The golden mare, the one I call "Goldie" (there's also "Blackie", and "Bully" who bites) was the only one of the team of seven who didn't cross over. Instead, she galloped this way and that way in the pasture, up to the fence, raising her head over the top, looking for the escapees, then galloped away towards the pasture owner's farmstead, then back to the fence again, then back to the farmstead again, and all the while she was making loud, distressed whinnying sounds. She was ... sounding ... the ... alarm - I realized. It was absolutely unmistakable - not to mention totally amazing being in her presence. Her frantic efforts quickly rendered her drenched in a lather of sweat.
I phoned the farmstead owner who quickly alerted the hostler (a "hostler", such a wonderful word, if you didn't know it, is a person who takes care of horses). He arrived soon afterwards, walking slowly towards the horses so as not to spook them. As he walked, he coiled the lariat he was carrying which he would use to rope them if necessary. They were calmed by his presence. They actually followed him back to the fence ... but not all of them would cross through the gap and back into the cattle pasture again. Those who balked had become perturbed when they began slipping in mud, and getting spattered by it (where they breached the fence, the ground is muddy and slippery from the recent rains; it's also steep and rocky). It was easier for the horses to get out and down than it was for them to go up and back in.
In all the commotion, the bay and white tobiano-patterned one, bolted into the Cowboy Cottage garden. What a privilege! "Thank you!" I called after him, "Stay as long as you like!". But when he then exited out of the garden and headed down the east side of the property, the hostler had to go after him and rope him before he got into trouble in the steeply-embanked river. By the time they both returned to the fence, two more of the team had moved away, out of reach. We were getting nowhere fast: we assembled them near the gap in the fence, and then they moved away again. Then we assembled them again. Then they moved away again.
Be careful: if you think that's a typo which should be corrected to say "... whispering to her ..." ... no, that's not it.
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