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Idiot that I was, why am I still alive?

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  • Idiot that I was, why am I still alive?

    You know that show on cable TV, "I Shouldn't Be Alive"? Well, growing up on a farm, I've had my share of those moments as well. And, I'm sure many of you have, too. Here's a few of the bonehead moments I somehow escaped in my earlier years. Let's hear some of yours.

    Shooting rifles out in the pasture with my teenage buddies, I shot my 30-30 at an old tractor tire carcass. A few seconds later I actually felt the shock wave as the bullet whizzed past my head after ricocheting off the tire.

    Again, as a stupid kid, walking across a log over a very deep ravine because I was too lazy to go around, I slipped and went down on my hands and knees. Then slipped under the log. Had to possum-walk the rest of the way over underneath the log to get to safety.

    Playing on top of the bailed hay stack in the barn, my friend and I decided to slip down into a seam between the bales to see how far down we could go and still climb back up. A couple of yards down in the bales on top fell over blocking us in. Using every bit of strength we had, we somehow managed to push our way back up through the bales and get to safety. No, did NOT tell mom about that one.

    Got a bull angry on purpose once (just because I could) and it pinned me against the barbed wire. My screaming must have startled it, because it backed off and I was able to grab a fence post and scurry over with only torn jeans and flannel shirt.

  • #2
    Went out into a pasture to "play with" a young bull. Wasn't full grown, had been around since it was a baby and I figured it would be alright. My cousin was with me and it head butted her a couple of times, gently. That was all fine and good until she retreated and the bull suddenly decided to charge. We both sprinted across the pasture and jumped the nearest fence.

    My best friend and I liked to gallop pell mell through the woods down any trail we could find (there were 800+ acres). We made trails if we couldn't find any and jumped anything in our paths. One time, came across a steep hill trail with 2 trees fallen across it. We paused, eyed the logs from a distance sizing it up to be about 3'-3'6" each and 2(ish strides). We had no idea what was on the other side and the trail was muddy and the footing slightly washed out and uneven but we were young and dumb. Picked up a nice forward canter and up and over we went (*we were usually very good about checking footing and investigating both sides of new fences before jumping) On another day we decided it would be a good idea to jump a 4ft log on this same pair of horses, who had very little experience at that height. Completely unsupervised. A 10 year old kid caught us and asked us if she could take a turn and try too

    Was stupid enough to hack out in the cow pasture on the 3rd day I backed a 12h pony. Took a HOT Standardbred/TB cross with me. Ran into the same donkeys that almost got my friend and her horse killed (that's a whole 'nother story!) Well of course the donkeys charged us, the cows stampeded towards us as well. I didn't think a pony could move that fast! We were neck and neck with the TBx mare galloping the full length of the ridge, down the steepest part of the hill and all the way down the road to the gate.

    And then there was the time we tried to race a train (tracks ran right next to another cow pasture and the cross country field.) Not a smart idea with two green ponies...My friend's pony wouldn't steer to the open gate and very narrowly missed crashing through the barbed wire fence. (Pony was bucking like mad but finally skidded to a stop a few feet from the fence)


    • #3
      Stupid kid story (BUT I was with an obviously equally stupid adult who should be blamed). We were out in the trails (rural city park- hundreds of acres). We got a little lost and couldn't find our way back but knew we had passed this bridge WAAAAY up in the air. HUGE ravine under it. Terrifying. So not only did we decide to cross it horseback, the bridge was obviously rickety and had holes in it. The adult went first and I followed a few strides behind. As we got past the middle I hear the boards breaking way under my horses feet! I had no idea whether to speed up or not. We kept going with boards falling off the bridge behind us and flew off the end onto solid ground. There were literally huge gaps of bridge missing.


      • #4
        I think there’s a Darwin award out there for you.
        "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork


        • #5
          Too Funny !

          Too funny !!! AND FRIGHTENING ! I almost kill myself on a daily basis ! But it doesn't slow me down !
          Last edited by Zu Zu; Dec. 18, 2009, 05:10 PM. Reason: addition
          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


          • #6
            I haven't been TOO stupid. But one time I was riding in a mid thigh length parka that had an elastic cinch arond the middle and zipped all the way up. I cinched it, and flipped the bottom part of the coat over the cantle. I rode for a while and then went to get off. I pulled my right leg over Betsy's neck and kicked my other foot out of the stirrup and slid down. My jacket was still on the cantle and I ended up suspended above the ground. Betsy looked at me hangig there and just sighed. Luckily I wasn't by myself and my friend gave me boost and unhooked me.


            • Original Poster

              Originally posted by Creaghgal View Post
              I think there’s a Darwin award out there for you.

              Most of us, over course of our lives, had had our names partially engraved in one or two.


