Since we have had all this cold weather, our daily routine has been to run the water at the barn every 6 hours or so. This means a late run out to the barn and the night of the storm "someone" (ok, me) must have left the gate open by the waterer when she put the hay out.
Fast forward, my usual 3 a.m. wake up, and I'm looking out the kitchen window to see black horse forms out by the barn raiding the goose feed. OMG I need to get dressed and get them in! Thinking ahead, I got a bucket of sunflower seeds from the garage and came out bearing gifts to the wayward equines. I hollered, "PONIES" and they came running to me and followed nicely back to their place on the opposite side of the fence.
Once morning came I could see they were probably out FOR HOURS! There were tracks everywhere. All the bird feeders were cleaned out, they went down the lane to the 40 ac. field, to the 3 ac. pasture and even down along the creek, (which is one place they never want to go), they went down the driveway about 3/4 of the way; places they would not like to go alone, but with their herd complete they were on a wild adventure.
Things were pretty quiet on the horse paddock Friday. They had tuckered themselves out, eaten a boatload of birdseed, had a wild escape and found out that no one was going to stop them until they stopped themselves.
Just like kids, give them enough space and freedom and they can grow.