Four-year-old Leyden had already gotten a ride on King’s back, but he wanted to see the big chestnut quarter horse again. Hand in hand, we walked through the pasture. That’s when I saw two horses and a foal standing at the back fence. “Look, Leyden, the neighbor’s horses have come over to visit with King. Let’s go look at that new baby.” As we got closer, I saw the mare wasn’t just visiting; she was caught in the barbed-wire fence, half of her body on one side and the other half in our pasture. Her back leg was bleeding above the hoof. Her foal was trying to nurse through the fence.
I called Ed, telling him to bring wire clippers and a halter. He and Jeremiah, a grandson and Leyden’s dad, came quickly. They put the halter on the mare and began cutting strand after strand of barbed wire to free her. She didn’t struggle. She may have been too tired to fight anymore and possibly dehydrated.
By this time, our two donkeys, Missy and Sugar, decided to see what was going on. They don’t like intruders in their territory and will chase whatever dares to come around. But I didn’t have to worry. King immediately charged after them, running them away from the mare and foal. He had to do this twice while Ed and Jeremiah freed the mare, led her back into her pasture and rewired the fence.
I’m not one to imagine animals have human emotions or characteristics, but that big gelding sensed something was wrong, and the donkeys shouldn’t interfere. The donkey girls weren’t completed thwarted that day, however. Before it was over they got to chase the neighbor’s dog out of their pasture.