              • #8
                Down here we call that the " Hey Ya'll, watch this" award.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by maudie View Post
                  I haven't been TOO stupid. But one time I was riding in a mid thigh length parka that had an elastic cinch arond the middle and zipped all the way up. I cinched it, and flipped the bottom part of the coat over the cantle. I rode for a while and then went to get off. I pulled my right leg over Betsy's neck and kicked my other foot out of the stirrup and slid down. My jacket was still on the cantle and I ended up suspended above the ground. Betsy looked at me hangig there and just sighed. Luckily I wasn't by myself and my friend gave me boost and unhooked me.
                  AHAHAHA that sounds like something I would do! I tried to stop a freaked out loose horse one time... with myself. Needless to say I ended up a pancake, and the horse ended up running around for another half hour or so before somebody caught it.
                  Who needs wings when you've got a jumper?


                  • #10
                    Working cows one day, didn't yell that I was in the chute trying to unjam the bottom of the drop gate. Brother in law turned one of the bulls into the chute area and I turned around just in time to see an old marsh bull bearing down on me with THAT look in his eye. That was not the stupid part (well, not telling anyone I was in the chute wasn't really bright), this was:

                    Rather than trying to scramble out of the chute, I picked up a palm frond and began to beat the bull about the head and neck with it to keep him off me. He must have been slightly nonplussed about the attack, because he shook his head and backed up a step, giving them time to lift the gate behind me so that I could slip through, but boy did I get a tongue lashing for that one! I just didn't think!

                    Mostly we were pretty careful, though - marsh cattle are wild!


                    • #11
                      I am reading these and saying to myself "oh no! oh no!"!! Amazing some of the close calls.


                      • #12
                        Body half in a pigpen trying to grab and pet the piglets belonging to an irritated sow. That one got me a good hard smack and that long walk back to the house to explain what stupid thing I'd just done. (the walk of shame)

                        Betting cousins on who can run the fastest through the bull's field.

                        I don't think the grownups ever found out about that one.

                        Someone already mentioned playing on round bales - we all played in the hay barn and it was stupid. Good way to get squished.

                        Climbing trees, building forts - oh - I remember the first time I found a leech on me after swimming in the creek!

                        Galloping across hayfields - no helmets, shorts, keds and bareback. Amazingly - as a middle aged woman I've become a big scaredy cat compared to my youth.

                        Squirting each other with milk at milking time. That was fun - but earned us a smack or lecture from an adult.
                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                        -Rudyard Kipling


                        • #13
                          I rode for years without a helmet - including the day that I came off FIVE consecutive times.

                          I once when riding my bicycle downhill as a young kid decided to stick my foot in the front tire just to see what would happen. I had an image of it sort of making a sound that's a cross between a musical instrument and a washboard. (Disclaimer: That is NOT the sound that will follow this experiment. Trust me. Do not try this at home. )

                          I rode for over 2 years on Bam Bam the half-Arab, half-lunatic gelding with the safety releases on my saddle WIRED SHUT. He was far from a quiet old reliable, too, and to this day holds the record for giving me involuntary dismounts (including the 5'er mentioned above). This piece of idiocy was actually the idea of my first trainer. When my el-cheapo tack (saddle, bridle, pad, bit, and all the trimmings for just over $100. What a deal! ) started having the stirrups simply fall off sometimes in lessons because the safety releases on the bars gave up all semblance of any tension and would just flop around, she told me that wiring them shut was a good thing that would fix this. I still cringe to think of a few of the things that first instructor practiced.

                          I bought a 13-year-old unbroke ASB because he was black. Person selling assured me he could be trained in no time, no trouble, as he was smart. Big, black horse, uneducated (or rather miseducated, only a few years with bad trainer above) young rider. I was sure it was the Black Stallion, Part Two! He was indeed smart, smart enough to have figured out that the many people who had TRIED to break him over the years, about whom I wasn't informed, had quit and put him away as soon as he acted up. He had a full-blown "throwing fits and acting threatening toward people gets you out of work" button installed by the time I got him, and I was clueless. Thank God that was the same week, unrelated, that I started lessons with my good trainer, who took one look at his eye and told me before he had done a thing that he was dangerous under pressure. It turned out okay, though never perfect, but only with her expertise and some serious sessions along the way. Had I tried to deal with that horse myself, I am confident he literally would have killed me.


                          • #14
                            We were in a barn on top of a pretty steep hill. The arena doors (1 set anyway) opened into a gorgeus 5 acre paddock. The BM had managed to run a bunch of schoolies into the arena, penning them in. We wanted to let 1 loose into the paddock while keeping the other 4 in the arena. (you already know this isnt going to go well).

                            I put one hand on the door frame and 1 hand on the sliding door. I let horse #1 out and grabbed hold again. Horses #2 & #3 decided to make a break for it. They crashed into me (Im not particuly small) and pushed me partway down the hill.

                            The only reason I wasnt trampeled is that it was muddy. I slid on my feet like mud ski ing out of the doorway while 4 schoolies ran merrily down the hill, snorting & bucking.

                            Ever tried to recapture 4 schoolies from a 5 acre paddock?

                            The bad thing is I wasnt a stoopid kid. I am apparently a stoopid adult.
                            “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


                            • #15
                              Oh, boy, where shall I start?

