Tilly the filly celebrated her first birthday on Mother’s Day 2013, and she is growing into quite a young lady. “Lady” may be a stretch–she is full of green grass and enjoying the spring weather with a few antics, which meant it was time to begin her training in earnest. Once the corral dried out, we began some round pen exercises which settled her down, for the time being. A trip to the vet for her annual vaccinations was a bit trying as she felt claustrophobic in the trailer now that she has grown considerably in size from her last visit in the fall. More frequent loading and unloading, as well as short hauls are in order to make her more comfortable with this experience.
Tilly may have springs loaded in her legs, as she has jumped the fence into the neighbor’s pasture twice now, which causes great consternation. The fence she so easily negotiates is an ancient wonder of twisted cedar posts, rusty barbed wire, tired woven wire and more patches and repairs than one can count. It is the oldest remaining stretch of fence on our property and nobody can remember when it was built. The three strands of barbed wire at the top could cause serious injury if she gets tangled up and cannot disengage herself. After her first foray, the fence underwent numerous improvements and we believed we had solved the problem. Yesterday, she sailed over it again, with the aid of thick sagebrush that we believe protected her from the barbed wire. She has made friends with horses across the fence and decided to join them for a little socialization.
Tilly has her nose through the corral poles to greet me in this shot, above. Horses require a great deal of time and attention. We look forward to our visits, and the numerous trips to the barn each day are a good way to get our exercise, too. She spends a few hours out in the pasture each afternoon with her best buddy Abe the longhorn steer (a.k.a. Feed Lot) and they have quite a romp around the place. He has not managed to get over the fence the two times Tilly has escaped, and he has stood forlornly in the corner waiting for her to return.
A meeting with our neighbor regarding the replacement of the old fence took place once we had Tilly safely home again. We have a plan now, and will share the labor and cost of materials to build a fence that will be safe for their horses and ours. It is a major undertaking and will require removing some trees, downed tree limbs and a little dirt work. In the meantime, we are going to work to patch and repair the old fence as it stands and try to outsmart Tilly the frisky filly.