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Very shaken up

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  • Very shaken up

    first of all this was 100% my fault for letting my guard down. I was out in pasture with the horses tonight and just hanging petting one of them. Another one spooked behind me and before I could react knocked me straight down onto my knees and kept running around me. I had broken my ankle in a fall a year ago so my immediate scare was if I had just broken something but I’m okay. Just shaking now.

  • #2
    Dear OP, I'm glad you are OK!! Previous injuries with horses make us all nervous in tense situations with horses!

    I hope this is OK, but I'm going to give you my opinion on things. Horses are horses, and humans are humans. Horses in a pasture setting will tend to treat humans like another horse. Humans might think it's OK to go hang with horses at pasture, but it's not. Anyone who watches a band of horses know they'll bite, kick, charge, etc. another horse to make their social commentary point. That's great for other 1000+lb animals, but not us humans. They don't know we're frail. Putting ourselves in their own social environment makes everything less clear to them.

    This horse spooked at something and reacted like you were a horse. He probably didn't even notice you. Sure, he ran around you. His adrenaline was racing from the spook. He's just being a horse.

    And you're just being a human knowing that you could have gotten hurt again. Yep, that's what our brains do. Survival.

    I suggest treating horses like they are horses and not pets or other humans. Don't go "hang with the herd" because humans will never be an on par member of the herd. We're physically frail in comparison. Give horses the respect of being horses. Change your mind about what you expect from them. And really change your mind so you can be safe around them while respecting that they outweigh you by about 10 fold.

    I wish you all the best!
    J.
    Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by J-Lu View Post
      Dear OP, I'm glad you are OK!! Previous injuries with horses make us all nervous in tense situations with horses!

      I hope this is OK, but I'm going to give you my opinion on things. Horses are horses, and humans are humans. Horses in a pasture setting will tend to treat humans like another horse. Humans might think it's OK to go hang with horses at pasture, but it's not. Anyone who watches a band of horses know they'll bite, kick, charge, etc. another horse to make their social commentary point. That's great for other 1000+lb animals, but not us humans. They don't know we're frail. Putting ourselves in their own social environment makes everything less clear to them.

      This horse spooked at something and reacted like you were a horse. He probably didn't even notice you. Sure, he ran around you. His adrenaline was racing from the spook. He's just being a horse.

      And you're just being a human knowing that you could have gotten hurt again. Yep, that's what our brains do. Survival.

      I suggest treating horses like they are horses and not pets or other humans. Don't go "hang with the herd" because humans will never be an on par member of the herd. We're physically frail in comparison. Give horses the respect of being horses. Change your mind about what you expect from them. And really change your mind so you can be safe around them while respecting that they outweigh you by about 10 fold.

      I wish you all the best!
      J.
      Ditto. ^

      OP, you could have been trampled and even killed there!

      We can't be careful enough around horses, especially loose horses.

      Glad that you are ok.

      Comment


      • #4
        I do go into the field with the horses loose but I always carry a long whip and I make sure they will back off and listen to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          Glad to hear you are ok! Sometimes getting a somewhat “gentle” reminder from these large flighty animals is a blessing in disguise. You are no worse for wear but now your awareness has been sharpened and you will probably be inclined to approach your herd in a way that keeps you safe.

          Even if they are all your your animals it’s not a bad idea to carry a whip. We are in their world out there and so much can go wrong for us puny, slow two-leggers.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Raincityrider View Post
            Glad to hear you are ok! Sometimes getting a somewhat “gentle” reminder from these large flighty animals is a blessing in disguise. You are no worse for wear but now your awareness has been sharpened and you will probably be inclined to approach your herd in a way that keeps you safe.

            Even if they are all your your animals it’s not a bad idea to carry a whip. We are in their world out there and so much can go wrong for us puny, slow two-leggers.
            It most certainly was a wake up call. You go months without any incidents or injuries and I quite simply got complacent. Now I know better.

            Comment


            • #7
              On early season hunting mornings I need to get the horse out of his field well before daylight. I feel like it's one of the most dangerous things I do with my horses, catching that horse in the dark.

              Glad you're ok.

              Comment


              • #8
                Countrygirl18, I feel your fear as I experienced it twice with two different horses.

