Monday, February 08, 2010

True Story Tuesday - Cowgirl Up

Oh yeah… it’s that time again!  Got blogger’s block?  No prob.  Need a pick-me-up for the rest of the week?  You’re in the right place.  After all, everyone has a True Story Tuesday in their family legends - and most of us already have them on our blogs!  Want to play along?  Just grab the code under the TST button on the right sidebar, throw it in your post, then come back and link your amazing, hilarious, miraculous, outrageous, and (mostly) true story!

We’ll be by to spread the comment love!

~

COWGIRL UP!

This week’s story is a bit of a departure from our usual poke-fun-at-ourselves style.  In good part because every time I relive this story, I realize how lucky I am to be sitting here writing it.

If you’re one of the few Facebook fans that get my twice yearly status updates, you may have seen this recently:

ouch

That might explain why I haven’t caught up much with bloggyland this weekend.

Yes, it’s true.  I finally took my maiden voyage with an “emergency dismount”.  (Don’t you love how they say that?  Like it was intended and stuff?)

Now I’m no advanced rider, but I usually manage to keep my butt where it belongs.

kona

What?  My butt IS where it belongs.  Technically.

Let’s just say that it’s been awhile since good riding weather, so when the front pasture looked dry, and my mom suggested a ride -  I jumped at the chance.

(Oh just wait… that last sentence totally comes back to bite me).

We tack her up in her treeless saddle – the most comfortable ride for girls and horse.  My mom remarks again that we need to punch another hole into the girth to be able to cinch it up tighter.

Yeah, yeah.  I need to get a hole punch.

It’s a wee bit loose, but we’re not doing anything crazy today.  Besides, I have a velcro butt, remember?

Mom suggests pulling out some trot poles to catch Kona’s interest.   And man does that ever work!  Kona watches as a couple of fence posts are laid on the grass in parallel – creating a mini obstacle course for her to trot over.  While she thinks it’s a game, we know it’s one of those “sneaky mom” things to do to pay more attention to where her feet are going.

This isn’t Kona – but looks like what a horse should be doing over the trot poles:

trotpoles

My mom is on the  phone with her sister as I trot Kona through the poles a few times.  One the last run, I lean forward in a two-point position and expect her to trot over them again.

Instead, she breaks into a canter and launches over the poles.

Just imagine something like this.  Except with Kona.  And me on her back.  With a very surprised expression.

trotpolejump2

My mom starts whooping and hollering and tells me to run her again.

So I do what any obedient child does… I cheerfully oblige.

Kona starts to head over them again.

And yep…

That darn saddle does need to be tighter.

~

As soon as we’re over the poles, the saddle shifts.  The saddle pad slides back and into the “bucking strap” zone.  And my dear sweet arab suddenly becomes terrified.

She takes off faster than I’ve ever ridden and is galloping headlong toward the corner of the pasture.

I yell WHOA!!! in vain as I pull back hard on the reins.

The reins that are connected to the brand new bosal that she got for Christmas.  The one that she’s never ridden in before.  The one that might not fit well enough to exert the pressure needed to slow down the panicked freight train.

And that panicked freight train is heading straight for the horse trailer with little room to stop.

I see this in the space of a second – at the same time that I feel her back hoof clip my foot and suddenly realize that the saddle has slid all the way to the side and I am literally riding sideways with one leg on her back and another under her belly.

With both feet stuck in the stirrups.

Those of you who ride can appreciate the awful feeling of knowing that you can’t disentangle yourself from the beast who is fleeing what is stuck on her.

Kona continues to gallop madly toward the trailer – in a path that will put her just past it – but her sideways rider right into it.  I am trying mightily to pull myself up onto her back, but I have nothing to pull with – save the reins.

Those reins are pulling her head straight back as she continues at a dead run.  Dirt flies up around us as her feet tear up the ground.  Her hoof clips my foot again – a second bruise.  I can see her eyes wide in fear, but the new location of the girth overrides any calm I can talk her into.

~

As she thunders on, the trailer is only another second away.  In half that time, I decide to take my chances under her, somehow fearing that I might not survive a headlong crash into the trailer at that speed.

