March is charging in like a lion, if lions were Nor’easters and really cold.
I’m continuing with my normal routine of doing absolutely everything but riding my horses. This month’s project du jour is fence fixing.
“Didn’t you do that last month?”, you ask.
“Hahahaha. Yes. It’s basically all I do because horses are large, stupid animals who make poor choices.”, I respond, as I pour myself a very large glass of bourbon.
Technically, this last fence mishap wasn’t my horse’s fault. I mean, my horse did mess up the fence, but it was because the neighbor’s mule was loose. So, it was the neighbor’s mule’s fault, technically.
Allow me to elaborate. One lovely Sunday morning, I’m enjoying my coffee in my jammies and contemplating my plans for the day, when suddenly I hear a ruckus outside. I look up to see the neighbor’s draft mule trotting down the road. “Uh-oh”, I think, “Better go catch him.”
What I don’t realize at this point is that Newboy is apparently terrified of mules. He takes one look at this mule trotting around, panics, and starts running. By the time I get my shoes and coat on, he’s taken out two fences and he’s gone. I mean, no longer on the property, not in visual distance, gone gone.
I rustle up my posse of farmer friends, and we begin the hunt for Newboy. A half hour later, we find him nearly a mile away where a very sweet old man has herded him into one of his pastures. I collect my errant beast, and proceed to walk him home. I chose to walk him because he had no obvious wounds and wasn’t lame, and I figured the walk would serve to cool him down. It was a straight shot through mostly woods and fields to get him home, and he calmed down nicely once I got a halter on him. (He was pretty wound up when I first got to him, but after I smacked him with the lead rope and told him to “Knock it the f@#$ off!” he settled down. At which point the very sweet old man chuckled and said, “That’s the only language they know!”)
So I get him home perfectly sound, and I can’t find a mark on him. Odd, for an animal that’s just taken out two fences. I begin a forensic investigation of the fencing, and I realize he jumped it. He didn’t quite clear it, probably because it was muddy and he misjudged his take off point, but it was still clear that he jumped.
My fence “floats” on its posts, so that if a horse becomes tangled the fence comes off the post, releasing the tension and freeing the horse. Newboy must have clipped the lines when he jumped, causing them to come loose and fall. Although my horse still got loose, the fence did its job and my horse was not injured by the fence. Good job, fence!
But, I still need to discourage him from attempting to jump the fence again, which means I need to raise the height of the fence. This project will take my fence from 5′ high to 6′ high and is a massive pain in the ass because I’m only 5’3″.
If 6′ proves too short, I’ll be asking the zoo for the name of the guy who installed their fencing for the tigers.