MHJ, that last bit made me laugh! Still a bit scary, but funny, too, because it's so possible AND you're okay
The story about the roping horse is amazing. Those horses are so typically HOT HOT HOT (though we were blessed to have one of the few that was just a giant puppy dog and lazy as can be, and who literally came in the house one day and didn't panic when I did), I can't believe the one you spoke of didn't just go ballistic! But that story is also another reason why team ropers should follow calf ropers rules of always carrying a roping knife (despite the ropes being different). Get in trouble, cut the damned rope! Instead, they'd rather sit there and go "wow, that looks bad. How many guys do we have to wrestle down the situation?" I'm grateful my hubby does, indeed, carry a knife!
But then, these are the same guys who carry the big chance of pulling their thumb off because they get it in the way of the dally.....
"IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique
LA County Medal Finals, 2006. Horse landed off a fence, seemed to trip, and started to go down. At that point it seemed like a normal sort of thing. But he landed really funny like something more was going on (kid rolled away and was fine physically) and then seemed to be hung up in his martingale with his head twisted unnaturally. The martingale broke (or someone removed it or he was never hung up in the first place) and his head and neck just flopped down and he stayed on his side not moving. By now pretty much everyone had figured out that something was definitely not right and not normal. Kids were screaming, people left the stands b/c they didn't want to watch. People came in to assess the situation. The show vet got him up and he walked slowly and carefully out of the ring.
Not so scary in terms of harm to lots of people, but in terms of the crowd reaction and just knowing that something was wrong.
One of mine happened yesterday. I was at the barn and a lady came with her dog that runs around the property. He ran 100 miles an hour at me several times with horses in hand. My horses are ok with dogs so I thought nothing of it. I was walking my gelding back from the turn out and the dog came out of the bushes straight at us from behind. My horse only moved off of the path but unfortunately there are golpher holes over there and he stepped into one. It happened so fast all I could do was just stare as his whole body fell forward onto me. His neck hit me hard in the shoulder pushing me down. Luckily he caught himself before we went all of the way down and I only got pushed back not too far and hurt my shoulder. I was so shocked! They look so much bigger falling on you!
As a teen I saw a lady at a show schooling a horse. I only saw her fall and him buck on her for about 3 bucks full weight on her stomache. I dont know what happened to her but it was aweful.
We just had a lady and a horse die here the other day by my barn. She was hit by a car and my friend was the first one on the scene. She said they flipped over the truck that hit them.
I'm lucky enough to have never witnessed a horse and/or rider death, though one of my old instructor's horses dropped dead under its rider while foxhunting. (This was around 1980, with the Rancho Santa Fe hunt -- does anyone remember an old black TB gelding named Perry going down?)
In scary stories with happy endings, just the other day I met a sweet old gelding named Beta B Protocol, who was at one time a Nationals winner on the Morgan driving circuit. Apparently "back in the day" he was a stallion, and there was an unpleasant incident involving him (in harness), a mare in heat (hitched to a carriage), and a couple of people. His owners wisely took him home and had him gelded, and he's now a sweet beginner-safe schoolie at a nice barn. (I was actually there to look at one of his grand-daughters who is for sale -- lovely lovely sport pony, but way too green for me!)
At HITS AZ about 4 yrs ago, a little girl about 6 yrs old was walking around on a med pony in the Hunter warm up ring. One of my barnmates was warming up her horse. The pony was walking on the rail when a water truck drove by on the outside of the ring and spooked the pony. Pony veered left towards the landing side of a jump my friend was just leaving the ground to. Little girl fell RIGHT onto the landing side in the path of my friend's horse as he was airborne. My friend's horse literally swerved in mid air and had his feet land right beside her head. That horse saved her life by trying to avoid her. Little girl got up unhurt and her trainer had to be tracked down. Good reason why little kids that are w/t kids shouldn't be left unsupervised in warm up rings...even if they are just walking around. I thought the kid was going to be killed for sure. Scared the crap out of me.
