit, and apparently can run well, despite the muscle loss he's experienced.  And he wasn't hit by a truck or injured, and none of us are too much worse for the wear, either.

Oh, Cowboy.  It's always something with him.

10.  No matter how idiotic or stupid he is, I love him to pieces.  I would have been distraught if we'd lost him or worse, found him too late.  He's my big, stupid, smart, loveable old man horse.


  1. Gotta love that horse :) Glad he's safe!

  2. Haha. What a story! Thanks for sharing/confessing! :)

  3. Oh my goodness! I never knew that Cowboy was so energetic! I'm so glad everything worked out. :)

  4. Thanks for commenting! Good luck as you approach motherhood-it's the hardest, best job in the world. You'll do great :)

    I hope you'll feel free to stop by my blog anytime!

  5. I was torn between laughing and being scared to death for you and the horse! So glad he came back :)

  6. OH my what a story :)- Thanks for leaving me a comment yesterday! Your blog has been added to my reader :)

  7. So on #6 I read it fast, and thought it said you were "semi-nude" and that made the whole story that much funnier


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