Well, once again, I have proven that horses can be dangerous animals. Today, I managed to spook my mustang Barney and he ran over me. The good part is that he managed to avoid stepping on me.
Most horses won’t want to intentionally harm their human. That is true for Mr. Barney too. I think he had to do some fancy moving to avoid putting a foot on me as he fled the scary thing.
So, what happened to spook ,my horse so that he shied into me? Well, in short, I happened.
After lunging Barney a bit, in preparation to ride, I stopped him to tighten the front cinch. I noticed that the cinch was off center so, adjustment was needed! Everything went well as I unbuckled the breast collar, rear cinch, and front cinch. Even while I adjusted the latigo to re-center the cinch, Barney was a very good boy and stood perfectly still!
The screw-up, on my part, came when I noticed how far back the saddle had slipped. I got it in my head that I needed to just adjust it forward. My plan was to slide the saddle fairly far forward then slide it backward to the right place so Barney’s fur was laying properly so as not to bother him.
What happened was that, as I tried to do the adjustment, I lost my grip on the saddle! Of course the saddle slid off of Barney to the far side…the side away from where was standing! Well, the saddle sliding off, and hitting the ground, spooked Mr. Barney. Of course, he wanted to get away from the scary thing, skittering into me, knocking me down.
All I could do was cover my head, curl into a ball, and hope that Barney managed to not step on me. That is what I did, and Barney did a great job avoiding me, as he jumped over me then ran off to the side of the round pen.
I know someone out there is going to say, “He should have been tied!”
I disagree! If Barney had been tied, it is almost guaranteed that he would have stomped on me since his range of motion would have been severely restricted!
No, where I screwed up was in not just taking the saddle all the way off! That would have eliminated the saddle falling issue, and there would have been no spook! Then, I could have simply put everything back where it was supposed to be, and that would have been the end of it.
Now, if I had been faster thinking, and faster on my feet, maybe I could have moved in front of Barney and avoided his shoulder slamming into me…maybe.
The good thing that came out of this is that I learned a lesson. Don’t shortcut things! Do it right! Another lesson learned, even the calmest horse can suddenly spook! Try to be aware and ready!
The video below is only about 4 minutes long. Barney’s spook comes at about the 3 minute 20 second mark.
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