Beware the horse eating turtles

This terrifying prehistoric creature had a horse pinned in her stall!

One of my favorite things about spring in New England is watching the painted turtles lay their eggs. Our pasture is near a pond and the turtles take (for them) a marathon journey into the grass to dig holes for their eggs.

I love the turtles. I love how ancient they look. I love the vivid colors under their shells and I love their sheer determination.

It makes riding in the field a bit of a challenge, however. Right now the grass is pretty long so those turtles come up quickly. The best strategy is to create some patterns through the grass and then stick with them. Freedom pays them little mind but he does seem to take care not to step on any.

Today one intrepid turtle outdid herself. She not only came up over the hill, she went through the grass pasture, through the turnout and into the sacrifice area. When I arrived this afternoon she was busy digging a hole outside one of the mare’s stalls. Fortune stood spellbound, snorting and watching the turtle (which was the size of a salad plate) with fear in her eyes obviously afraid to leave her stall.

I scooped up the turtle and put her outside the fence, admonishing her to lay her eggs in a safer place. After all, when those little turtles hatch, we don’t want them crawling around with the horses!

One thought on “Beware the horse eating turtles

  1. I can so picture this! How wonderful to live in wild turtle country. We have some at our pond/lake…box turtles set loose I’m guessing.

    A female cat became enamored of my elderly Arabian gelding, believing his rump to be the source of all napping goodness. He was unusually tolerant of this.

    One day he wasn’t in the mood: he picked her up carefully by the scruff of the neck (how did he know how to pick up a cat?? Or was it luck?) and deposited her on the other side of the fence. She couldn’t get through or climb over. It bought him some time at least: it was a good 3/4 mile of tail lashing stalking to get back to the barn.

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