We're away for the weekend. Early Sunday morning we get a call from the volunteer 15yo sitter's Mom, "The horses are gone!"
"Please walk the fence line and see how they got out."
"We did and asked the neighbors."
"OK, we're coming back after we make a few phone calls."
Called the County Sheriff, ... office closed till Monday (budget cuts y'know)
Called the City lost pet line, "Hello, did you loose a dog or a cat?" "I'm afraid they are a lot bigger. We seem to have lost a chestnut gelding and a gray mare." "A chestnut what?" "A red male horse that's been cut."
Well, you know where this hilarious conversation is going. Bottom line, we're out of city boundaries but they will check a backdoor phone number they have for the Sheriff's office.
Texted our vet friend who heads the SPCA. She would have been the first to be called by the authorities. She hadn't heard anything yet and adviced we check the auction houses. We reminded her that the closest auction house don't do horses anymore. Texted back, "Eugene is very active."
That's only 45 minutes south, checked the website and they just started their horse auction a minute past. Called an got the auctioneer already on the block. His only quick advice, "Come on over and see. File a police report."
Off with the Sunday clothes, canceled dinner appointment, thoughts on our search and rescue plan. Where is our neighbor with a helicopter when you need him? Should we go to the auction first? No, why would anyone bother to rustle horses and trailer them 220 miles to Eugene when there are sheep and goats for the grabbing? And how would they get the chestnut in a trailer without getting noticed or hurt themselves?
Next probability, they're at the large forest park above three or four fence lines? No, there are other horses and barns in between. They would head for them first. They know each other.
Next probability, they wouldn't really go anywhere. We leave them ground tied in the yard all the time! The hay is exposed in the bin and the barn doors to the the grain buckets are open.
Most likely scenario. They played hide and seek with the poor distraught young lady who seem to have forgotten that "God made horses to live outdoors."
Called the sitter back, explained our conclusions and told her to go back and shake some grain in the tin bucket. Happy trails! Horses come running from who knows where. The muddy beasts get groomed for hours! They'll be sparkling clean when we get home. NOT!!!
Oops that blew up ... go figure!!