Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Basil vs. The Horses

We mentioned over Thanksgiving weekend taking some time out to visit my aunt Donna's horse farm. Tim has enjoyed hunting with my family on the property for a few years in a row now and was looking forward to getting a chance to be back in the woods. Here he is above wearing his grandfather's hunting pants and jacket from the 60's (and his new muck boots) while getting everything squared away for the hunt with my dad.

While we've been to the horse farm several times, we've been weary of bringing Basil along, but now that we've had him for over a year and know him a little better, we felt like it might be a good test to see how he did being let loose on the open farm around the horses.

His first encounter with the horses was immediate and hilarious. Both Basil and the horses took to each other in a cautious and curious way — checking one another out. The horses came right up to the fence and leaned over to sniff Basil while Basil would creep closely up to the fence the back away then creep back closer trying to get a sniff at them too.

When Tim went down into the woods to hunt, I felt comfortable knowing Basil was out on the farm exploring, chewing on deer bones, enjoying life and not getting into trouble...

My aunt Donna warned me of one Palomino horse that does not like dogs. There are about 3 dogs that live at the farm, know their way around and know which horses not to bother — we weren't so sure this would be the case with Basil.

At first they were aloof and didn't notice one another...then they locked eyes and were drawn to one another. The horse started making a loud grunting/growling noise at Basil (not the cute kind we are all used to hearing) and Basil just went right up to the Palomino horse...

I got about this far taking pictures before I dropped the camera, yelling at Basil to come back and leave the horse alone. He began running back and forth along the fence line while the horse was trying to kick him — and Basil wasn't backing away in fear like he did when he first met the horses. A few times, he slipped right under the fences into the horse fields running up to the horses before coming back to my calls.

After that, I brought him inside to sit on the closed porch the rest of the time Tim was in the woods. He was happy to curl up on the porch and take a rest after all the new activity.

When my dad came back up from the woods and into the house, he unknowingly let Basil outside and once I realized he wasn't on the porch I ran outside looking for him — hoping he'd simply be laying in the grass chewing a bone like before when we first arrived...

To my fear and surprise, Basil had run across the yard, into the farthest horse field that contained the most horses in it. He'd slipped right under the fence and when I found him he was way out in the field running at full speed dodging in and out from right underneath all the horses. They were all getting riled up and I had momentary heart failure just knowing deep down that Basil was going to be trampled.

For some lucky reason, he came to me after a series of loud calls to come back and I brought him back inside thanking God we didn't lose Basil to the horses. I couldn't beleive the way he was darting in between all those big horses like it was all a big game. When I told Tim and my dad what had happened, they both laughed and said they wished I'd gotten a video of it to share on the blog.

While I wish I had a video to share of Basil's great horse wrangling adventure, I'm much happier to be able to report he came out unscathed and now only dreams about his time in the fields — probably wishing I'd never found him, haha.

One thing I've noticed over and over about Basil is how he approaches new things with caution, but then quickly warms up to the point of almost being over confident. This also happened back when we took him to the beach. At first, he was curiously afraid of the shore, then he would play in the surf and later he would get so dangerously close to the part in the surf that pulls you in that it was too much for me to take. Maybe I'm just a naive, first time dog owner and should just let my dog be a dog — but we definitely wanted to share our story of Basil and the horses!

P.S. Thanks for all the well wishes on him getting over his little cold!


  1. oh my goodness, I would have been terrified watching that. So glad he came out of it unhurt. Noodle is similar in how he approaches situations. He used to be terrified of being too close to the road and then he happily ran back and forth across a busy road when he escaped. He's a total nutcase and a hazard to himself.

  2. Our brittany, Frannie loves horses. We have a horse trail behind our house and when riders go by she trots along the fence with them. For some reason she usually picks up a tennis ball to carry as she trots with them. It's amazing how animals behave with other animals.