It's not my property. I don't feed them, so it's hard to trail them to come to food. In the winter, they wander less, and the get feed twice a day, rather than only once like the summer. I can sometimes get them to come by banging the feed station door.
I dont' have an ATV. The owners have a Gator, but we cannot use that.
The horses are usually all togehter or in two sub herds, so if you see one, you find all. those loners were old ponies who stay along to avoid being picked on.
Mac is in a different pasture (only 5 acres), so always findable. I just wanted to ride Zulu that day.
Here's what happended a couple of days later:
Oh, and while I am talking about getting the horses from this huge parcel of wooded, hilly land, let me tell you about yesterday's fun.
I went down, just like always, on the path, which twistes and turns , offering changing views of the property. at times, one must decide and committ to going left, up the steep hill and beyond, right up that hill and around the pond, or straight on down to the farthest part of the pasture (we call the Polo field).
This day, that is what I did. and still did not find ONE horse. how can 15 horses hide so well? finally, down at the Polo field, i see one, then the other, kind of strung out across the field, going farther and farther into the farthest corner of the field. My dogs are tired and burning, so I dont' want to walk so far, and I don't see Zulu's red bay coat anywhere.
Oh Man, I don't want to go looking for him in the myriad of possible places he could be, just out of sight.
So, I get this bright idea ?*?!! I will make the herd run up the hill and the sound of the hooves will flush him out and he'll join them. Yes! So, I start walking to the farthest horse , thinking that if I want to drive the herb back up the hill, I need to start driving from the farthest hosre.
But wait! that is not true. All I need to do is move the closest horses, and they will draw the rest, who will then draw out MY horse. right?
So, I pick out the most sensitvie hrose and start driving him toward teh hill, then a mare joins him . theey hesitate, 'cause they are more used to beig cuaght than herded. But, I apply a bit of energetic "push" and off they go cantering up the hill. one by one, the other horses, spread out and grazing, throw up their heads and canter off.
But, no Zee.
So, I lumber up the hill to find the horses milling around the feeding station, at least the ones I drove up. no Z. So, I start banging the feeding station door and throw out a few snippets of hay. That got the attention of the horses, and the missing herd members came over the hill and they all came down to see what was in the manger.
Well, then I started my work on Zee. I allowed him a couple of mouthfuls, then I started in on drawing him to me, just him , from a group of about 12 horses, milling around the feeding station, looking for hay.
every time he went to put his nose in the manger, a swung my leadrope, or banged on the building or scuffled the ground loudy ,,raising the volumne until he stopped his focus and looked at me. Then , silence. Again and again, sometimes causing the entire group to move, but keeping laser focussed on Z.
Eventually, he stayed looking at me for qhite a while, and I held out my hand with a small treat. He came , took it , then turned back to the hay. I interruppted promptly. this went on for some time, each time he gave me more; first a look , then a look and turn, then add some steps toward me, then finally he followed me out of the pack of horse (I was standing outside the pack) and let me halter him.
Now, I did use treats, but only as a reward, not as a lure.
In any case, we had a marvelous ride and thank you for reading this long and pointless story.