Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hold Your Horses

How To Open a Gate

And keep the Boys inside?  That is the question. In order to get the tractor in the paddock, I need to prop open the gate, drive through, and then get back off the tractor and close the gate.

All is well if the horses are "somewhere else."

I was clearing up the fallen tree limbs, at last, and I needed to drag a few of them into the woods.  But to do that, I needed to get into the paddock.  The first branch was a cinch...sort of...although I almost took down the wires to the house when I pulled it off the magnolia tree where it had fallen. Once again bless the tractor since the limb was too heavy for me to move on my own. But the wires stayed put and I hooked the tow rope up to the branch and off we went.

The horses were on the other side of the barn, so I got in just fine and even managed to get out the pasture gate to the field.  I dragged the limb to the edge of the woods and then used the front end loader to lift it into the woods.  One down.

But, the sound of the tractor attracted my "snoopervisory" committee and now I had three horses hot on the trail of the tractor and even hotter on the trial of the opening of the gate.

My horses do not "shoo" away when I wave my arms, or make a fuss. Actually they just stand there looking at me, quite amused by my antics. Obviously, I am more "horse TV" than any kind of threat.

But I have an intimidation factor at hand in the form of a lunge whip in the barn.  Not that a lunge whip actually has much more power to fend them off for very long but at least it can send them galloping off far enough that I can get the gate open wide enough to ease the tractor through, and then--letting the tractor block the opening--get the gate closed behind us before the frolicking pair--Tucker and Chance--can slip out into the back yard.

Needless to say, on trip through the gate had alerted them, so I decided to dispose of several of the other broken limbs on the far edge of my property in the wooded area in front of the front paddock. It's not an ideal spot, but the branches are well out of the way and in an overgrown section of trees and brush.

Then, I had another large branch to take out to the woods again, so I hooked it up and headed for the gate. This time, all three Boys were out in the far side of the pasture.  All well and good, so again, I got through the gate the first time.  I drove the tractor out to the pasture to head for the woods and it was just too enticing.

Three horses came galloping towards me.  Suddenly, the tractor, tree limb, and I were surrounded by my little curious herd, ready to "help" in any way they could by--eating the tractor, eating the tree limb, and trying to climb into the front end loader.

Then, of course, when I finally managed to fend them off to toss the tree branch into the woods over the fence, I had to fend them off again so I could get back out the gate.

I carted the last bunch of branches out to the front where I didn't have to contend with the Boys.

Every job is an extra challenge when your horses decide to "help."


  1. We had a similiar experience here today trying to get in and out of the pasture without letting the horses escape in the process. My herd pretty much took to it like yours. Makes doing the work harder but definitely worth a good laugh. They do make life interesting, that's for sure.

  2. Glad to hear you got it all accomplished even though the snoopervisory committee was there to help. They're so nosy but funny.
    Curiosity may have killed the cat but nosiness got them domesticated.

  3. Nothing like helpful animals. Thanks for the laugh.

  4. Perhaps they could be trained to pull the branches out themselves like the mules of the olden days? I'm sure if you made it work they'd be much less interested in "helping" *L*

    I lock my horses in the other pasture when I need to get the tractor in and out. I've been chased too many times. They're very respectful of my space on the ground, but something about the tractor makes all their ground manners disappear!

  5. think I'm with shannon on that one

  6. Loved the post! Horses are very curious and I just love that characteristic. They really have a sense of play which makes everything fun, well, except for trying to get through gates and practical things like that.

  7. I can imagine them standing around a big screen TV, watching "My Little Pony" or "National Velvet". If someone has a caption, maybe it would be a good cartoon for The New Yorker. Double gates would be the practical solution.