Monday, October 15, 2012

The Old Fool Tries Out a New Discipline

Last night, around midnight, I was startled from my peaceful slumber by a loud, metallic crash.  My husband and I turned on the front porch lights and ran out to see what had happened.  My first thought was "car crash", but as my eyes adjusted to the darkness the only thing I could see was a ghostly white shape galloping through the front pasture.  There is only one creature around here who is ghostly white, and he was not supposed to be in the front pasture.  I just seeded that pasture, and the horses are supposed to be locked out.  How had he gotten in there?

I got my boots on and headed out to investigate.  Spider and Matilda were still in the right pasture, although they were a bit miffed that Vinny had gotten out and was eating the "good" grass.  The fence didn't appear to be down, but the gate looked a little odd.  As I got closer I realized why... the gate was twisted up terribly and the 4x4 post that it hinged on had been snapped off clean at the ground.  Vinny had jumped it!  Although, he hadn't quite cleared it.

When I built my fences, I built them tall.  That gate is 5 ft tall, an intimidating height even to trained jumpers. Vinny is not a trained jumper.  I've seen his inspection scores, he did terribly at jumping.  He was made into a dressage horse, and a dressage horse he stayed until his retirement.  I have no idea what was going through his brain last night.  Well, aside from, "Must eat newly seeded pasture."

I checked him over, and he was completely unharmed.  Not a scratch on him, no signs of lameness.  My gate was not so lucky.

My husband and I patched up the fence and went back to bed.  We'll have to get a new gate, replace the post and then run hot wire on top of all the gates sometime this week.  All to keep in a 28 year old ex-dressage horse who has suddenly decided he wants to be a Grand Prix Jumper!

He didn't even have the decency to act stiff or sore this morning.  He was his usual chipper self.  Cheeky Old Fool!

More of Vinny's shenanigans can be found here.


  1. Great story!

    This is my first acquaintance with Vinny. He is so lovely!

    1. Thank you! Vinny is quite lovely. Unfortunately, he knows it! Vinny is my retired Schoolmaster, he was my show horse before Spider. Now he just gets up to shenanigans and makes my life more difficult.

      You can find his other escapades under the "schoolmaster" tag. I should probably add that to the original post...

  2. I'm glad he's okay, hilarious story though!

    1. I'm glad he's OK, too... he could have been really hurt! However, I will admit that I'm a little annoyed by how flip he's being about the whole incident. He could at least pretend to be a little sorry for destroying my gate!

  3. This reminds me of advice given to a builder of cross country event fences and why they needed to be sturdy, "Just because a freight train can't break it doesn't mean a horse can't." *sigh*

    Glad Vinny is OK despite the puissance leap. Wonder if something scared him? My Boys took down and over a four foot chain link fence when I suspect a coyote came into the paddock. (Looked like big dog prints with too long nails.)

  4. I was most impressed by the fact that he was completely unharmed after mangling the gate and snapping off a 4x4. I thought for sure he was going to be badly injured after I saw that gate!

    They weren't acting scared. Spider and Matilda just looked perturbed, and Vinny was taking a "victory lap". I thought that maybe Spider and Vinny were playing too rough, maybe Spider had chased him over the gate, but when I asked Spider about it he pleaded the fifth. I need to get a Nanny-cam for these horses!

  5. I've never met Vinny before he's very handsome. He could at least act a little sorry though. These older guys surprise you sometimes don't they? So glad he's not hurt and I'm sure he's feeling pretty good about himself too.

    Must be the week for break outs. We left Mellon and Dusty in the barn, the rest of the herd decided to not show up for dinner and stayed out. Around five or six in the morning there was a racket going on outside. After investigating it seems the five of them busted through the gate looking for breakfast. Trashed the barn, pooped in every stall and got into the hay cart in the wash stall (trashed that too). Never a dull moment!


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