It’s important to remember that horses are large animals with a mind of their own. (and not necessarily the largest of brains) –
so are horses dangerous?
Well, yes, they can be.
Some horses are a danger because they are mean or wild/unbroke but overall I find the danger around horses is situational.
And sometimes it’s pretty ugly.
Exhibit A – my legs after the bees nest fiasco a couple of weeks ago
Granted, my legs aren’t the lookers they used to be anyway, but wowzers – that’s a lot of bruising!
The situation we found ourselves in made things dangerous. Horse + bees nest + stinging = danger!
Even when things are going well, horses require your constant attention, they can react swiftly. And if you are not paying attention, are not prepared, or just plain don’t know what you are doing – you can find things go from good to bad to worse pretty quickly and beacuse of their large size and the situation, injuries CAN be pretty severe. If you understand horses and can think like a horse, it lessens the degree of danger.
The situational issues though are still going to be there.
What are situational issues?
Well, two weeks ago a rider was medevaced out of the nearby state park when she was came off her horse and injured her hip and wrist pretty severely. (same situation as I found myself in, apparently they got caught up in bees, I was really blessed to have a soft landing). [SCARY! right?]
If you are out on hunt or working jumps in a ring, a slight deviation can cause a fall which, when you consider the height of the jump in addition to the height of the horses back – that can be a BIG fall and a rough landing – and it can have serious outcomes. (Think Christopher Reeve).
We place ourselves in situations when working with horses that are inherently dangerous even apart from the horse itself.
Our current situation
Casey in and of herself is a bit dangerous to be around at the moment.
My dear Casey has swift changes in mood depending on where the rest of the herd is at a given moment. Last weekend she was a dear on Saturday – calm, relaxed, practically slept through grooming. Sunday was much the same for the first part of grooming and then she started getting a little twitchy, moving around a bit…and I finally realized that the rest of the herd had moved around the barn as they grazed and she could no longer see them.
She goes from ‘all is well in my world, wow that brush feels great…so nice to stand here and soak up the sun and eat treats‘
‘oh..hmmmm, uhhh, hey guys…..ummm, wait, where is everyone going, why are you going, please don’t be going….I’m stuck here (tied)….wait….there they go…they’ve disappeared….CRAP, I AM GOING TO DIE, LET ME LOOOOOOSE!!!‘.
It’s not great fun for her, she’s experiencing a lot of anxiety. And let me tell you – it’s not fun for me either. She either forgets I’m there and practically walks over me/pushes me over or gets pointedly aggressive (although minimally so) towards me.
I keep thinking – this is supposed to be FUN. I’m not having fun! When will this be fun???
I have to keep reminding myself that things will look different in a year. And that she came from an unknown situation but not a good one, and that I’ve moved her three times (well, 4 times technically) since May. That’s a lot of moving and readjusting.
I fully believe that by this time next year she’ll be settled in, she’ll have built up trust in me and more confidence in herself and her surroundings and how things work. And she will come to realize that the herd will still be there – EVERY TIME I ask her to leave she gets to go back.
I caught a photo of her while she was in a relaxed mood the other day. I want to document her progression as she becomes a healthier happier horse. This is a completely unedited photo – and pretty accurate for where she is right now – she is filling in more but still needs some weight and to build muscle.
The nasty rash is gone, she’s finally getting beat up on less so her cuts and scrapes are healing, and she has hair growth on most of them. Overall she’s doing well. One of my main issues right now is simply time. I knew it would be rough with school starting back up for my son but I am not even getting in the minimal regular time I had hoped. And Casey could really benefit from handling on a regular basis so it’s time for me to figure out our new schedule and get to work. 🙂
For fun, if you are familiar with Hyperbole and a Half (GREAT writing) – someone sent me this ….
Casey has her challenges but overall she’s not a wild bronco. Her particular challenges right now do increase the level of danger. I have to be very careful because she can ‘explode’ as she gets wound up. She has reared and bucked and struck out more than once due to her anxiety.
So yea, she just has some ‘issues’. 🙂
But don’t we all?
Yes, “horses are dangerous” to some degree but being around them doesn’t have to be. We’re working on it.