Terrifying moment - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 80 Old 08-04-2016, 11:47 PM
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I once was doing evening turn in and left one of the paddock gates open when I brought one horse in, there was still three left in.. Came back out to throw hay and they were already at the hay pile.. Two came easy, the other took off trotting visiting the others. Boarder horses too, in the dark.

Another time I was bringing in some horses and the only way was to go through another paddock with three others in it. My routine was to throw hay for the three then lead the others through the gate, making two trips. Since they were occupied eating on the opposite side I would leave the gate open while I did.

One evening I forgot to close it after I got the last one. I was lying in bed at eleven and started panicing when I relized. Luckily I lived on site and ran back out. All three were sleeping in the middle of the paddock, not impressed that I woke them. So lucky. Again, boarder horses.
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post #12 of 80 Old 08-04-2016, 11:57 PM
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Hey, it happens. No matter how long you've had horses or how good your fences are or how consistent you are about checking your gates, they periodically get out. I had a problem for a few weeks where I would find horses out at the barn almost every day and I double and triple checked gates, put chains on the gate handles that I thought would keep them from being able to get out. Every day, still find one or more out and was getting frustrated, thinking someone was coming in and opening gates.

Sat hidden in the tack room one day and watched and the "person" coming along and opening the gates was my 29 year old draft mule, Tiny. He figured out the latch and the chain that I thought was so smart LOL. Now I have to double lock every gate inside the barn. Even still, sometimes someone forgets to put the second lock on there and he gets out.

What I've found works better than trying to chase them (unless you can circle out around them while they are grazing and push them back toward the barn) is to just get a feed bucket with a couple of handfuls of feed in there. Just enough to rattle when you shake the bucket. Then instead of going after them, make them want to come to you to get the feed. Then you can call them back to you....usually. Sometimes they just get it in their head and decide to go for a walkabout .
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post #13 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 12:34 AM
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Interesting, I need to learn to teach my horses a recall.

One time I open one of the pasture gates and my horses had a wild hair up their butt's to gallop out before I had enough time to react. They first ran down the edge of this field and came back. My TB went back into the pasture, my QH decided to turn back around and run up on the road - and the road is an extremely busy road with 45 mph speed limit. My QH went up on the road and was just prancing around - people were trying to pass him up in their cars! Goodness I was angry about that. I know these people were non horse people but I figured they would use their common sense and wait to see what the live animal was doing instead of trying to nudge past it.. but I guess not.

Any who after I got the cars stopped my QH went running back up to the pasture where my Fiance was able to get him back in,

Another time I got call while I was at work that my horses were chilling in the field next to their pasture, I left work and luckily found the horses back in the pasture already. I went to investigate the fence and found a big hole.

I don't need anymore of those moments lol

But I felt pretty bad to allow those instances to happen.. but like others said it happens and you just gotta learn from it. :)
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post #14 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 12:41 AM
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if your driveway is the only way they can access the road, then it seems that installing some kind of gate there would be the ticket. and, closing that gate when you are going to work with them, or having an automatic openner, if you have the funds.

I let a horse loose the other day. he is one who seems like he'll not do anything ,but as soon as he figures he's free, it's bye-bye mom. I had to slowly corner him and get him. hurrying in any way would have caused him to bolt off.
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post #15 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 01:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
My horses got out. Worst than that, they got out because of a stupid mistake on my part. Please don't lecture me, I feel horrible enough. But rest assured, everyone is fine and the horse are safely back in the barn.


Again, while I do appreciate suggestions, please trust that I feel horrible enough without getting negative feedback. I can't believe I made such a stupid mistake.
Hi AA!

HawHawHaw! What fun for your equine friends :-)

This just isn't a big deal, and a part of why we live a rural lifestyle. Our close neighbors are our friends, and even our "casual" neighbors know us and our horses more or less; in any event, they are gonna watch out for 'em. Look at it as a neighborhood bonding exercise, and good clean fun for everyone. (Including the horses, both "free", and those still "captive".)

Our mare Mandolin pushed past me at the gate one morning while I was leading George thru. With a triumphant bellow, she called to her boyfriend Oily, who also pushed past while I was trying to get the gate closed on George. They took off down the road at a trot.

Meanwhile I managed to get George shut in, and walked down the road after the truants with Georgies lead and halter in hand. They had gone as far as the neighbors pasture, and were busy socializing with her herd; that is to say squealing, bucking, and running back and forth along the fence-line. They were not about to let me put a lead on them, and moved away every time I got close enough to try.

Meanwhile, George managed to lift off the chain, open the gate, and he and Banjo joined the party; all highly amused by their cleverness in thwarting their pet human.

I knew that if I could get a lead on Alpha Oily, the rest would follow him, and started working a catch game. Before too long, neighbor Debbie came out with a halter and the lady across the street from her, Jo, also came out. The ladies wanted to try and herd them into Debs pasture, someone opened the gate, and all of a sudden both of Debs horses were out too. The equines were having huge fun by now, and pranced back and forth, around and around, in very high spirits, and they were just _not_ going to let us approach them.

Deb and Jo were starting to look a little panicked, and I told them not to worry as I had A Plan. "What should we do?" "Oh, nothing, let's just hang out here in Debs yard and talk; they'll come over when they see they are being ignored."

And so they did; George ambled over almost as soon as we quit chasing them, followed by Banjo, and Debs gelding Cody. We quietly slipped halters on them. Oily, Mandy, and Debs other horse Cheyenne settled down to graze, but overall moved toward the group to see what was going on. Soon they were secured as well.