I force my hands to release the reins and feel my sideways body suddenly give way to gravity.

The slow motion suddenly speeds up and my leg slides off her back – still stuck in the stirrup.

In an instant, it is over.

My hip and rear end hit the dirt hard, jarring my chest and head.  I am stunned for a few seconds and I watch in disbelief as Kona takes a few more strides and crashes through a fence.

My mother is at my side and I gingerly try to sit up.  Realizing that I can move, I beg her to catch Kona before she crashes through another fence onto the road.

Kona has stopped and stares at both of us from the other side of the fence.  She snorts and looks sidelong in obvious confusion.  She has crashed into the neighbor’s goat pen.

~

In taking stock of the aftermath, we realized what a precise set of details had to have occurred for this result.

The bosal that I wasn’t so crazy about… if I’d been riding in a bit, my butter-mouthed mare would have probably flipped over on top of me in pain if I’d pulled with my weight to try to climb up her back.

There are two stirrup fenders laying scattered in the grass… somehow ripped clean from a brand new saddle.  I had never heard of this happening and am stunned beyond belief to realize that this most likely saved me from being dragged underneath my horse to serious injury.

If only one of the stirrup fenders had broken, I would have likely been dragged behind her – through her back hoofs and through the busted fence.

And if she had truly been just an arab having an excuse for a freakout, she would have bucked to get me off her to begin with.

And somehow… crashing through that fence left her with no injuries – save to her pride.  How embarrassing to have an audience of goats.

I limped away with bruises on my butt and gratefulness in my heart.  God is in the little things.

IMG_6044 

~

Got a miraculous story?  Something amazing or outrageous?  A bit of hilarity to break up the workweek?  Join up and we’d love to stop by!

 

54 comments:

HeatherOz said...

Unbelievable! So glad you weren't too hurt. Isn't it amazing how things work out! I am in shock at this story! I hope I can get to sleep! tee hee!

Kimberly@PrettyPinkMomma said...

Aaaaagggghhhh! I am terrified of horseback riding! This story just seals the deal! I am glad that you made it out of that situation alive - clearly you are one that stays calm under pressure!

renee said...

SOOOOOOO thankful you're ok!!! must have been terrifying!!!!!!
ps. why are we not facebook friends?!?! ;)

Emily said...

Yikes. I'm so glad you weren't seriously hurt. Did the goats laugh at Kona?

Pam said...

I have riden before and I loved it but that was many years ago and a lot of weight ago!! Glad you are okay.

Kmama said...

Wow. I'm so glad you and Kona were both okay. That could have ended much worse.

It's been YEARS since I've ridden. I was impressed I knew what you were talking about. LOL

Kameron said...

Wow, you could have been seriously hurt. I'm glad you're ok.

Just Stacy said...

Holy crap! That had my face almost pressed against the screen to keep reading without interruption ... the exact reason I don't own a horse. Well, ok, I don't own a horse because I'm a city girl.. but you understand what I'm sayin. So glad you are ok.

Life with Kaishon said...

Oh my gosh! I am so glad you are safe! What a pretty horse!

Stacy said...

Wow! So glad you are alright after all that - so scary!

Ah springtime! When you have to watch even the sanest of horses. If they are going to buck you off...it will be in the spring. This story reminds me of a time when I was talking to a guy that owned horses, but didn't have a clue about them. He said his horse was bad and bucked. I asked him about his saddle. He had a western style and had the back cinch not attached to the front cinch. Yeah. Bucking strap!

Queen of Quite A Lot said...

Girl ~ you are going to have to change this blog to Life Full of Miracles! I've only ever ridden a horse once and was so scared that I never tried it again. It looks fun and something that I would enjoy but I think you may have just nailed that door shut for me. So glad you're OK!

shmode said...

Oh man Rachel, you said it right, God works everywhere, but that my friend was no little thing! Queen is right, your life isn't just one miracle, it's many!

Shana said...

Oh Rachel I am so glad you and Kona are ok. I do know how all f that worked together from God because there are so many things that happened there to save you when in reality the shouldn't have happened.

Michelle Pixie said...

Glad you are okay! How scary! Today I am feeling your pain. ;)

He & Me + 3 said...

