A stray wandered onto our property in the wee hours of Saturday morning. But who hasn't had a stray dog or cat wander onto their yard once in a while? This stray however was a horse - a very small horse.
When we examined him in the daylight, I was sure he was young, but not knowing whether he was a horse or pony made it harder to estimate his age, and I don't claim to be an expert in baby teeth. He was bigger than a mini, but not by a lot. He was a very pretty bay with four white stockings, and he was very friendly. I was worried we might have trouble catching him, but he came right up to us, obviously glad to see us.
At first, we just put him into the field, since Indy and Ami were in the paddocks. They all seemed quite chummy, but I still didn't want to turn a totally strange horse into the paddocks with them - for all kinds of reasons. He ran around a bit at first, but very soon came back close to his new found buds, and they all grazed along together with only a few pesky strands of ElectroBraid separating them.
Later however, I got worried about the amount of grass he was getting. He was already quite chubby, and I know all too well what too much grass can do to certain horses. By now, I had decided he must be some kind of pony, and they are notorious for foundering on grass.
We put Indy and Ami in the large paddock, and brought the little guy into the small one and gave him some hay.
My hubbie, Mike, was trying to put hay in the feeder, but the little guy just couldn't wait. As you can see the little fellow - he's a gelding - was so cute!
We had called the sheriff's department and all our horsy friends, hoping they would know something. No one had reported a missing horse, and none of our friends knew anything off hand, but they all said they would try to find out something. That's one of the many things I love about being a member of the "horse community." Everyone sticks together like glue, and we will do just about anything to help one another and our horses.
Naturally, it was a weekend, and we were afraid the Kid's owner might be out of town or something. We thought surely he hadn't wandered far from home, but it's very rural out here, and he could have wandered accross the fields without being seen from the roads.
I figured he was probably an "only" horse, because horses with pasture buddies almost never wander away from them. He seemed to have formed a bond with Indy and Ami, and he appeared to be perfectly happy just staying here. Unfortunately.
Don't get me wrong - I would have loved to keep the little cutie. But he belonged so someone else, someone who might be as frantic as I would be if it were Indy or Ami that were missing. Besides that, we don't have good shelter for more than two horses, and, global warming or no global warming, it gets cold and nasty here in the winter. Not to mention hot and buggy in the summer. And, last but far from least, I would not able to care for three horses the way I feel they should be cared for - the grooming, the personal attention, and for this baby, the training. Heck, I'm still training Indy under saddle, and that's about all I can manage these days.
Speaking of Indy and Ami... I was so proud of the way they handled this situation! They both befriended the Kid and neither one ever showed a trace of aggression or jealousy. They were a bit excited of course, but not nuts, and even that settled down quickly after the Kid moved into the small paddock.
Indy is only 15.0 hands, but next to this kid he looks like a giant.
Ami is only 13.2 hands, but even she looks big beside the baby.
On Sunday afternoon, Mike decided to take a drive around the "block" - out here that's about an eight mile trip - to see if there were any "lost horse" signs up. I'll bet he hadn't been gone five minutes when the phone rang. It was a guy who asked me if I were "Suzy." When I said I was, he mentioned the name of a mutual friend of ours who thought we might have his pony. He said, "Does he have four white stockings?" and I said, "He sure does!"
He and his brother were there in minutes with a trailer - in fact, they beat Mike back by a few minutes. They had been out of town, and had returned to find the pony missing. They were certainly glad to see him alive and well!
So, that's the saga of our little weekend guest. Since he doesn't live far away, I will probably have the opportunity to see him again. I hope so anyway. As for Indy and Ami, things quickly returned to normal - as you can see.
Oh yeah, Baby is three years old.