When I purchased my rope reins and slobber straps from Ken McNabb's website last winter, I also ordered two DVDs and a knife. I do not know what prompted me to order the knife. The first time I tired to actually open it I about cut my finger off. Well, there was no actual wound or blood, but it looked like I could do some damage with the thing. At some point I decided that if I was going to be around horses and spending a lot of time on trails in the woods, a knife might come in handy.
I carry the knife in my fanny pack. My fanny pack is almost always on me when I am around or on my horse. Before I started riding again, I used to think fanny packs looked silly but now I am never without it. This way I have quick access to important things, like chap stick, Kleenex, aspirin, my cell phone, my riding gloves, the knife, and my third eye- I mean, my digital camera. I have yet to pull out and use the knife. Of course, the minute I do not have it on me, I will need it.
Even when I rented a horse and rode in the California desert with my family last February, I wore my fanny pack. Do you think I might possibly be the biggest nerd ever? We also used horn and cantle bags. But there is something about having supplies on my person that just make me feel more secure. If you fall off your horse and he high-tails to the stable or the middle-of-nowhere without you, the items in your horn or cantle bags are pretty much useless.
I have been in one instance at the trail head where a knife might have come in handy. Our friend's horse was tied to his trailer and he pulled back, struggled, and nearly fell. The trainer I bought My Boy from, who was with us, shouted, "Do you have a knife?!" He did not have a knife and luckily the gelding righted himself and escaped with just a couple of scrapes.
The other story I heard from my farrier. A weanling who was getting a lesson on tying became panicked and began to pull back on the rope. That situation did not end well. In her struggle, the filly ended up breaking her leg against the wall in front of her and had to be put down. The farrier said the one thing that might have helped in the situation was if this they'd had had a knife, they could have possibly cut the filly free. I wonder how realistic it would be in a panic situation that I would be able to open my knife in time (without cutting off my finger), get close enough to a struggling horse, and actually cut the lead rope.....hmmm. More realistically, my scenario might be this: I could quickly get out my knife and hand it to the closest person, then they could use it- instead of me!
Here is another scenario. I could use the knife as self-defense. Who knows when you might run into some hoodlums on the trail. When I was a youth, we heard a story about a girl that was riding her horse alone on the trail. She passed a man who tried to pull her off of her horse. She was able to hit him with the reins and gallop her horse off. I do not know if this story was just a parental scare tactic or not, but it worked for me. If someone tried to grab me off of My Boy I probably would not have time to get out my knife. Regardless, I am prepared. I feel like a true cowgirl with my knife and I will use it if I have to. Beware hoodlums, I am not afraid to go for the eyes. Despite my sometimes irrational anxieties, I am actually quite good in a panic situation.
Update: I used my knife! I used my knife! I used it on Sunday to....
......0pen a new bag of shavings for My Boy's run-in shed. I know, I know, not quite the story you were hoping for.
Do you carry a knife when you are working or riding around horses? How often have you had to use it?
Miss Lucie Grace
1 year ago