                              Hacking out on my pony, deciding that it was within her abilities to jump a 4' wooden gate. We took said gate of its hinges as she hit the top, and I was catapulted out of the saddle like a human cannonball. Chipped both front teeth, poor pony ended up with scrapes and a solid refusal tendency. Stupid, stupid.

                              Same pony, bombing around a cornfield, playing exercise rider. I had just gotten back from vacation at Saratoga and was trying to emulate the gallop guys who would stand straight up in their short stirrups, leaning against the reins like a water-skier. They made it look so easy, but pony ducked left, I toppled right, and pony galloped back to the barn a mile or so away.

                              New horse, new barn, hacking out and placing my caliente helmet on a rock so that I could go jump stone walls bareheaded while listening to me Walkman.

                              Just last year--hitching up the gooseneck and getting frustrated at just missing the ball and hitch. Decided to crank the trailer down and inch the truck back, hoping it would drop down over the ball and lock into place. Got out of truck and stood behind tailgate. Suddenly, trailer starts moving forward, or so it seems. Realize that truck is moving backward, because it is STILL IN REVERSE. Luckily, tailgate hits spare tire of trailer, and I am thin enough to fit in the ensuing space. Spend next hour trembling at my close call. I am now a middle-aged idjit.
                              Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.


                              • #16
                                The one that immediately comes to mind is the tree with the low hanging branches. Obviously the perfect height for a small child to drop off the branch and onto the back of a horse. A moving horse.

                                Sing Mia Song, your trailer story reminds me of when I was feeding the other day. I have a few horses that live out and one old guy gets an extremely large/heavy bucket of mush for dinner. So, being lazy, I want to drive as close to the fenceline as I can so I don't have to carry said bucket too far. So in my NEW TRUCK, which I haven't quite figured out the size of, I am half in, half out of the truck, trying to get as close as possible to the fence, where the horses are milling around, waiting to be fed. I positioned the truck perfectly and hopped out, forgetting that the truck wasn't in park, and the truck is heading straight for the fence. I did manage to jump back into the truck just before it took down the fence and the horses. The only good thing was that SO, who was worred it was "too much truck" for me, didn't witness this incredible act of stupidity...
                                Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry


                                • #17
                                  Many stories involving horses and water.

                                  Had a young horse who didn't like to walk through water/puddles. I worked on this problem, found puddles when possible to work on, but he remained resistant about crossing them. Would usually jump them instead, eventually. Took him to the lake, to "get him over it". Danced back and forth on the shore, me insisting that he enter the water. Eventually, he did. At that point, found out that it was not the actual water that he was afraid of. It was the water to land interface, the shoreline. So on land, he spooked away from the water. And in water, he spooked away from the land. He landed in the water after jumping the shoreline, at the full run. He stopped running when his feet left the lake bottom, and started swimming instead, away from the shore. A "first time swimmer". At that point, I found out that he had lost steering as well as brakes, and we were heading across the lake, powerless to turn back to shore (at which point on successfully navigating the width of the lake (about 500 yards), he probably would spook away from the opposite shore). The lake was weed choked, and people regularly drowned by getting caught up in the weeds in this lake. We were approaching weed beds. Hanging on one rein and floating above his swimming body and hanging onto his mane, the drag of my body turned him onto his side for a moment. I was actually about to abandon ship at that point and attempt to swim to shore in my riding apparel, but I liked my saddle too much. When he righted himself from the sideways thrashing, we were heading parallel to the shore rather than directly across the lake. Ah ha! Semi success in steering. I dragged on his mane again, to turn him sideways in the water again, and made the next 90 degree turn, to head back to the original shore, our point of entry. He was near exhaustion when we got back, but he was still was sticky and reluctant to go over the shoreline water to land interface. Then we had to hack home, about 5 miles. Did I mention this was early springtime? Rather cool weather. I never took him to water again. Sold that one cheap. Not a nice horse, not an intelligent horse.


                                  • #18
                                    Swinging on old vines over a ravine. Sister's broke, she fell, was so scared she peed in her pants (didn't get hurt, though). Couldn't tell Mom, so she put them in the dryer and wore them for the rest of the day.

                                    Sneaking out in the middle of the night with horse's and jumping bareback over friends picnic tables in backyard. Same night, rode horses in the the gas station, ran them over the bell treadle and told the service guy to "fill 'er up". Nearly fell off laughing (he didn't think it was quite as funny as we did).


                                    • #19
                                      Reading these stories gives me gray hairs....

                                      As a kid, we'd lay our coats over a 4-foot barbed wire fence and JUMP it (which our horses did beautifully, thank god) so we could get access to a 3,000 acre cow pasture. The gate was locked. It was also 4-feet, but we didn't jump it because it seemed too solid. So we jumped the barbed wire many time in and out.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        NancyM, that was a scary story. You and your horse could have both died that day. Thank God you were OK. You could sell that story to Reader's Digest and make some money.