Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Quiet Day for a Ride (Excerpt from the Book "Trail Adventures and Advice"

Recently, I was riding my sister’s horse, Ranger, and my boyfriend, Kevin, was riding my horse, Cruiser, in the park. It was a sunny morning, and it had not rained in a couple days. We were both unfamiliar with riding our mounts—neither of us was on our own horse—but just the same; we had a very successful ride.

Suddenly, there was a “crack” and the horses froze. Then there was a “crack, crack.” The horses spun and started to run. We were able to stop them before we got very far by spinning them to face the noise. They were very nervous and jumpy. Kevin suggested dismounting because it sounded like a tree cracking. We didn’t know if it would continue to crack or even fall. The biggest risk for falling trees is a day or two after a severe storm. The storm will weaken the trees, but they will not fall for a right away.

I agreed with Kevin, because I didn’t feel like falling off a spooking horse. I warned him to really hold tight to the reins. A scared horse can jerk free fairly easy if the rider isn’t prepared for it. That is the biggest risk with leading your horse through a difficult situation and should always be taken in consideration before you decide to dismount. We started to lead them down the trail. It was just seconds later that we started hearing the cracks again. We stopped and watched in disbelief as a large tree fell across the trail about fifty feet ahead. We would have been very close to the spot if we had not heard the warning cracks. Our horses jumped, but did not panic badly.

Surprisingly, this was the third time in three years that these two horses witnessed a tree falling close by. It just proves that continued exposure to a crisis situation will desensitize horses to the fear. I think we’ve had enough of this exposure. If this keeps up—trees falling wherever we go—no one will want to ride with us. What it really proves to me is that someone is watching over us, keeping us safe. For in all threes instances, no one was harmed, and all we ended up with was a racing heart and a good story.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

Good grief! That must have been terrifying! I'm glad everyone was okay and that you'd started walking away before it fell. Sheesh!