Wow girl scary stuff. I have goose bumps. Thank you for sharing this, because it was not by chance but by the Grace of God that you are OK and unharmed minus a bruise or two.
Hugs and so glad you are OK!
Mimi

GunDiva said...

Love the picture of the jeans! I've already told you how happy I am that you made it through ok, but I'll say it again.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

THREE WORDS:

One Rein Stop!


Yikes. It could have been so much worse.

So glad you weren't injured, or Kona.

~Lisa

Trish said...

Oh my geez...that story had me in suspense...things can get out of control fast with horses!

You and your stories!! I cant believe, but am very greatful, you are around to tell these to all of us!

Oh man...my heart was racing for you! Its finally slowing down....

Foursons said...

I saw your headline on FB and figured I'd be reading about it here. So glad you are OK. I was a bundle of nerves just reading it, so I can't imagine living through it. So much for a relaxing weekend, huh? I hope you are healing OK and that Mr. Daddy is being extra nice to you!

Rachel said...

Just for the record: Mr. Daddy has been laughing his butt off about the whole thing and mocking my treeless saddle.

I say no mocking allowed unless you actually stick your butt in a saddle on occasion.

Lisa said...

So glad you and Kona are both okay. Sorry she was embarrassed in front of the goats like that! Hate when that happens! shew, girl, things just keep happening to you, don't they? I think I need to bump you up on my prayer list! LOL

Lisa said...

By the way, when I read the story to my mom, she said to ask you if you were ready for the rodeo the next time it comes to your town? Yeah, I didn't think so! LOL (Not that you couldn't handle it, but I don't want ANY MORE flipping and flopping going on!)

City girl turned Country Girl said...

Oh my gosh Rachel!! I am SO glad God was with you that day!! Wow it is amazing that DD's story gave you chills and yours gives me chills!! I know that fear you had and it is horrifying!!

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

Wow! That's quite a story! Glad you're OK! I'm a big fan of horse back riding, but I confess I'm not very good at it. When I get to the stable, they always give me the old, tired horse that farts a lot!! I'm actually just fine with that (sans the farting thing!).

I'm a new follower, thanks for this post. Your blog is lovely!

chili pepper said...

I started reading this yesterday and got interrupted... I am so glad I got to finish it. It seems wrong to laugh at your fear and sore tush but from someone who has never had a good experience with a horse... I am so laughing. Glad you made it away in one piece, sore as you might be!

I need to tell you how much I enjoy this little carnival... I try all week to read everyone's stories... time never allows me to get through them all... but I am guaranteed a good chuckle with the ones I do read. Clever idea, ya had there, cowgirl.

Happy Wednesday!

Kat

Killlashandra said...

I'm glad you're ok. I'm at a loss of what to comment about here. Let me just say I'm glad you are ok again. I actually went riding with my husband Monday afternoon and he convinced me to race down the sand bars on the river with him. I thought I might lose it a couple times but it was just too much fun and with sheer determination stayed in the saddle. I won. ;) Helped I was riding the faster horse though.

Although I have a picture of my husband sitting on our prone horse Samson which I'll post on Friday. We went to catch horses and they were all literally laying around. LOL

Mr. and Mrs. Nurse Boy said...

AMAZING!!! Thanks for sharing! I am so glad you are OK!

Mrs. NB

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

I'm so glad you're okay, girl! I haven't had a riding accident in years, but I felt the fear you were experiencing, as I read it!

K said...

I am saying a big thank you to the one above
SOOOOOO glad you are okay

brian said...

Pretty much why I gave up riding. I didn't have half your experience or skills, and I got tired of hitting the deck.

Glad you're ok though!

wife.mom.nurse said...

oh my gosh Rach! Scared me half to death. I am so glad you are okay. God is great.


What an incredible story! SCARY!!!

BK said...

It's when all the little things add up just right you know God is there... Glad you're doing ok! I fell off my horse Sunday afternoon, I was loping bareback for the first time ever and whoaed him and instead of going to his nice jog he slowed to his really super bouncy trot... I just bounced right off and was laying there on the ground laughing at myself, holding the reins and hoping my boyfriend had NOT just seen that LOL!!

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