Wow, that is very scary. Good thing the horse had some sense. I have seen incidents similar to this, but not quite that dramatic. Wow.
One of a Kind Studio
Fine Art Paintings, Horses, Dogs, Wildlife and anything else that inspires.
New convert to the cow horse world.. love my QH mare.
My mom was setting a jump for my trainer during a Mini-Prix. My mom isn't the quickest jump setter. I was on my horse and we were the only 2 there, so no one else could help her. So as the jump keeps getting bigger, she has the walk to the inside of the oxer to set the other rail. It wasn't a big deal because my trainer was really conscious of where she was. All of a sudden though, another trainer decides he wants to school this jump. He can't see my mom because she is slightly bent over fixing the cup. As his horse starts to take off, she stands up and the horse sails over the fence next to her. It was one of the scariest things ever because the trainer is known for having not the carfulest horses. I was in shock.
Another scary incident for me personally was when my old horse caught his toes on the back rail of an oxer when we were schooling at home. He landed on his knees and fell over ontop of my leg/lower body on the landing side. We both got up, and I even got back on and jumped around again, but to this day, I still remember nothing except looking down and seeing my horse on top of my leg. When I got back up to the barn, I sat down and started crying because I couldn't even remember riding at all at that point (I remembered school, but never coming to the barn.) It was pretty scary.
I've seen some scary things happen at 4H Shows in my area.
One year, a horse with HYPP had an attack and flipped over when the owners were trying to clip it. It landed on the cement on it's back. The vet school is less than a mile away and the owners were prepared to transport it there, but the school needed half the money for the required surgery up front, which the owners did not have. I have never seen a show community come together quicker. In less than one hour, enough money for the whole entire surgery - PLUS some - was raised. It was great.
Also, at the same show a few years later, a girl fell off literally underneath her horse during an O/F trip. She was literally caught up in his legs for 3 strides. It was soooo scary. I think she ended up okay though, maybe a few broken ribs.
A scary, non-injury horse show story was when the lights went out in the morning at a 'C' show. A trainer was on course with a Baby or Pre Green horse and was 2 strides out when the whole arena went black. She was able to jump out okay, god knows how, and stop at the end of the line without anything terrible happening. All I have to say is I'm glad that it wasn't me or my horse.
I have seen some scary things also happen with the fabric portable stalls. At the old Pacific Horse Center there was a mini-tornado incident where the stalls blew down.. horses running all over the place. I also think a similar thing happened at LAEC, although I wasn't at that particular show. I did hear though that a mare or two got "serviced" by a loose stallion.
I have seen many scary incidents with people tying horses to the wrong things. One time a horse ran all over a farm where I boarded with the pipe it was tied to attached to the lead rope. It pulled a steel pipe out of the ground out of concrete... in a wash rack.
I have also seen horses pull telephone poles out of the ground - crossties that weren't cemented in. Very scary. You had better hope you aren't in the way of the swinging pole as the horse freaks! So scary.
One of the funniest I have ever seen though was a lady who had her horses tied to the trailer at a show. She packed all the crap up, put the kids and dog and equipment in the truck and started to drive off... only she forgot to load the horses!! Two horses were trotting along side the trailer to the end of the driveway. Fortunately she stopped, people were screaming and honking at her. OMG that was funny. Nobody was hurt.
I have also seen people load up and forget ramps down and doors open on trailers... very bad.
One of a Kind Studio
Fine Art Paintings, Horses, Dogs, Wildlife and anything else that inspires.
New convert to the cow horse world.. love my QH mare.
I have another idiots-who-tie-to-things-they-shouldn't story... It was at an event nearby, which had set up some temporary outdoor pens for the trailer-ins, constructed of those big 10' steel panels. There were several grids of these pens set up. (You can see what's coming, can't you???)
