The morning started off in a very typical fashion this morning. I did the barn chores and fed the first couple of pastures and it was just a typical morning on the retirement farm. As I was walking through one of the pastures to continue feeding breakfast I noticed the horses in the field and the other fields I could see were on high alert. Like seriously high alert. I saw a lot of horses standing like statues with heads raised, ears pricked, and tails flagged. Then they would prance around for a minute before striking the pose again.
I could not figure out what had their attention. Then I heard all sorts of screaming and yelling coming from the old farm house. There is an old house in one of the cattle pastures on the property that was in a serious state of disrepair when my parents bought the land many years ago. Its state has not improved over time! I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket to call my parents’ house and ask them if they new what in the world was going on and if not that we had a big problem. Then I happened to glance down towards the road and caught site of a police squad car and a van parked in one of the farm entrances.
Just as I noticed the squad car and the van then I saw a bunch of guys in full SWAT gear coming out of the house. I returned my cell phone to my pocket as I knew what was going on at that point. The SWAT team was practicing hostage rescue, high risk entrances, and all of the other dangerous and scary things that SWAT teams do. My dad founded and chairs a law enforcement non-profit foundation to support the local law enforcement agencies and a couple of times a year the SWAT team practices out at the farm. Jason and I have even been “hostages” and been rescued. In past practices our barn has been stormed by team members, the entire farm has been staked out, and the old house is used as well. They can storm around in the old house and not have to worry about breaking things, getting anything dirty, etc.
My only complaint was that it would be nice if someone would bother to mention to me that the SWAT team was going to be out practicing. It is a bit startling for a second or two when you hear screaming, yelling, and gunfire before you put two and two together and realize what is going on!
Bush staring at the house wondering why there are so many people in there yelling. He wasn’t brave enough to actually go over there and found out what was going on! It took forever for me to finish feeding everyone. Usually once they have their feedbags on they just put their heads down and eat quietly. But not today. They would put their heads down and take a bite and then the head went back up and they stared at the old house. Whenever the guys would emerge from the house that really fascinated them, even more than any of the noises. They would even stop chewing and just stare at them so intently. I guess it isn’t everyday that they see guys dressed up in camo, face shields and body armour so I can see why they were so interested in the activities!
Just as I finally finished feeding everyone the team packed up all of their stuff and left. The horses seemed a little bit disappointed that the action had ended. They went back to grazing and eating hay, but I would see them lifting their heads hopefully and staring at the house as if they were willing the excitement to come back.
I’m sure the horses feel safer knowing they are “in” with the local law enforcement. Instead of going to horse shows or hitting the trails we entertain the horses with things like SWAT team practices. Instead of taking them to the action we bring the action to them. Just another day on the retirement farm!
Buffy and Teddy staring at the house