Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Maybe I shouldn't reveal my most recent air-headedness, but here goes. Last night I was feeding horses a little later than usual, and let Cricket out into the mostly-enclosed area behind the barn to graze while I was setting up the morning feed. I got set-up done, closed up the front barn door, and went inside. Yup. Left Cricket out - all night!
I didn't even realize I'd done it until I was feeding this morning and went to grab his halter from the rack so I could bring him in for his beet pulp/senior mash. I stared dumbly at the empty hook for a moment before realizing why his halter wasn't there - because he was still wearing it, and I'd never put him back in the pasture last night! Oops!!!!!
I hustle out back and glance around - no Cricket to be seen. He clearly hung around the fence for a bit (2 piles of manure), wandered into the front section of the shelter (hoof prints), enjoyed some hay that was left out (now scattered about), and was now off somewhere. Annie & Mo were looking toward the back woods, and the only direction he could have gone was to follow the alley between the fencelines that direction. Sure enough, the wet grass revealed hoof impressions, and just over the rise where his pasture fence turns, there he was merrily munching the lush grass. He glanced up at me as if to say, "Mmm! Grass!" and was happy to follow me back to the barn for breakfast.
Of all the horses to be left out all night, he was probably the perfect one to "choose." Luckily we've had tons of rain and the grass was lush & wet, as he didn't have any access to water. He's been free grazing about an hour a day since the grass really came in, so he's even used to its lushness. And he's really level-headed and not particularly independent, so freaking out or wandering off weren't likely. And, he's not too much of a trouble maker, so he clearly didn't find snooping around the barn wreaking havoc to be a tantalizing option (I shudder to think what the barn would have looked like had Rhio been left out to his own devices for 12 hours!). Whew! Of course I'm knocking myself upside the head for my absentmindedness, but all is well that end's well, right?