The young rider had tied her horse to the panel while she was tacking him up. I'm sure it looked completely secure to her - a heavy steel panel connected to 30 others looks solid, doesn't it? She had gotten the saddle on, when the horse spooked and pulled back, somehow ripped the steel panel away from the others without breaking its lead or halter, and went tearing around the grounds with the huge steel panel bouncing off of his back and everyone and everything in his path going CLANG CLANGITY CLANG CLANG. Horse is of course absolutely terrified out of his mind with this giant steel panel chasing him, bouncing and clanging, running up the hill through the crowded grid of pens with horses and people jumping out of the way. The panel was bouncing off of his back and legs as he ran. He finally charges blindly into the parking area where he gets himself wedged in between two trucks/trailers, and then tries to back out, stepping back INTO the steel panel, where he miraculously gives up and stands there, legs tangled up with steel, quivering and sweating, and waits for someone to rescue him. If he had moved again he would have broken a leg for sure - as it was, he was lucky that he was just banged up, with several superficial cuts but nothing really horrible, and they were HUGELY lucky that no other people or horses were hurt. The saddle was damaged but probably protected the horse's back to some extent.
where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?
In the 90s at Blowing Rock between weekends they had the large ring blocked in half because of the rain, they wanted to let the top half drain and not get chewed up by people riding through it. So they had jumps lined up to close it off.
There was a little kid hacking her pony along with the rest of us in the lower half. Pony landed off a small x-rail and bucked, kid fell off but her foot went through the stirrup and was caught. Pony went bat $hit and took off with the kid trailing behind. Everyone on their horses was told by the trainer to not get in the pony's way to stop him b/c she was afraid that would put the little girl under another horse. Pony jumped over the ~2'6" roll top toward the top of the ring, dragging the poor girl with him. The girl was still dragging after and when the pony realized it was up top by himself he took off again, this time backwards over the roll top. The girl hit the flat side of the roll top and it was enough to yank her foot free. The little girl broke her ankle and wrist and luckily was otherwise ok. The poor pony was also traumatized, I saw someone else trying to hack it later in the week and he kept ditching to one side or another and taking off, obviously scared to death. Scary part was that the kid had those break away stirrups but because of how her foot was angled, it didn't break away until she hit the roll top the second time. Her poor parents were obviously not horse people and were absolutely beside themselves waiting on the EMT.
Second worst/scariest was on route to a dressage show with my Mom. At the time we had a straight load 2-horse gooseneck with the back top panels opened b/c it was hot (only her mare in the back). A horsefly (or bee or something) got in the trailer while we were on the road and the mare somehow kicked high enough to put her back left foot over the top of the raised and locked ramp-and then she tried to pull it back in. When we pulled over (we felt the thud when she kicked) she had her foot propped up on the ramp and had obviously severed the front of her leg right below the ankle. Luckily we were close to the vet and went straight there (after getting her foot down and wrapping it of course). She was never 100% ridably sound after that b/c of the scar tissue, which was so sad b/c she was at the height of her career and had such great talent. It was so sad to see her relogated to pasture ornament.
the scariest thing i've experienced involved a barnmate of mine and her mare. The horses were in the trailer and we were driving back to the barn after a long week of showing...
I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but we heard a huge thud come from the trailer and heard the mare squeal so IMMEDIATELY we stopped on the side of the road..
The mare had somehow gotten one of her hind legs stuck on the top of the partition dividing her from the empty trailer stall next to her. obviously the horse was freaking out and trying to get herself unstuck, only furthering her distress.
We had to call our trainers husband and it took him nearly 15 minutes to find us...miraculously he managed to lift the mare off the partition and call a vet.
she is still layed off and hopefully will be back working soon
I was a working student at a barn. I was about 12 or 13 at the time. We had a 2 year old mare in the barn. She was broke, but she was not "fully" done. She wouldn't stand still, would spin around the mounting block when you tried to get on, things like that.
Well the barn is set up so you have the entry way and then you can either turn left or right. To the right are stalls and to the left are grooming stalls and then more stalls. Across from the grooming stalls are benches and a table. The entry way also has two benches across from each other.
