I AM GUILTY
Published 10-16-2009 5:19 PM
I have been guilty of unsafe practices as well. In my last blog I said that sometimes when we know our horses well we let our guards down and can make mistakes. Well, one beautiful sunny afternoon I thought my mostly white horse needed a bath. I was by myself too (first mistake), but I thought "since I'm not riding her, it'll be OK". So I haltered her with a rope halter, tied her to a gate (next mistake) and went to get my bucket and sponge and shampoo. As I approached her bucket in hand, she spooked over who knows what and started to pull. She pulled so hard that the gate came out of its hinges and came flying over me, knocked me down, bucket and all, as the horse continued to pull. Now I'm on the ground, all soaked and shampooed, and the horse continues to pull and the gate keeps flying and making more noises, which spooks the horse even more, and the horse continues to mindlessly pull. I got up, thanking God I was OK. When the gate came flying over me I instinctively put my arm in front of my face. So my arm and body were killing me, and I was shaking, but I was for the most part unharmed. So I went to my horse to try and calm her down, she was very frightened. I tried to untie her, but my quick release knot was very tight, and so were all the knots of her halter. So I grabbed a knife and cut her loose, which was the best thing I've ever done for that horse and myself. She did not get hurt either. But she and I were both visibly shaking hard, and I started to cry. There was no one there to console me or help me.
After that event, here is what I have finally started to apply to my routine:
1. Never ever be alone at the barn. Unless I'm just feeding, I never ride alone anymore and I never do more complicated tasks, such as bathing, by myself.
2. Never ever tie a horse to a gate. Always tie them to a post or to a tying ring. Even the most mellow and tame horse can spook and hurt you or themselves.
3. Always have a knife handy. It can save you and your horse.