“On Christmas Eve Ron came to say the horses were out, thundering down Route 22, headed for town. As Mark and I were pulling on our boots the phone started ringing with more eye witness reports. But by the time we got to the road the herd had disappeared. It is a hard crew to miss: seven drafts, a spotted pony, and the cheeky little mini. Ron, good neighbor that he is, drove all the way to the ferry to make sure they had not gotten by us. By then Mark and I had picked up their trail across the road from Monument Field.
The land there is brushy, with some trails mowed through it. We followed their hoofprints as fast as we could, hauling halters and lead ropes. The trees were good cover, so we heard them before we saw them, the pounding sound of a herd on the run. And then there they were, across a gully, along a little ridge. Their manes were flying, and their winter fur was damp with sweat. The ground shook with their exaltation. They looked so wild and free on their holiday toot, maybe even worth the price of our adrenalin. Barbara came out from the milkhouse to help us. Ron directed traffic. They turned around, and ran back across the road into the field of green rye, and put their heads down and grazed, blowing.
We got three halters on three horses and that was just enough to turn anarchy into order. Mark led Abby and Cub in front, I brought up the rear with steady old Jay, and the rest of the horses walked in between. Soon they were back to their pasture and their very steady winter life of good hay but little excitement…” Continue reading this Essex Farm Note.