I ran upstairs from the office to greet a local at the door who had stopped by to ask if maybe it was my horse that was out on the road. I said I was positive it wasn’t mine since she was already in the stable for the night Before I had time to think what to do, the phone rang.
A distressed young girl from the neighboring village of Long Viala informed me that her horse had escaped and she had a feeling he may have followed me when I passed by on horseback a little while before. I told her that I hadn’t seen him, either while on horseback or subsequently, but was aware that he probably wasn’t that far away since someone else had just spotted a loose horse. I assured her that I’d run out in pursuit.
No immediate sign of him so I jumped in the car and drove towards Long Viala. I’d covered a couple of kilometers when I spotted him in a field by the road. A lovely young dark grey gelding with a New Zealand blanket, or as the local gentleman had described “with a thing on his back”. I jumped out of the car and he greeted me with a whiney and then ran alongside me at the other side of the fence towards the gateway.
Unfortunately when he reached the gateway, he just kept going in the same direction, i.e. running away from me down the road! I ran back to the car, jumped inside and accelerated up behind the trotting horse. I eased past and stopped a little further up, pulled the car off road and stepped out to meet the horse head on. This time he took good note of the carrot in my outstretched hand and came towards me eagerly.
I quickly slipped on a halter and leading rein, took him in hand and lead him back to Les Ecuries de Sauveterre. I popped him safely into the stable next to Beauty who was seemingly delighted to have company. She’ll be sad when I return him to his owner tomorrow, as will I and the children. It doesn’t take long to get attached to a horse.