                I was in a smallish turnout with a few hay bales in the middle. Went in to catch my mare and ended up getting chased around the stack of bales by another horse who was h*ll bent on catching and stomping me Scared the cr*p out of me. I made a break for the fence and got on the other side before he caught up to me. Talked to the BO and my trainer about my experience. Turns out the gelding was repeat offender who had their board terminated.

                Second time I had found a lovely, small facility to board my mare at. Nice indoor with stalls attached. Turnout. Perfect, I thought (not). The BO had a younger mare who was an orphan and had been hand/human raised. One day I went into the turnout (maybe a few acres in size) to catch my mare to ride her. Th BO's mare wouldn't let me get close to my mare at all Even with a lunge whip, couldn't get close to my mare. Ended up going home without riding as getting into an argument over an adult horse is not something I wanted to try. Ended up moving my mare again to a less perfect physical facility but a far more perfect place with respect to horse management.
                Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

                Comment


                • #9
                  Very scary, glad you are okay. Sometimes we all need that reminder. I'm a stickler for safety around horses but I to get complacent about a few things.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post
                    Countrygirl18, I feel your fear as I experienced it twice with two different horses.

                    I was in a smallish turnout with a few hay bales in the middle. Went in to catch my mare and ended up getting chased around the stack of bales by another horse who was h*ll bent on catching and stomping me Scared the cr*p out of me. I made a break for the fence and got on the other side before he caught up to me. Talked to the BO and my trainer about my experience. Turns out the gelding was repeat offender who had their board terminated.

                    Second time I had found a lovely, small facility to board my mare at. Nice indoor with stalls attached. Turnout. Perfect, I thought (not). The BO had a younger mare who was an orphan and had been hand/human raised. One day I went into the turnout (maybe a few acres in size) to catch my mare to ride her. Th BO's mare wouldn't let me get close to my mare at all Even with a lunge whip, couldn't get close to my mare. Ended up going home without riding as getting into an argument over an adult horse is not something I wanted to try. Ended up moving my mare again to a less perfect physical facility but a far more perfect place with respect to horse management.
                    Scary! Glad you were okay as well and found a better place for you and your mare.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I used to get about half a dozen ponies out of pasture for lessons. Have you ever water skied on grass? Fun times.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Honestly, it can happen to anyone, at any time. All it takes is that one second of letting your guard down. I think we've all been there (even if we don't like admitting it!).

                        One morning, we were expecting an ice storm (imminently expecting) and I was trying to blanket the old mare. I was so focused on getting that leg strap buckled that I didn't realize one of the other horses had come up behind her. I stepped around Sheba at the same moment she kicked at the other horse. I went flying about 15 feet and ended up with a broken knee. My fault, not hers; I should have been more careful.

                        Another time, I was feeding my ex-instructor's horses and putting them up for the night. Her baby, an 18-hand warmblood with zero people skills, had gotten into the paddock with another horse. I tried to separate them (stupid me; I thought I knew them well enough). Let's just say that had I not spun at the last possible second, I wouldn't be typing this now; I'd be a pancake in that paddock. As it was, he separated my shoulder for me. He also tried to run me over another time when I had to bring in the herd from the pasture. He MEANT to run me over, both times. And that was the last time I ever went near that horse.

                        Any time, anywhere, any reason. It only takes a second.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Though I have four quiet geldings in a large field whenever I go out to bring one in to be worked I am always relieved to make it back to the gate. It has happened that the other three would come charging up behind us.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I hate turning out and bringing horses in! Things can go bad so quickly. I haven't turned horses out together in the same field or paddock for years. Too dangerous for me!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The most dangerous thing you can do is walk out into a field full of horses. And many of us do it quite often. I do when I have to. My horses are all kind, and they all love me. I am their person. But, they have their own internal herd dynamics and hierarchy, and I am not with them 24/7. They have their likes and dislikes among the herd. Some pick on others, some are friends. To be safest, you need to know the herd dynamics, who is the boss horse, who is subservient to whom. If you are the "prime human" to all the horses, most of them will want to get some time with you, greet you, touch you (because this is "polite" in equine society). They will usually do this "in order" of importance in the herd. It is your job to dominate the most dominant horse in the herd, because this horse will "call the shots", and/or some of his/her officers (the equine royalty in the herd). If he or she has greeted you, then the others get their turn, in order. You must keep contact with the herd leader, and with his/her prime officers, that is just done psychologically, he/she must know that you are watching them, that your eyes are on them. This will "dominate" them, when you are present. Should that horse go to "discipline" one of the lesser horses, you discipline them instead, calling them out. That you will not allow that while you are present, because YOU are dominant, and they must behave when you are present, because you say so.

