PART 2 -The story of Lauralee Foxy Man
Being a master of escape as goats are, Tinker had managed to expedite his way out of the stall and into the grain room. Tinker later died of bloat just outside of Foxy’s stall. If any animal could grieve, then Foxy surely did. It was such a pitiful sight. Foxy stood by his door, pawing endlessly trying to pull his buddy back into the stall where the door gaped open at the bottom. Foxy went off his feed for a couple of days, refusing to eat, standing with his head pressed into the corner of his stall, ignoring everyone. As time passed, Foxy returned to his old self. Tinker was buried at that farm and Foxy came home.
Foxy’s personality was one of youthful play and determination. He was quick and crafty, just like his name. They say that horses can’t solve problems, but I don’t know. Foxy came up with an ingenious solution to escaping into the pasture from the confines of his paddock. On a number of occasions, Foxy would been found grazing in the field, instead of his private enclosure. The stall door was secure and the fence untouched. Now you must understand that Foxy would never attempt to jump anything, except a mare in season, so how then was this Huodini making his escapes?
Upon closer inspection of his pen, a large hole was found, large enough for a horse to crawl under the fence. That is what Foxy had been doing in his spare time, digging his escape route. You would have thought him to be a POW like in the classic movie "The Great Escape". He was that persistent and determined. Since he had mastered this technique, we had to find a solution. Hot wire was installed on his fence – top and now bottom. But even then, he knew when the fence was on or off, depending on whether or not he could hear the clicking noise from the shock box.
A contortionist he was. You learned in short order never to leave him unattended with just a stall guard up. He had been caught in the act attempting to escape again by going down on his knees and literally crawling under the guard. No kidding!
Foxy enjoyed a variety of activities that kept him constantly interested in his surroundings. He participated in parades many times riding stirrup-to-stirrup with his favourite mare, the late Hobbiton Tinuviel. He also excelled at breed demos, tours and workshops. He was constantly in the public eye and claimed the people for his own.
On one occasion as a parade horse, Foxy managed to slip free of his halter while Bob was saddling him and I was in the throws of dressing in the trailer’s tack room. Foxy very nicely decided to go for a stroll in the schoolyard where we were parked. His leisurely stroll soon advanced to an all out road trot. I could hear Bob’s frantic calls and when I reappeared from the trailer, there was poor Bob, holding onto the cinch strap and pacing Foxy. In true horsemanship response, I yelled to Bob not to let go. Well, have you ever tried to keep up with a road trotting horse! I had never seen Bob’s feet fly by so fast. You would of thought he was going after Donavan Bailey’s world record sprint time. Foxy moved up his gait and challenged poor exhausted Bob to go even faster. Bob took hold of the horn with his feet just bouncing with every stride of the horse. I think Foxy was having a good hardy horse laugh at our expense! A group of us finally managed to form a human corral of sorts and brought Foxy back to a walk and eventual halt. Bob was panting so hard you thought he was having a heart attack. We finally finished tacking up the wayward stud and he completed the parade route without further deviations.
In later life, he became a reliable teacher for first time riders such as Ruth Gray. When they were informed that the stud Foxy would be their mount, they were apprehensive at first. You could literally read the dialogue racing through their timid minds, "Oh my God, Stallion!!!"
Foxy had a knack of dispelling any fears and cautions, quickly and easily. He gave these future want-to-be riders a confidence in their ability that continues with them today. All of his students have gone on to be excellent pleasure and equitation riders. He taught our junior riders, like Sarah Hawkins, daughter of a former professional jockey, who at age eight used to ride Foxy bareback around the field with just a halter and two lead shanks. He was that special kind of horse that took care of children and the insecure novices. Today his son, Trillium Samson, also a breeding stallion, continues in that tradition of teacher for beginner riders and drivers.