As I came down the drive last night, I spotted the horses from pasture-one talking to the horses from pasture-two. Then as I looked closer, I realized they were really gathered around the gate like a bunch of rubber-neckers watching a car wreck. This particular car wreck involved Quarter horse Cody and he was literally sitting on the gate.
So, picture this-the gate above bent forward into the pasture with the 1,000 pound Cody, sitting on his butt, body upright on the gate. He looked a great deal like Humpty Dumpty sitting on the wall (before his great fall). Especially with all the horses gathered around like excited town folk.
I apologize for not getting a picture of that striking pose but I ripped on up the drive to the house, where Lauren was just sauntering out to make night feed. I whipped out of the car (to the extent my body enhanced with metal parts can whip out of my tiny clown car) and yelled that Cody was stuck in the fence! Lauren did not really get concerned until she rounded the corner and saw the spectacle herself. She screamed for me to get Blake and started running to the pasture.
I rushed in the house, yelled at Blake, “a horse is stuck in the gate” , shoved my rubber boots on and headed back out. All the time I was reviewing my tool options for something that would cut the horse out of the fence. I wasn’t coming up with anything.
In Wharton, when our filly Mariah was two, she got her hoof stuck in the wire of the fence. The slender wire caught between her horse shoe and her foot. It was a dreadful time as Lauren and I screamed at passersby on the road to stop and help. I vowed to always have good wire cutters in the future. And I did but no wire cutters were going to cut through a metal pipe gate. I looked at the saw in the garage and then ran for my phone.
I called our dressage trainer neighbor as I thought perhaps she might have something to help us out. I left quite an impassioned message as I got her voice mail. “Help, we have a horse stuck in the metal gate! Please call me right back!”
As I haphazardly trotted over to the fence, I saw the situation had already changed. Perhaps Cody had been content to sit on the gate and Lord over the minions in the pastures around him but when Lauren and Blake got down there, he just hopped off on his own. He trotted off to the bottom of the pasture and returned to look at the gate in surprise, as if saying, “Whoa, did I do that?”
Amazingly Cody only had a small, narrow two-inch scratch on his hind leg and trotted off sound after his amazing adventure. In thinking about how this occurred in the first place, I believe that Cody and giant horse Kinny were playing over the top of the gate. They seem to be a little obsessed with one another and spend hours together walking the fence line from their opposite sides of the pasture. I think they got to wrestling and Cody turned his hind end to buck out at Kinny. Those of you that have seen Cody jump know he is famous for his mighty kicks after a jump (not that it deters him from winning!). Anyway, I think he bucked up and out and came down on top of the gate, folding it like an accordion underneath him. I think he was lodged in the fence. I give him props for not panicking and struggling to get loose.
I took Cody up to the barn (after I chased him around for 20 minutes trying to catch him, he was clearly invigorated by his narrow escape from certain death). I hosed down his legs. Jo Ann and I inspected them for damage. You could tell he was getting a little stiff as the evening set in.
All and all, he looked pretty great, no swelling, no cuts except the small scratch, and no serious injury from his sit on the wall. I didn’t realize until later that I never called my neighbor back, I kept expecting her to race down the drive with a giant blow torch to get the horse out of the gate.
The big heroes of the night were Luke and Ally who came after work to replace the gate with a new one before today when the horses went out to pasture again. Lauren had been off to the Rodeo to celebrate her birthday. She was pretty surprised this morning to find a brand new gate installed and the old one creating a metal sculpture along the road.
Thanks for riding along.