A local miniature horse and pony ranch in Powell Butte received a knock on their front door in the wee hours of this cold morning. The dogs were going nuts and there was a uniformed State Trooper on the other side of the door.
"There is a little horse loose on the highway," the trooper told the groggy lady of the house. The husband, Larry, came stumbling out of the bedroom and heard the news. "I'll go up in the van," he said.
Shaking sleep, he drove up the road to the highway intersection just as a pinto little horse ran by him, turning alongside the old minivan. Larry drove up to the state trooper and was informed that was the only horse that he had seen.
Making an illegal u-turn on the empty highway, Larry drove back down to his property. Thinking about the horse, Larry went "hmm" to himself. "Wonder what horse that is?"
The horse went into the first of the two driveways...and was harassing another horse in his pen.
"Son of a gun," Larry thought, "that isn't one of ours" and told the trooper as much. This was a stallion that was sold off the property as a baby and sold and resold until he ended up at a thoroughbred ranch across the highway. For once, Miniature Ventures did NOT have any loose horses.
After briefly considering walking the little guy back up to where he belonged, the sleepy couple told the trooper they'd put him in the barn and get him home in the daylight--which the trooper heartily approved of. The three pushed the little stallion into the barn and the officer took off down the road--rather too fast. Larry and Maryann gave the horse hay and water and went back to bed.
Around 10 in the morning, a young fellow stopped by Miniature Ventures to ask if we'd seen a missing horse. When Larry took him to the barn to show him the truant stallion, a big smile came to the fellow's face and said, yes, that's Puddles. No question about it,no one would name a STALLION that, it was his animal.
"Puddles was born at Miniature Ventures five years ago, literally in a puddle of water," said Larry. "He's been through a number of owners until he ended up at the ranch across the street as a "teaser" stallion for the thoroughbreds (always the bridesmaid :-) ). Puddles has often been seen staring across the highway looking at the mares. I'm not sure how happy he is but he decided to come home for a little bit."
|Puddles as a young foal|