Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Copter Surprise

Christmas day started out very calm and peaceful.  We had just finished a late lunch when we saw an unusual black and white striped helicopter fly low past our house.  We watched from the windows as it hovered over the property across the street as if the pilot were intending to land at our neighbor's house.  Then it reversed direction and circled back around our house, around our barn, coming very low over the horse's dry lot, then we lost sight of it.  We ran to the living room window to watch it land across the street and I said,  "I bet that was a good desensitizing experience for the horses."  Just after I spoke those words, we saw SaraJane running wildly across our front yard with that tail of hers straight up in the air.  Oh oh!  Horse on the loose!  And on the run!

The helicopter landed across the street in our neighbor's yard.  I found SaraJane behind our house, running up and down outside the pasture fence, whinnying frantically to Misty who was on the other side of the barn, still in the dry lot where she was supposed to be.  How on earth did SaraJane get out?  Then we saw the dry lot fence.

The poor little girl must have lost her mind when that horse eating pterodactyl flew overhead.   It looks like she ran right through the fence. 

Fixing fence was not on the agenda for Christmas day, but Mr.OnceUpon got right on it.  As he was working, I noticed that Misty has been doing some of her artistic whittling on this wooden fence post.  Silly termite!

I went across the street and introduced myself to the neighbors.  (What a way to meet your neighbors, huh?)  They are renters and haven't been here long and will be leaving soon when their new house is finished.  I told them we had a little mishap with the helicopter flying so low over our horses and asked that they call me before the helicopter takes flight so I could close the horses in the barn.  They were very nice and were sorry to have scared the horses and asked if SaraJane was ok.   She is fine.  She made it through the fence with just one small scrape on her leg.  The pilot is their son and he was "dropping in" for dinner to surprise his mother on Christmas day.  At first he had tried to land from the other direction, but the wind was not in his favor and that is why he circled around our house and came in low over the horses. 

The dad gave me a call when his son began his pre-flight and I locked Misty and SaraJane in the barn. It probably would have been good for them to see the helicopter lift off and fly away, but we had enough excitement for one day.

The pilot lifted off and flew away into the sunset, with an audience of neighbors standing in the street.  It's not every day that a really cool looking helicopter lands on our street.

Oddly, this is the 3rd helicopter to buzz us (if you count the gyrocopter) and the 2nd time this year that one of my horses has had the wits scared out of them by a low flying helicopter (the trail ride incident last June was the first). My horses seem to attract more helicopters than flies. 

But all are safe and calm now.

Merry Christmas.


  1. And what part of living in a horse property neighbourhood (which means people have horses) do these people not understand?

  2. Oh, that is a scary story. I am glad you met the neighbors and that they were worried about SaraJane, but still, it could have been a horrible mess. I am so glad Mr. Once Upon was able to fix the fence on Christmas and that SaraJane wasn't hurt too badly. Helicopters really are annoying sometimes - I immediately thought of Marley and your trail ride. We had a helicopter circling our condo development down here in Florida for one hour a week ago. They had search lights on and I was worried. We are in a gated community, but the guards are dear, elderly men - hardly going to be a deterrent. I never heard why that happened. I am soooo glad I wasn't on a horse!
    Hope your Christmas was grand (other than that excitment!)

  3. At first I thought it might have been a life flight or something - glad it just turned out to be a visit but geeze !

    Glad the SaraJane didn't get seriously hurt.

    Merry Christmas to you and Mr. Once Upon!

  4. Whew!! So glad everyone was ok in the end! Poor SaraJane must indeed have thought that some giant horse eating eagle had tracked her down!

  5. Oh My!! I'm glad that Sarah Jane wasn't hurt badly and she was easily caught. That's an unusual experience to say the least. Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.

  6. Ahhh, that's just crazy. I laughed at your joke about your horses attracting more helicopters than flies, though. The thing about desensitization is that it is always better if we can control it so that we know when our horses are pushed past their limit and might hurt themselves. This is the second incident I've read about in the past year of a helicopter causing problems for horse owners. In the book "Half-Broken Horses", a woman in the old days used her horse for transportation, and she had quite a mishap when the first car whizzed past her on her horse. The more methods of transportation we get, or the more common forms of transportation become, the more difficult it gets for us horse lovers. I'm glad your new neighbors were understanding.

  7. How crazy! Poor SaraJane and poor Misty, too. What a traumatic day for them...oh, and for you! I'm so glad all animals are OK.
    Have a happy new year. Oh, we're supposed to get snow here today - in coastal Carolina! How crazy!

  8. My stepdad's Mustang was rounded up with a helicopter, so he's not real fond of them. Last year, there was a run on MediVac calls in the national park, so Bill used that as a good time to re-train Ranger. As soon as Bill heard a helicopter flying nearby, he'd run out to the pasture with extra hay or a treat. Didn't take long before Ranger started to associate helicopters with good stuff instead of bad things.

  9. OH MY GOODNESS! I can only imagine that the horses were simply mad with worry. Clearly when a thing like that shows up it is the end of the world. Your store reminds me very much of the time I went to ride Lilly and got to the pasture just as a fire breathing hot air balloon was passing low over them in the sky. GOOD NIGHT. The horses went WILD in TERROR. I was in a panic myself, it was so strange! Needless to say, I didn't ride that day. I am sure they too thought the planet was collapsing. Thank goodness that kind of stuff does not happen every day!!

  10. Oh my gosh baystatebrumby...a hot air balloon would be very traumatic! That's very strange.

  11. Glad it was only a scrape, poor girl.

    It is unusual to have large flying objects land in/near your yard. I'll never forget the year we had an unexpected hot air balloon land in our yard, right next to our house - it was loud and larger then it. No horses at home at the time, only dogs which needless to say went loco.

  12. Glad your horses were ok! Only with horses, huh? On C'mas Day. Well, unique neighbors make good neighbors because they are too busy/happy to be busy-bodies. :-) That's a very unique experience (up close).
    Happy New Year

  13. Glad Christmas adventures turned out that well! Non horse folk have no were very gracious! Sarajane a good, fortunate pony!
    Happy (non flight) New Years!

  14. For some reason, this post made me think of the woman whose horses freaked when they moved out to vermont - you see, they were from arizona where the trees dont lose their leaves in the fall - they had to be medicated for awhile to desensitize to the "sky falling on the them"...

    Glad you had a happy ending to this story - the new neighbors seem to understand, and the horses are safe back in their paddock!