Who knew you could uses horses when trying to recover escaped goats? I may have mentioned this but in addition to two horses, we also have two goats. We have an old male named Joey and a young female named Hanna. It’s in the upper 70’s and low 80’s this week so I thought I’d let Joey out to chomp on some grass. We put him on a long dog leash attached to an “anchor” hammered deep into the lawn. This gets him out for some fresh air and recreation and since he eats lots of grass, it keeps that section neatly trimmed. In fact, there is a visible circle in the lawn where everything inside the circle is neatly trimmed and everything outside needs mowing. We have three of these anchors so we can move the goats around or put both out at the same time. I didn’t really have time (caution…irony approaching) to put Hanna, our smaller girl goat, outside so I brought her a handful of hay. As I was putting it down in their pen, the little bugger bolted out of the partially opened gate and ran around the yard. Great. To make matters worse, Hanna is afraid of me, for some completely unknown reason. I’m as gentle as can be with her but she runs from me and runs TO Mikki. So I first try gently walking up to her, speaking softly. Doesn’t work. I grabbed some hay for bait. Doesn’t work. I try and slowly sneak up on her. No deal…I get within 6 feet and she bolts. Uggg. Then, mad, I chase after her. She’s too fast and nimble for me. Stupid fast goat. Oh, and as she runs around she’s bleating in a way that sounds remarkably like a woman screaming for her life. I swear the police are going to show up one day.
Our horses actually helped. A few times Hanna evaded me by ducking under the fence and heading for the pasture. I had to stop to open the gate and this slowed me down. The horses chewed mouthfuls of hay while watching me running around the pasture. They seemed amused. I imagine all the farm animals talking when we’re not around, like like in the movie Babe. Oh, the laughs they probably had over this race. I convinced Hanna to head back to the lawn and the horses seemed to help me corral her. I’m not sure I could have done it without them, actually. Unwitting help, I suspect. But it was appreciated just the same. I eventually did capture her; she fell for the old “food dish in the cage” routine.
So if you have goats and they get out, maybe your horse(s) will help in the recovery effort!