We've all been there. The traffic is backed up for miles, the horns are honking, and the little old lady with the walker who's out for a stroll is making far better time than anyone on the road. It's rush hour. And it's typically no fun.
But some drivers in New Jersey got some entertainment during their drive home when three loose horses stopped traffic for nearly an hour in the midst of rush. The Asbury Park Press reported that four horses managed to escape from inside their trailer when it came to a stop. One horse was quickly apprehended, but the remaining horses took off up the road, stopping traffic in its tracks.
Police soon arrived and assured all the vehicles remained stopped while they tried to capture the three escapees, however the task proved more difficult than they likely anticipated.
One eyewitness told the Press, "They (the horses) ran around the fields and on the highway. Like a loose dog, they would let people get so close, then would take off again." (On a side note, what horse owner couldn't see that coming?)
The horses reportedly enjoyed their freedom for about 50 minutes before they surrendered. There were no injuries to either horse or human (except possibly the pride of the individuals who chased the horses up and down the road for an hour...). Exactly how the horses escaped from the trailer remains unknown.
This particular incident brought back many memorable equine escape artists from my 17 years in the barn. There was the time my first horse (an Appaloosa gelding, Taz, who loves his food dearly) figured out how to open the gate to his paddock and, quite literally, walked to the first blade of grass and started eating; he didn't even care that his hind legs were still inside the paddock--he had grass.
Then there was my naughty little Miniature Horse, Ruby, who learned how to roll under the fence to get to the luscious green grass on the other side. There was the time my father's horse, Lance, was secure in the pasture with the rest of the horses when we closed the barn one night, but met Dad at the barn door the next the morning. And of course, you've already read about Dorado's recent escapades outside his pasture.
At the same time, I am also reminded of a group of creatures that were, shall we say, not-so-escape artists. These were my neighbor's guinea hens that frequented my old home in Massachusetts. Unfortunately, all six birds got trapped in one of the horse paddocks one day ... that was enclosed in three-rail PVC fencing. The poor birds ran up and down the fence line for about 25 minutes before we finally went over and opened the gate to free them from their "prison." And yes, in case you're wondering, they did walk under the fence to get into the paddock in the first place.
So there you have it: rush hour renegade horses, escape artists, and not-so-escape artists.
Do you have any exciting stories about capturing an equine escape artist? Or is your horse the type who'll never escape because he doesn't realize the door's wide open? Share your stories below!