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.
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.