LACONIA — A woman on White Oaks Road said she initially thought she was losing her mind when she woke from a nap about two weeks ago and saw three miniature horses being led down her road by two people.
Barbara Ricker said yesterday when her husband Everett returned from hiking, she told him about what she saw and he told her she must have been dreaming.
As it turns out, it's likely Ricker wasn't dreaming that day nor was she loosing her mind. One of her neighbors from across the street saw the same thing.
Fast forward two weeks and the horses were back eating food offered to them but unwilling to be captured and adept at avoid it.
For the past two days they have been seen repeatedly along White Oaks Road, eluding capture by being able to dart away when anyone went to grab them. Fearing for the safety of the horses or motorists traveling along the roadway, the Rickers called the police — as did a number of their neighbors.
While police were trying to find the owners, last night the horses fell into an inadvertent trap and wandered into to one of Ricker's neighbors' outdoor dog pens. Safe behind fencing, police were called and said they have been able to locate the owner of the horses.
Sgt. Tom Swett said officers have been chasing the three horses on and off since Sunday. He said yesterday afternoon that while he personally hasn't seen the animals, a few of his officers have.
"We've been patrolling frequently on the road," Swett said, agreeing with the Rickers and the neighbors that there are enough traffic accidents on White Oaks Road without adding three wandering horses to the mix.
Swett said there is a city ordinance regulating livestock trespass and though the ponies are in temporary custody in the dog pen, the owner could find him or herself in the doghouse.
On May 1, a few horses were photographed by a family that lives in Paugus Woods — a housing development off White Oaks Road that is about halfway down the road that runs from the Weirs Boulevard to Route 11-B in the Weirs.
It's not known if they are the same horses.
CAPTION: Mary Hebert feeds a carrot to one of the seemingly wild miniature horses that have been roaming around her White Oaks Road neighborhood for the past two weeks. (Everett Ricker photo)