At first, Alfonso just allowed Salem to stay out, but unfortunately he and one of the horses in the adjoining paddock played a bit too boisterously and somehow managed to break the water trough. So, Salem was banished back to his stall, which is now equiped with a Salem-proof "lock." He goes back out after all the other horses are brought in from turn-out, which I think is a nice compromise.
So, when Sunday afternoon I got a voice-mail from a fellow boarder that started out, "Hey, Meghann, just wanted to let you know that your horse was out," I wasn't at all concerned. But then it continued, "I managed to get him corralled into his paddock and then put him back in his stall," and my heart hit the floor. ?!?!?!
I immediately called Donna back and asked for the full scoop. Apparently, she had been leading a horse out to turn-out when she saw a black streak out of the corner of her eye. At first, she thought it was the old laminitic black mare Tiffany; but, nope, it was Salem. Out in the front yard. Of the property that, yes, has a lovely perimeter fence, but whose front gate is pretty much always open.
So, I think we have established the fact that Salem has a guardian angel. I am beyond thankful that he didn't get out on the road or injure himself in any way. In fact, there wasn't a single scratch on his dappled bay hide. How lucky am I?!! I still have no idea how he got out, as he can NOT open the paddock gate. My guess is that someone forgot to latch it. Either way, I am taking no chances; I brought out another snap-y/close-y thing for the gate, so it will be double-locked. Hopefully, this is the end of Salem's Houdini escapades and I won't have to build him a freaking velociraptor enclosure!