We congratulated each other on a job well done, and I walked my herd back up the street with Georgies halter on Oily, a borrowed halter on Mandy, a catch-string on George, and Banjo at liberty. The whole episode involved about 30 minutes, and was the social event of the day :-)

A suggestion? When these things happen, and they _will_ happen, stay calm and keep your sense of humor. Probably if you do nothing at all, the children will come home on their own when they get bored. In any event, they can run way faster, way longer than you, so there is nothing to be gained by chasing them. And if you haven't done so already, get them used to leading with just a rope/string around their neck. I carry a short length of P-cord in my pocket, and use that instead of a traditional lead and halter 90% of the time. It's quick and easy to deploy, and good training for those times when a halter isn't ready at hand.

ByeBye! Steve

Steve Jernigan KG0MB
Microelectronics Research
University of Colorado

Last edited by george the mule; 08-05-2016 at 01:30 AM.
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post #16 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 01:53 AM
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I think this is something that happens to everyone, at least I know it's happened multiple times at our house!

Sounds like you handled it well! Glad everyone is safe.
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post #17 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 02:31 AM
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Do not beat yourself up, nor leave halters on!
Einstein escaped ,once, when he was about two, We had not put sand into the out door arena yet, and it only had atop rail. \There was some nice grass growing in it., so I put him in there, and went about doing some other chores
When i went to check on him, he was gone. I don't know if he jumped, or got his 16.1 frame, at that time (he grew to be 16.3hh )under that top rail
I ran in panic down the road, expecting him to be cut up with barbwire, as we still had that barbwire in the pasture beside the road, and where the main herd was
No Einstein. I ran like an idiot, through the woods, over to our neighbours, screaming his name. No sign of him. Got in my car and drove further. No horse
Went back home to see if perhaps he was caught in some other fence. Nope.
Just then, he came loping back up the laneway, from the opposite direction, all sweaty, but happy to be back after his little jaunt. Not a scratch on him! No idea where he had been!
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post #18 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 07:57 AM
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I agree. It just happens. Having them accept a halter or even a rope around the neck when they are out at any time for any reason helps as does teaching a recall. George mine were taught that a hand under the chin or holding the mane is as good as a halter but I do keep a long enough piece of rope I can twist it into something resembling a halter for those horses that stray my way that would think I've lost my marbles if I expect them to follow with just a hand under the chin or a rope around the neck. Until they learn any of those a shaker can could work. We put solid cookie type treats in an old plastic coffee can and shake that to teach them to come or bang metal trash can lids together. In the past I've used a triangle bell like they call the men up for supper in some of the old westerns. Either way they are rewarded for coming to that every time no matter what just to reinforce that when they hear either sound they come.
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post #19 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 08:11 AM
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As soon as horses move in, your address changes to "S**t Happens Highway". They get out, and sometimes you don't even have to leave a gate open. My story from this summer:

Skippy, stallion, normally has his own 2.5 acre pasture and in the past has had a gelding to keep him company. The gelding is out for training, so I put a pregnant mare in with him. While sorting out who's who, she evidently got annoyed with him and proceeded to kick him and school him to the point where he went through his hot wire and mowed down his fencing to get away. This put him in with 2 mares with foals at side. Thank you GOD! that neither was in heat at the time. He didn't get out into traffic or to cause havoc in the neighborhood, but he got out. The 2 mares and foals were being housed in my front yard because it has 2 HUGE trees for shade and the heat this summer has been horrible. The driveway gate was closed, which it normally is not, so that prevented a worse disaster. Nobody got hurt, nobody got bred and I moved the mare out of Skip's pasture to an adjacent one and peace reigns again. It happens.

I agree with everyone else, no halter left on unsupervised, that can cause as much of a disaster as the horse running out in front of a car. The recall is a good idea. I whistle my horses up every day for dinner or treats, they know that something good happens when I whistle and they come to me. They also know what, "If you hit the end of that driveway and go out on that street, you better keep running" means. Not exactly, but in tone. I don't chase, that only makes it worse, it becomes a bigger game of "pasture tag" and they can far outdistance you. Once they start to go, I stop, turn back to the property and make sure no one else can join the 1 or 2 who have decided to explore, and go get a treat. Then I start to whistle and they usually hit the end of our long driveway and decide a treat at home beats going out to explore. Now that we have the fencing and a driveway gate complete, that's happened a lot less recently, but it used to be a small issue.

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post #20 of 80 Old 08-05-2016, 09:26 AM
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No don't leave the halters on.

When the horse in my avatar was young, he had to have his stall double latched with the second latch down far enough he couldn't reach it. He could unsnap snaps, he could somehow flip up the slide latches and slide the latch open. I also watched him put his butt to the chain and snap on the gate one morning and break it so he could get out, lol. He got out but he couldn't go anywhere because the entire back yard was in chain link fence.

My current property is completely perimeter fenced -- all 23 acres. We have a heavy chain and padlock on the driveway gate. It never mattered if anyone got out of the pasture because there were fences and gates stopping them from "heading for the next county".

Also, teaching recall is a good thing but it went out the window with my Arab; all the Walkers listen(ed) but that wiley Arab wasn't hearing anything, lollol

Streeter-the-Arab never ran away, he just walked away faster than I could walk <---the driveway gate was open one day and darned if he didn't walk straight thru the barn onto the freedom side, ears forward, eyes twinkling and went right out the driveway gate, lol. I let his onery self go a few hundred feet down the road where he stopped to eat grass and I caught up to him, lollol.

Plan B would have been to call the neighbor and have one of them "head him off at the pass". Thankfully I live on a back country road that doesn't go anywhere and is barely over one lane.

All's well that ends well and it's a lesson learned. If you can afford to completely fence in your front area and put in a driveway gate, it would keep the horse kids behind bars where they belong, as long as the gate stays closed, lollol
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I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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