                              This is difficult to do if you do not have a relationship with EVERY horse in the herd, and "know" every horse in the herd, especially the more dominant horses. But even if your relationship is only with your own horse, and not with the others, and not with the dominant ones, you must be aware of this striation in the herd, when you enter the herd. Keep your eye on the dominant ones, they are the ones who will cause the others to bolt, or skitter, or run you over. The one that runs you over will be one of the lower ranking horses, being moved by one of the more dominant horses who is not paying attention to you, and not being effectively dominated by you.

                              If you enter a herd of horses without taking these things into consideration, you are in grave danger of injury. You are socially unaware, and they weigh over a thousand pounds each and have an attitude and opinions and social striation in the herd. Make a mistake in this situation, and accidents can happen. "Green" handlers should not have to do this... keeping control in a herd situation takes a human who is skilled and experienced in equine sociology and communication.
                              www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                You should always have something in your hand - the lunge whip, a lead line to pitch at them, a hat to smack on your leg.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I seem to be in the minority here expecting my horses to behave and respect my space even at liberty in the pasture. They can come up for cuddles if I invite but if someone wants to crowd me and 'treat me like another horse', they're gonna get corrected.

                                  At night when they come in I call them to the barn (which is attached to their pasture through the arena) and expect them to go one at a time into their stalls in an orderly fashion without rushing or crowding humans. They do it every time.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by dungrulla View Post
                                    I seem to be in the minority here expecting my horses to behave and respect my space even at liberty in the pasture. They can come up for cuddles if I invite but if someone wants to crowd me and 'treat me like another horse', they're gonna get corrected.

                                    At night when they come in I call them to the barn (which is attached to their pasture through the arena) and expect them to go one at a time into their stalls in an orderly fashion without rushing or crowding humans. They do it every time.
                                    It's not you they're crowding - at least not intentionally. They're fighting amongst each other, and in the rush to get away from the alpha who is about to kick their little behind, you just happen to be in the way. When they're in the panic mode of "definite pain incoming" they don't even look around. Especially young ones.

                                    I'd say that is one of the few times I get nervous around horses is in large groups in a pasture. Up to 3, I'm fine. 4+ is where I'm starting to get edgy. In the big pastures of 10 or more, I am so hyper vigilant. I know they can tell when you're scared but dang, if I can't help it.

                                    OP, I'm glad you're ok. I wish I could tell you what happened to you is rare, but frankly it's not. Be careful.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by dungrulla View Post
                                      I seem to be in the minority here expecting my horses to behave and respect my space even at liberty in the pasture. They can come up for cuddles if I invite but if someone wants to crowd me and 'treat me like another horse', they're gonna get corrected.

                                      At night when they come in I call them to the barn (which is attached to their pasture through the arena) and expect them to go one at a time into their stalls in an orderly fashion without rushing or crowding humans. They do it every time.
                                      You’re in the minority in the fact that you think pasture accidents happen because people don’t expect horses to behave. Things happen. They are horses.

                                      endlessclimb described it perfectly.

                                      OP I’m glad you’re okay. Bring a whip with you. You don’t need to use it or let them know you have it, but it’s better to have one in case you need it. I almost got run down by a 5 yo Clydesdale. Young horses indeed.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post

                                        You’re in the minority in the fact that you think pasture accidents happen because people don’t expect horses to behave. Things happen. They are horses.

                                        endlessclimb described it perfectly.
                                        Yes, you are correct. Accidents also happen because horse saw a plastic bag, because a bee existed, and sometimes just because rider lost their balance. But if you can't be in a field with your horses without a whip in your hand, you may have some issues. Even if they're trying to get away from the 'alpha', I expect I am the lead authority if I'm in there and that my horses will behave themselves around me. A horse that is trying to get away is not behaving, and neither is the horse doing the pushing.

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