Step 1: First, you must have an invalid in the barn waiting to be fed. Preferably an OTTB who has been locked up 24/7 for at least 3 weeks with ruptured tendons and ligaments.
Step 2: Don't bother with expedition type clothing. Hey, you sat around and waited for it to warm up to 12 degrees before going to the barn. Just pull your barn coat and wellies on over your flannel pjs.
Step 3: Walk to barn. Observe that horse appears a bit anxious. Notice that he's dripping sweat from head to tail. Notice that his eyes look kind of weird. Make sure to leave the barn doors open just a foot or so. And don't stand directly in front of the stall as you are sliding open the stall door.
Step 4: Watch horse go insane. Watch horse crash through and break the stall chain, while pushing the stall door open. Watch horse bust through the opening you carefully left between the main barn doors. Watch dumbfounded and gobsmacked as horse proceeds to go on a mad gallop outside the pasture fence, crashing through the woods, blasting through vines and briars and jumping fallen trees. Notice that bad leg seems to be working pretty good.
Step 5: Go after horse. Realize you have nothing in your hands. Turn around and go back to barn to get halter and lead rope and treats. Go back out to look for horse. Horse is not visible but you can hear crashing around in the woods going toward the main road.
Step 6: Try running in your wellies on the rock-hard, uneven, frozen ground in the woods as you chase horse. Trip and fall. Do it again.
Step 7: See horse on a trail. Cut over and get in front of horse. Jump up and down, wave your arms and yell. Jump out of the way just as soon as you realize that he does not even see you and will mow you down if you stand in his way.
Step 8: Repeat step 7. Again. Again. Once more.
Step 9: By now, you should be very, very warm. Resist temptation to be snarky when hubby comes out of the nice warm house and yells over to you - Did you know one of your horses is loose?
Step 10: Ponder all the ways to define horse's behavior. Crazy. Psychotic. Berserk. Insane. Lunatic. Bonkers. Running Amok. Remembering that childhood fear that your horse will go crazy if he eats locoweed, you wonder if there really IS a locoweed and if so how the hell did horse get it?
Step 11: Give up any hope of "catching" him. He is, after all, on a mission from alien beings who have instructed him to hunt the demons that live in the woods. This is the only rational explanation you can find...
Step 12: Seeing that horse is running the same crazy loops over and over, you realize that he occasionally runs back to the barn. Get thee to the front of the barn and hide and wait until he comes back. Voila - here he comes - NOW, shut the barn doors behind him as quick as you can and herd him back into his stall and slam the stall door shut. Realize that he has spent 20 minutes running around like a lunatic.
Step 13: Don't relax yet. Just as you are about to stop hyper-ventilating, you realize he is trying to jump out the lower dutch outside stall door. Think, quick, which can you find faster, the ACE or a baseball bat? ACE wins. Yes, you know it will be more effective under the circumstances if you can get it in a vein. Don't be stupid. Horse looks like a whirling dervish in the stall. Draw 5 ccs ACE, ease into the stall, try to calm horse, then just lunge and stick the neck and push.
Step 14: By now, horse is exhausted, has soaked sweat through 2 blankets, all the adrenalin has been used up as he now remembers that his leg is injured and it HURTS. Horse gives up trying to jump out of the stall. Stops whirling. You see that the weird - totally insane - look in his eyes is fading. He realizes you are there in the stall. He comes to you, limping, drenched with sweat, looking pitiful because his leg hurts and he just wants you to scratch his head.
Step 15: Spend the next 24 hours worrying that he will colic and worrying that he has really re-injured the leg that had been making progress, and wondering just what the hell triggered this psychotic break. Finally decide the colic risk has passed, the leg seems better than you expected and you begin to hold out hope that he has survived his bout of alien demonic
possession without too much collateral damage.
Finally, regain sense of humor, chuckle now that it's over, and decide to entertain your FOL friends with the story of the Equine Jailbreak.
Now, pour a glass of red, curl up in front of the fire and relax.