Our first stop was the wash rack inside the barn. Jackson had a nice green manure stain on his rump and his tail was more brown than white. He stood quietly while I lathered up his tail and rinsed until the water no longer ran sudsy brown. I lathered it up one more time for good measure. As I was getting ready to rinse, the phone started to ring. I debated on whether I should dry my hands and grab the barn line or wait and see if Brett picked it up in the hosue. Two rings and it went silent. Good.
As Jackson and I walked out of the barn on our way to the tie rail, I heard someone shouting first Brett's name, and then mine. I raised my hand to shield my eyes from the sun and squinted towards the voice. Fran was standing on the road, behind the oak pasture, waving her arms. "Your horse got out!" she shouted.
I immediately looked towards the clover pasture, expecting that Winston had been the horse to jump the fence. Instead, I saw Flash standing outside the fence on the grass between the pasture and the road, calmly grazing. How the heck???... I yelled back to Fran that Brett was on his way out of the house and he would get Flash. Meanwhile, three or four neighbors drove down the dirt road behind us to see what was going on. Fran was busy directing traffic. Marv showed up with a rope slung over his shoulder. A group of neighbors stood at the ready to catch Flash -- who kept calmly eating.
Brett walked down the driveway, out the gate, and slipped Flash's halter over his ears. After putting Flash in the pasture with Winston and Mufasa, he walked up to the back pasture to figure out how Flash escaped. I finished grooming Jackson, hopped on him bareback, and went for a five minute ride in the arena. It was enough for Jackson. He stopped after one lap around and politely told me he was done. I slid to the ground and put him away.
Remember the phone ringing earlier? That was Marv calling to tell Brett that he had just seen Flash jump out of the pasture. Flash, with his shuffling gaits and arthritic joints had cleared the 3 1/2 foot fence. Once over the fence, he crossed the dirt road and sampled the grass. Then he trotted down to the end of the road, which curves behind our property, and hung a left at the corner. He stopped once he was past the oak pasture and the driveway, where I saw him grazing.
|This is the fence that Flash jumped over.|
|And this is the dirt road that he trotted down to reach the front of our property, and the other horses.|
Flash is pretty sore tonight. Brett gave him some bute and will watch him over the next few days. And I will not leave him alone in the pasture again.