COARSEGOLD– Rebecca Jones had just about the shock of her life when she went out to check on her horses one day last month.
Jones is the proud “mom” of a veritable host of beasts, including 3 horses, a mini-donkey named Jack and a chicken called Henrietta.
On this particular day, it was Jones’ horse, Bailey, who appeared to be in serious trouble… or worse.
“Bailey’s an escape artist,” recalls Jones, who was getting ready for a trip with her contractor husband Brian to celebrate their 25th anniversary. When the careful horse owner came out to check on her “babies,” Jones could not believe what she saw.
Bailey was “casted,” down and stuck underneath the bottom bar of the corral in what’s got to be one of the most unlikely scenarios ever witnessed. Brian was at work. Jones screamed, anyway.
With flies everywhere on the unmoving mare, it looked like Bailey was a goner. On closer examination, and heaving a huge preliminary sigh of relief, Jones perceived the immobile horse was breathing, but uncomfortable, and in danger. She first called her husband, and then proceeded to contact her vet and closest neighbors to help extricate the 23 year old horse from the untenable position.
This is when neighbors began to do what neighbors do best. They came in force, with any kind of tool that seemed like it would work. Finally, after texting a photo to the Mariposa vet, Dr. Edward Latourneau, the group got busy and sawed through the bars.
Once freed, Bailey still refused to get up. Tired, scared and dehydrated, Bailey was finally pulled to her feet using all the strength and rope the neighbors could summon. Only then was Jones able to begin to actually relax.
Jones still doesn’t know exactly how or why the “escape artist” had gotten down and shimmied under the corral bar, and never will. She does know the horse is doing just fine, not counting wear and tear.
“She’s running around and bucks and kicks,” reports Jones. “We thought her hips were cracked, but they’re not. She has some road rash that hurts, but we’re keeping it clean. Otherwise, it’s just cuts and bruises that are healing up.”
Jones’ neighbors last names are Brown and Smith, so one might think with those “generic” names, it’s a cul de sac of people living in witness protection, though it’s just another example of people helping people, the mountain way.
Jones and her husband didn’t get to take the trip they thought they were taking, due to the calamity that befell Bailey, but it all turned out okay. When the couple did finally head out of town for a few days, guess who was there, taking care of Bailey? Smith, Brown and a handful of other kind souls who did what your neighbors would probably do, too.
That’s mountain living at its finest. Bailey – stay put!