Two horses that were missing for a week from a farm in Douro-Dummer Township in Peterborough County have finally been found safe and sound and reunited with their owners.
Last Sunday (August 22), a 12-year-old palomino mare named Calypso and her 10-week-old foal went over a stone fence at a 200-acre farm owned by the Chambers family and disappeared. The mare, who had been rescued from Alberta, and her foal had only been at the farm — located Forbes Lane between Hall’s Glen and Warsaw south of Stoney Lake — for less than a week when they went missing.
Over the following week, the Chambers family — with the help of neighbours and others — conducted an extensive search of their property and adjoining areas but were unable to find any sign of the horses.
One of the horses’ owners, Jenny Chambers, had posted about the missing horses on Facebook. While her post was shared over 1,200 times, no local media outlet had published a story about the missing horses until kawarthaNOW did the following Sunday (August 29).
Shortly after kawarthaNOW published the story and shared it on Facebook, Carol Edwards posted in the comments that her family had found the horses on their 500-acre property, located around three kilometres southeast of the Chambers’ farm as the crow flies.
To get to the Edwards’ property, the equine mother and daughter would have crossed the Indian River and made their way through thick forested areas, so they likely walked a much greater distance than three kilometres.
The first sign the horses had been located was when Carol’s husband phoned her to say he had found horse droppings on their property. Carol, who wasn’t home at the time, told him they were likely from the missing horses and the horses needed to be located and contained.
“My husband and son Luke went back to our property to check on it and found the horses there,” Carol tells kawarthaNOW. “They were comfortable grazing there. We figure they were there for maybe three days.”
After Carol arrived home with her other son Clayton and his girlfriend Sam, the Edwards family used a pail of grain to encourage the horses to stay on the property. Meanwhile, Carol contacted the Chambers family to let them know about the horses.
After the Chambers arrived, the two families worked together to corral the horses — but it wasn’t easy. While the foal had a halter on when it ran away from the Chambers’ farm, Calypso did not.
“They were essentially chasing the horses in the field until they got a lead on the colt,” Carol says. “The horses got spooked, as they do, and ended up running back to our gate where Clayton was able to grab the lead and hang on to the colt.”
Unfortunately, just as Clayton was passing the lead to a member of the Chambers family, the lead broke and both horses took off running again.
However, Carol’s son Luke was able to entice Calypso with a pail of grain and, while she was feeding, he slipped a halter over her head and clipped the lead on.
With the help of the neighbouring Cooper family, who keep cattle, the families were able to lead both the horses to a corral until they could be loaded onto a horse trailer to be taken back to the Chambers’ farm.
“Funny what can happen on a Sunday afternoon,” Carol says. “It was a neat way to meet neighbours.”
For her part, Jenny Chambers was grateful for the Edwards family’s help.
“Our real live heroes,” she commented on Facebook. “Thank you for finding our girls today.”