Yesterday I came as close as I ever care to get to having my clock cleaned by a horse. Short form, I had to move Palisades and Nuance from the vet's, where Nuance was being artificially inseminated (long story). Intention was to drop him off at home and take N back to Davis. This did actually happen, but not without Palisades first getting loose at home (and when I say 'loose', I mean not even wearing a halter) while N was tied to the trailer. For those of you following along at home with no practical horse knowledge, this is a class A dangerous situation.
At first it looked as though he might complete the cover, which would not be a bad thing. But she got impatient with him after, oh, 5 mounts (reasonably) and refused to stand still. He got pissed off and started biting her on the neck to keep her still. I could see this was going nowhere good, and briefly entertained the idea of letting her leap into the trailer and slamming the door on him. Then I imagined what would happen if *both* of them made it into the trailer. Oh, bad, very bad. Throw out that idea.
Finally I realized that the only creature in this situation who had a hope of handling Palisades was Nuance, and what she needed was room to do it, rather than being cranked in a tiny circle with me frantically trying to bring the circus to a halt (not bloody likely, that way).
Two falls (mine), and one crash to the ground (theirs... wince) later, I got her piloted back into Palisades' paddock, whence he followed, and I got to watch her kick at him (unfortunately not very effectively -- at this point if she had seriously clobbered him I believe I would have cheered) and the pair of them canter, trot, walk, and finally stop in one place.
Equine casualties, just scrapes. I had a bruise on the back of my left hand the size of a goose egg, and my left leg below the knee is bruised on three sides (neat trick, that). But N is safely in Davis, and her good sense saved all our butts (once I had Palisades haltered, elflet, who knows exactly as much about horses as you would expect from a nice boy from suburban SoCal, caught her up and loaded her in the trailer. What did she do next? Bury her nose in the hay. What a mare.)
I hope to hell she is in foal, because I'm not entirely certain I can bring myself to go through this again (even though there were at least three ways to prevent him getting loose in the first place, and they're all being implemented, thankyouverymuch).
For an encore, today, the farrier was due at noon, and I went out to catch mares. I learned that En Pointe is perfectly comfortable jumping in and out over the damaged panel (damaged previously, not this weekend) of the round pen (oy!), and did succeed in catching Lustre. But the farrier was so late I gave up and turned everyone loose -- this after Lustre, tied to the round pen, decided to rearrange some panels, and I completely ran out of energy, coping skills, and adrenaline receptors.
Sam turned up around two pm, apologetic. Once we got organized, the three of us caught En Pointe and got her trimmed, and (much more importantly) got the damaged panel detached from the round pen and the thing pulled together and repaired as best we were able. This was an enormous win, especially because Julie Carpenter is due 7 August to help load Reyes pursuant to his greatly overdue halter-breaking and ground manners education, and we had planned on having a working round pen. Gave up on trimming Lustre, but can't summon the energy to care, as my body feels like it's been worked over by at least two big guys with baseball bats.