Some like it hot. No, not that kind of hot. But apparently, our horses are much happier when it’s hot.
“Thanks. We’ll be right over” I said to our very sweet and understanding next-door neighbor. That was her third call this week. How was that darned horse getting out of the pasture?! We searched the fence, again, for obvious breaks and found nothing. Then we went around a third time, and in the back, under a clump of trees, we found a teeny area where the rope was down. Three quarters of the fence on our new homestead is a three-rail wood fence, but the one side is a basic rope fence. We fixed the rope, let Star loose in the pasture, and waited. Then we watched, unbelievably, as he snuck back to the grove of trees, used his nose to bump the rope enough for it to break loose, and quietly sneak under the rope, again, to the pasture next door!
“Wow!” said the fence guy at Fleet Farm. “That is one smart horse!” Yeah. That’s not the word we’re using for him right now.
When we lived in suburbia and boarded our horse, I’d never been a fan of electric fences. Oh, the poor horses. We don’t want them to get hurt! I thought. Now I saw firsthand that it was much more compassionate to make sure they stayed safely in their pasture, even if it meant they had to learn from a little zap.
The place we bought in October was set up with electric fencing on the wood fence part, but nothing on the rope fence, plus, when the guy moved out, he took all of the electrical components with him, save for the wire. (A word of advice: when you buy a house, don’t just assume the sellers will leave all of that great stuff you see on your showing. Write every single little removable thing you expect to be there on your purchase agreement).
We would have to wire that fourth side, and put a fence controller box in.
On our super-tight Depression-era budget, hiring an electrician was not an option. Luckily, hubby is (even if it’s only for the sake of money) very willing to learn to do whatever needs to be done around here, and luckily, his friend is an electrician, and offered Rick step-by-step walk-through instructions over the phone (Never try to complete an electrical job without the assistance of a qualified licensed electrician).
Hubby put the clips for the third, electrified line in between the two existing non-electric lines, and strung the electric wire along, pulling tight, but not too tight.
Then, following his friend’s specific instructions, he installed the control box and hooked it up to the pre-existing electric lines, which the previous owners had left intact.
I stayed inside during this part. Learning new things can stress hubby out a bit, so even though I’d gladly help, he prefers to work at them alone. So I was pleasantly surprised when I looked out the window a couple of hours later and saw Star, who’d been grounded to his stall all day, running eagerly out to the pasture.
Sure enough, after about a minute, he snuck over to his getaway spot and BAM! I think that was the quickest 180 I’ve ever seen him make!
What a relief to know that our equine babies are safe and sound in our pasture, and all for about $120 and one hard-working hubby :-).