2 incidents with this mare. Another girl I was working with put her in the cross ties to groom her. She left her there for 2 seconds and the mare started to flip out. She reared bucked and eventually broke one of the cross ties. She then is dragging the other cross tie out of the wall and eventually pulls back so hard that she scoots backward and gets caught on the bench. She tangles herself up and eventually flips herself over a couple times. I'm talking like rear straight up and flip over straight down. She then bolted to the entry way, thank god the doors were closed, and tried getting out that way. She flipped around there too. It was awful to watch.
Scariest thing i have ever seen at a show was with a OTTB mare from my former barn. We had recently arrived at a long weekend horseshow. We poored new shavings into her stall and as most horses do, she went to roll as she was rolling she became cast, her legs went through the canvas of the temp. stalls. one of her legs then got caught and wrapped around the pole outside her stall that was holding up the actual tent, now freaking out more she continues to flail. While doing this her other leg came up and took out the metal bars, when they fell out they left major sharp edges which this mare had then severely cut her legs on. The door stall was open as my trainer was trying to get out of the stall. The mare finally got up and came out, she had hit some arteries and we could not contain the bleeding we (about 20 helpful ppl) eventually got her leg wrapped to contain the bleeding until the vet could arrive, it took the vet over an hour because the horseshow was a fair and the fair traffic kept her, she was not on the grounds yet because the show had not officially started. We got her wrapped and taken up to Tufts (vet school) where she was worked on all weekend and under went some surgery to reattach ligaments and arteries and stuff. That was the longest Friday of my life.
I was at Kocher when a Children's Jumper rider crashed and died in the ring (I'm sure you can find the thread on it).
My horse was being lunged at VSF when another horse got loose and jumped over him. I wasn't there but the girl lunging my horse was so upset as was my horse. Thank goodness he wasn't hurt.
My sister was at show with her horse who was known to kick when in the trailer. She bent down to fix her wrap when the horse kicked and caught her in the face. There was a hole that went through her face into her mouth. She had to get stitched up that night at the local ER. The hardcore rider she is was back showing the next day. She was just unable to smile for a while.
This is the same sister who broke her collarbone jumping her small pony trying to avoid our dog who ran to the jump at a bad time, she also crashed her large pony while riding with a broken hand, they both rolled but were okay. She was also kicked by a pony and eventually had to have surgery due to the damage in her ankle. She was then kicked by a horse while out in a field.
I think she has some serious bad luck.
"The joys of motherhood are never fully experienced until the children are in bed" UK
Those of you from Ontario might remember this. A few summers ago at the Collingwood Horse Show there were a bunch of horses in the warm up ring. Two girls going opposite directions ran into each other head on. I'm not exactly sure what the injuries were but at least one girl was hospitalized, and her horse was injured and severely traumatized. I was at the same barn as it the winter after and it had recovered enough to walk around, but it would freak out if it saw another horse coming towards it within 30 feet.
Last summer we lent our trailer to my coach, they had a stallion in for training but his manners on the ground were so bad they decided it was to unsafe to keep him at the barn with students, boarders, and the summer day camp so they were taking him back. It was a 2-horse straight load gooseneck, they loaded him up, tied him with a leather shipping halter and closed one of the top doors because it was hot out. The owner had told them he was usually fine to trailer. Before they even got down the driveway he had gone insane, broke his halter, got himself turned around and tried to jump out the back. He was stuck though so my coach and his dad had to cut the bolts on the trailer door so they could get him out. He ended up being put down a few days later when he started peeing blood. The trailer doors are still bent.
The worst thing that has happened to me personnally was a few years ago. I was at the provincial championships in the warm up ring. It was really muddy but we weren't too worried, the mare had studs and the footing didn't seem too bad. I guess we were wrong because as she was taking off her back feet slipped and she caught the top rail and went down. She landed on her side on top of my leg but fortunately since it was muddy my leg sunk in the mud and then just slid right out. Neither of us were hurt, just sore, but I've never seen a horse that muddy, caked on head to toe...even her eyelid. Everyone was asking me if I was ok since I looked like I had taken a mud bath, I ended up throwing out the pants because I couldn't get the stains out.