Yesterday morning Bill and I heard Ranger start yelling from our pen. Thoughts going through my head included:
What's his problem; it's nowhere near their breakfast time.
I just checked the creek and it's still running, so he doesn't need water.
Is someone loose (meaning the livery horses)?
As I came down the stairs from our room, Bill came racing in the door, "There's an extra brown horse in our pen and I can't find the grays!" We both grab halters, tell our guests we'll be right back, and charge out the door. Sure enough, there is not one, but two extra horses standing side-by-side in the middle of our pen; a newer-to-the-neighborhood sorrel and a big Belgian by the name of Swoosh - and the gate rails are down. Ranger is close to the gate, yelling bloody murder "'cause you NEVER go through a gate without a two-legged - that's the rule!" Estes is standing in one corner eyeing the activity with wonder - and two wranglers are walking our direction with my two grays in tow. They had apparently caused a bit of a skirmish in the livery's corral. Hmmmm?!
After giving this some thought, (and some more inquiry into events leading up to this) we think we have a good guess at what happened. One of the livery horses, a very large red mare (Raja) has had a bit of a crush on Prince Washoe, hanging out at our gate with her head on the top rail (found out she's in season) and mooning at him constantly. Sometimes he buddies up with her, sometimes he chases her away. She must have been at the gate between our pens during their morning roundup and the gate bars got shuffled off, so Washoe left with her to go to her pen.
Now, Washoe never learned good horse manners as a colt, so his first inclination is to go into a herd kicking and biting. Jesse and Ranger have always 'protected' him by moving him away from other horses and staying between him and the rest; not that they particularly like him, but he is part of their herd family. So, since Ranger wouldn't go through the gate, he started yelling. Jesse, on the other hand, went along with the Kid, and was found in the middle of a herd of 25, keeping everyone away from Washoe. The wranglers were laughing, saying none of the other horses was going near the two whirling dervishes. I found several muddy hoofprints on Washoe, which leads me to believe he did his normal entrance (no damage caused, though) and only one on Jesse. You would think that boy would learn! Soon all critters were back in their proper pens and we were able to go back to cook breakfast.