This afternoon around 3:00 Bill placed hay in the paddocks for the horses. All was well.
At 4:30 we started bringing the horses in from their paddocks. I was working on the east side of the lower barn, bringing in Zelador and Zeloso. Bill was working on the west side of that barn. He called to me, “Where’s Bob Marley?”
I replied, “He’s got his red plaid coat on. He should be relatively easy to spot.”
Bill answered, “I don’t see him.”
I countered, “Look again.”
He said, “Winnie, I don’t see Bob Marley.”
I stopped what I was doing. “Are you serious? Often you joke about how Bob Marley blends into the trees and reeds. If he did get out of his paddock we should be able to track him with all this fresh snow.” (Who would have thought 6cm of snow was a blessing!)
I went to the west end of the lower barn and scanned Bob Marley’s paddock. Nothing!
Bill walked 20 metres north and said, “He’s in with the girls.”
I asked, “How is he?”
“He looks fine.”
I travelled north and saw Dora eating politely near the lower gate. Angel was munching hay near the southern fence. Bob Marley was a bit beyond Spring Song, gazing westward. All looked calm.
I turned west to examine the spot where I figured Bob Marley got through the fence. There was one section in the northern fenceline that we’d changed last year. We used it as a chute to move the horses from the southern paddock to the northern one. Sure enough, he had one side of a board down. I walked to the site and checked the snow. Bob Marley had damaged the west end of the board and walked straight north four metres to the fenceline in the girls’ paddock. The west end of the top board (there were only two boards there) was attached with an eye bolt and clip. The board had a bit of a swing to it. The hoofprints did not deviate from their northern trajectory. In a glance the story of his escape was revealed.
Now…what to do with Bob Marley! Where to put him and his paddock mate, Doc, and in which paddock on the farm do I place the girls? I figure we’ll have to get some real-estate between them.