Rabbits and Running

“Waaah!”  Was that Jaclyn?  I couldn’t tell.  Victoria and I had walked Stoney and Cowgirl over to the Campo Vista barn to let them run around.  This takes some negotiation and I was waiting outside the barn, holding a lunge whip.

“Oh! I think it’s a bunny!”  Sure enough, there was a avocado sized ball of brown fur with long finger ears, trying it’s best to look invisible in the corner of the barn.  After a call to wildlife rescue, it was decided it was best to leave the bunny be.  I found a syringe in the tack room.  Jaclyn, Victoria and Shani, who had arrived just moments after the discovery of the bunny, used the syringe to force some water into it’s mouth.  They then put a stool on top of the bunny and a saddle pad on top of the stool to make a little cave for it, then headed out of the barn and into the paddock to encourage Stoney and Freedom, who were now busy playing “bitey face” to let off some steam.

Stoney was in the Jensen’s paddock/pasture because he lives in a much smaller paddock and benefits from being able to stretch his legs a bit every now and then.  Freedom, a young gelding, benefits from Stoney’s visits because, as an elder gelding, Stoney sees it as his job to make sure Freedom knows his place in the herd.  But we are always in the pasture with them when they play to both make sure they run around some and also intervene should Stoney and Freedom get too “enthusiastic” in their play or should the start to harass one of the mares.  With three girls armed with lunge whips in the pasture, I was able to just rest and watch a bit from the hill that over looks it.  Magnolia joined me in watching the horses run and cavort.  But this didn’t last long as the pull of the bunny was too much.  Victoria, Shani and Jaclyn put down the whips and went back in the barn to “check” on “Thumper” leaving Maggie and I with the last leg of “play time in the pasture”.

The pasture is odd shaped with several fences bisecting is and numerous corners all of which make for moving the horses around a tricky business.  Someone will be ahead and someone else to the side; both working in co-ordination to keep the horses from running too fast into a corner or around a turn on the cement by the barn.  I took up the rear position with Magnolia closer up.  The ponies took off into a run along the one flat stretch in the pasture with Maggie on their heels.  Within moments, Maggie was no longer running behind, she was running with.  It was Stoney, Freedom, Maggie , Chavali and Cowgirl, in that order.

Maggie loves to run.  She says, “you know how it is when you start running and you never want to stop?!”  When she’s feeling like she needs to blow off some steam, she sprints up Quail Lane, about an 1/8 of a mile at a 25% grade.  She does this multiple times in a row; for fun.  She can also, apparently, keep up with the horses.

After our ride, the bunny was still at the barn.  Victoria decided it was best to take it home with her.  I’m not sure this is true at all.  As it’s likely fate if left at the barn would be dinner for a coyote, I figured there was no harm in it. She did a little research.  Though the bunny was not mature, it was old enough to be weaned and on it’s own.  She decided it was not happy at her house and, two days later, released into Rancho San Antonio Open space.

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