Saturday, December 21, 2013

solstice crash

I was going to post a lovely tribute to the solstice, my love for more daylight, and planned on a good training ride.

Best laid plans...a stupid cautionary tale...

I got a call that Major had cast himself. In his 1/2 acre paddock. I have a very talented horse, who likes to sleep in the most awkward place. I've tried to fix it, obviously more is needed. But he was fine the barn manager said, and I was headed down there anyway to ride, but changed my plan so instead I'd just check on him.

Major was bright eyed and happy to get an extra mash. Then we went for a walk, in case he was stiff, and just to eat some tiny green grass shoots that are popping up. And he seemed good, so went for a tiny hike in the forest, just a little loop, less than a mile. He was dragging a bit away from home (as usual) but perked up as we turned for home down the hill. I liked our shadow on the shortest day of the year.

I was just hiking, none of my hop-on-bareback I sometimes do, when I tripped, and dropped the leadrope. I am usually a death-grip leadrope holder, but it just happened so quickly. And Major saw nothing in front of him, and took the opportunity to run home like he wanted to all along.

My instinct said "grab the rope, he's getting away!" I somehow caught the end, but was quickly dragged as I couldn't get back on my feet. Luckily my brain yelled "let go of the rope you idiot!" And I lay there and watched Major's bay butt disappear down the hill.

I dusted myself off, started to run after him, realized I was missing hat and glasses, backtracked about 10 feet to find them, and started home. We were truly only about 1/2 mile from home, but with a country road with fast moving cars between the forest and stable.

My adrenaline kept up for awhile, then I had to slow down. I knew if he crossed the road safely he'd just go home. I crossed the road: no dead horse. Two people saw him run by and were in the process of going to get him, but I called the barn manager and he was on the lookout.

I walked/jogged back to find Major was caught by the gate by the barn manager. He said Major was just waiting there. I'll be getting the manager a nice gift! Major looks fine, though he ran home with the lead rope dragging. (Which terrifies me since I once watched a loose horse gallop off, step on its lead rope and shatter its leg.) So now I'm a little paranoid and will be checking him later for any stiffness or soreness. Back in his pasture he went and investigated breakfast and took big drink, looking content.

Me? Advil, neosporin on some cuts, I'll be fine too. I checked Major at dinner time a few minutes ago, he looks good, trots out fine, so I gave him a new toy to torment him (he has to roll it and the treats come out. We'll see if he can figure it out, he's not the sharpest tool in the shed.)

Let's see, what did I learn to do for next time?

1. Only fall going AWAY from home (when I did that once before Major just stayed with me).

2. Hold onto the damn leadrope, but don't try to hold into a horse running away.

3. Ride silly horse more often so he isn't so damn raring to go.

4. Teach Major to stay with me. Not sure how that would work, he's pretty bonded to me most times, but we were just too close to home.

5. Don't write about horse being naughty or nice, he then has to prove it.

Horses are certainly good at changing our plans. But either way it's the solstice, and it's lighter from here on out.


  1. How frightening! Glad everything turned out ok!

    1. Oddly, at the time I wasn't scared, I just dealt with it. Afterwards I realized how scary it all was.

  2. Oh dear. Best laid plans indeed. Hope you both feel A okay in no time.

    Merry Christmas and happy more light to the days!

    1. Thanks! Yes, more light, yeah... Come over and ride the lake!

  3. Hahha, what a jerk horse, spoiling your quiet solstice celebration! Glad everybody survived in good shape and I hope you don't repeat the experience soon!