Incursions

Ben has been mysteriously breaking into some grass, leaving Rosie forlorn on the track.

We could not understand how he did it. When my daughter went out last week to give them their breakfast buckets he came down from the grass and she noticed that the top line of tape was sagging where he had been, so she tightened it and came back into the house, forgetting to plug in the electric charge to the fence. We looked out of the kitchen window and he was back in that section of grass.

She went out again and rattled a bucket in front of the fence. Ben came over to investigate, decided he wanted what was in that bucket and waited by the fence. She decided to wait him out to see how he coped with the fence. Ben looked at where the tape was fastened, looked at her and looked back at the tape again, saying quite clearly “aren’t you going to open this?” So she did and this time turned on the electricity.  So he remained outside on the track.

We have been having debates as to how he could have got in. Jumped? I could not imagine Ben putting himself to such effort. He would jump if running from something (as he did from our farrier the first time he came to shoe: pinging over section after section of tape recognising in that leather apron and determined stance someone who was Not Good News). I could, however, imagine Ben stepping over the tape.

Well this morning I caught him at it. From the kitchen window I saw that he, and he alone, was in that same section of grass. Come school pick-up time a neighbour comes up the drive to collect the girls and frequently coincides with breakfast buckets. So when she arrived I watched from the kitchen window.  Ben rubbed against the tape, swaying his chest from left to right, and I could see the tape sag lower and then he stepped over. When I came out he was waiting in the yard for his breakfast.

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Addendum:

Daughter and husband interrupted this post. My husband had extra to add from this morning. When I was at work he spotted Ben leaning and pressing against the tape guarding the Strictly Forbidden middle-section, lush, laminitis-flaring grass. He sneakily plugged in the electricity, Ben jumped and herded Rosie agitatedly around the track. Husband then went out to tighten up that section of the fence, Rosie took advantage of the fence being momentarily lowered and went in followed by Ben, and my poor husband had to chase them both out, tighten the fence and turn on the charge again.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Incursions

  1. june

    Clever ponies! (If a little naughty)

  2. The pony does that swaying back and forth/pushing thing – I have seen him do it with the white tape we use sometimes to fence off the front yard so they can graze there. They know the white tape is not electrified but all the horses respect it anyway – the pony does not, and neither does Rafer Johnson, although since he is small, he has a different way of going through – he lines up beside the four strands and walks along, parallel, then sort of leg yields himself into the tape, pushing the top two strands out while he steps over the bottom two.

    How do they figure these things out? I myself get tangled trying to get just my own two legs through!

    Keil Bay is the funniest – he will graze quite close to the tape since he knows it isn’t hot, but if he touches it by accident he leaps backwards, just as if it were indeed very hot!

    • I love Keil Bay’s reaction! Rosie would be prepared to take a risk with the charge: she paces parallel to the tape, back and forth, building up speed and suddenly dashes under. She is the reason I have two rows of tape everywhere.