Yesterday I opened the gate of the very small paddock (sort of a round pen) attached to the lower barn to bring in Zelador and Zeloso so we could take them up to the arena to ride, play the piano and meet the “piaffe board”. Before I could place the halter on Zeloso he went berserk. He flung himself around (he was in the paddock, I was outside of it). He was desperately trying to rub out the lower part of his left eye. Within seconds I was attacked by a yellow jacket (I’m guessing it was this because I’ve run into them twice before in my 64 years. On both occasions the critters went for the face. Smart devils). This attacking insect was over an inch long and stung me on the left side of my nose. The gate was open; the pain was intense; there were tears in my eyes; I could not see and my leaping about made Zeloso look like he was sleeping. The stinging maniac dive-bombed again and again. To my amazement, the horses did not leave the paddock. After several minutes the thing left.

Bill arrived a few minutes later and we checked out the area around the gate. We couldn’t find a nest, however there was one smallish yellow jacket/bee-type quietly hovering around the top rail. Then the CREATURE returned and attacked Bill. The good news is Bill removed his glasses just in case he could get a good swipe at the thing. The bad news is although we batted it once or twice we were unsuccessful in eliminating it.

We examined the gate/grass/rails/posts again. No nest.

We were telling this story to Allen Kalpin and he said a lady near Stouffville was at a dressage show on her horse when a bee got under the saddle pad. The horse went over backwards. This occurred about five years ago. She still has double vision.

I was astounded at how quickly life can change.

If you know of a way to prevent such attacks, I’m all ears.