You have good times and bad times with horses. Yesterday was a bad time. To put it bluntly, I could have been killed. Mistakes were made. Lessons were learned. Here’s the recap.
My husband did not get home til 8:30 last night to relieve me of child-related responsibilities. I hauled ass to the barn to try and ride before dark. When I got there I realized the 3 new horses were out with the herd for the first time. They were all bucking and snorting and establishing a new hierarchy. My first thought was that I’d never be able to separate Baron from the hullabaloo and convince him to follow me out of the pasture. Surprisingly he let me snap a lead rope on and he followed me away like a lab puppy. I had him tied in the round pen ready to tack up. The problem is that the round pen sits inside a small pasture and I, like an idiot, had not closed the gate. All of a sudden I heard the rumble of hooves hitting the ground and the 7 other horses came tearing at full speed from the larger pasture into the small pasture where Baron was tied in the round pen. They settled down and started to graze.
I thought I would be able to tack up and ride in the round pen while the others grazed. Not so much. After I got the saddle on Baron, the other horses decided they would haul ass out of the small pasture back across the large pasture. This is when all hell broke loose. Baron tried to take off and follow them when he realized he was tied. Let me just say here that he has NEVER had a problem being tied. Well, this time he went ballistic about not being able to follow his friends. The knot I tied was supposed to be one of those quick release knots where you pull the end and the whole thing unravels. Again, not so much. I need to go back to knot tying school because I could NOT get him untied and he was flipping out. He was lunging away from the rail and the round pen started to move with him. It actually picked up off the ground when he reared and moved across the grass.
So here I am in the round pen with a big horse who’s going crazy and he is strong enough to actually move the fence. I’m thinking he is going to knock me down with the fence and drag it over me, at which point I would suffer multiple broken bones if not death.
Miraculously he let me approach him and take the halter off. Even more miraculously he stood still and let me take off the saddle. It was apparent at this point that I was not going to get to ride. Daylight was almost gone and he was beyond amped up, way too frantic for me to even think about riding. So after he was stripped down I let him out of the pen and he cantered off to find his buddies.
Apparently very important things were going down in the pasture that Baron could not miss. Lesson learned. Do not tie your horse until you are far, far away from other horses who are snorting and bucking and acting like a-holes. Make sure you really know how to tie a quick release, not just think you know how to tie a quick release!
This whole saga does make me feel good about all the ground work I’ve done with Baron. He trusts me enough to let me get close to him at his most frantic moment. This little anecdote also goes to show that I am ever so lucky to have such a level-headed horse. He was able to think instead of going all primitive on me and simply reacting and pulling a round pen on top of me. He’s a good horse. I think I’ll keep him. 🙂