Dumb Things I’ve Gotten Away With
I tend to think of myself as a smart person. I try not to do stupid things and conduct my life in a reasonable manner. When you are working with horses every day it is imperative that safety comes first. We tend to think that riding is the best way to get yourself hurt around horses. When you look up statistics on horse-related accidents it is surprising to learn that more accidents occur while handling horses from the ground than while riding them.
I also tend to view myself as having good horse handling skills. I read the pony club manual from cover to cover when I was probably about 5 years old and who knows how many times I re-read it as a kid. I’ve been handling horses for as long as I can remember. I was lucky to grow up with my beloved pony Daisy and did all the things kids do with horses including laying on the ground next to her so we could “nap” together and galloping around bareback with a halter and leadrope. I’ve had my share of broken bones and injuries through the years and one would think this would lead to a good understanding of how to be safe around horses.
For some reason today I started thinking about all of the stupid things I do on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, for the most part I remember every sentence of the pony club manual and try to follow it, but we all let our guard down in some way. Last week was a farrier day and I was running behind and needed to finish getting horses into the barn. So I led four in at once instead of leading them in pairs like I normally would. They were all from the field farthest from the barn which meant almost a half mile walk, and also meant negotiating three sets of gates. My logic as I had the fleeting thought that this was probably not the smartest thing I’ve ever done was “polo players pony multiple horses while they are riding all the time so what’s the big deal?” Since I’ve also led 4 in at once on more than one occasion and my track record is 100% success so far I was pretty sure I would get away with it again.
Since I’m being honest here I’ll admit that my record is actually leading six in at once – from the farthest field again – and I successfully negotiated all three gates with six horses. I’ve only ever attempted leading that many at once the one time (when I’m being stupid I usually go with four horses), and it was when I was gathering up horses again, this time because the horse dentist was coming. Jason went ballistic on me when I casually told him of my feat. I was actually kind of impressed with myself which was why I mentioned it in the first place. Jason clearly missed the point and instead of being impressed at my superior horse handling skills he told me how stupid I was!!
To be fair I would never let Jason our any of our help do something that stupid, but in my twisted logic I see no problem with me doing it. I guess I also have the “do as I say and not as I do” thing going on as well. I’ll also admit to putting ointment on a cut leg and then bandaging/vet wrapping the cut on a horse in the field without even bothering to put a halter on. Yeah, not very smart either!
Of course the last time I got hurt on the ground by a horse I was doing everything right – the irony! I was walking through a pasture to open a gate for Jason as he was putting hay out with the tractor. I was making sure I was walking well away from the horses. One of them spooked and took off running – while looking behind him instead of ahead. He never saw me and by the time I realized what was happening it was too late to get out of the way and he slammed into me at a full gallop. Luckily I walked away with only bruises. That incident happened about this time last year.
So what are the stupid things you have done and have gotten away with around horses? Or maybe what are some of the ones you haven’t gotten away with?
A great view to end the day; Lightening, Spike and O’Reilly grazing as the sun was setting.
Darby grazing while Ogie naps, a common sight
Trigger and Grand