Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Flashback

Earlier in the week I posted a bit about horses and safety. Holly from her dognhorses blog shared a story in the comments section about a scary trail ride and it reminded me of a crazy ride my sister and I had on our ponies when we were pre-teens.

We often trail rode on logging roads with our neighbor, the one who gave us lessons and taught us how to ride. To access these trails we had to ride through the neighbor's pasture, up a long driveway, cross a two-lane paved road, and then into the logged land. My childhood friend also took lessons occasionally, but did not own a horse. One weekend afternoon, the four of us went out on a trail ride. The neighbor rode her Arab/Quarter horse gelding Ringo, my friend rode the neighbor's Morgan mare Maggie, my sister rode her pony Angel, and I rode my Appy/Welsh pony gelding, Shannon.

On the way home from the trails, we were riding down the steep dirt driveway towards the pasture. Maggie and Ringo were side by side in the lead, with Shannon and Angel walking side by side a few feet behind.
We were just walking along when out of nowhere a black dog came running down the hill behind the horses. We were completely caught off guard. Shannon and Angel spooked, and literally rammed themselves right into the hindquarters of the horses in front of us. Then, somehow, the ponies just kept on going. I have no idea where the other two went, I think they were pushed off to the side. I remember Angel and Shannon running side by side down that streep grade like they were racin' down the homestretch of the Kentucky Derby, all the way until they got to the bottom of the road, where we were finally able to pull them up. The insides of my knees were scraped from riding perched up on my saddle and rubbing against the conchos. I have no idea how we stayed on those ponies, except we were kids that still had great centers of gravity.

We turned around to see Ringo and Maggie come running down the hill behind us- riderless. I think we were still shaking as we dismounted and fearfully walked our ponies back up that hill. As we rounded the slight bend, we saw one body laying near the ditch and another sitting up in the road. I think we were almost too terrified to find out if they were okay (we were only around 10 and 12 years old at the time.) Other than a bit bruised and scraped, our neighbor and friend were relatively unharmed. Ringo had fallen on top our neighbor but luckily she had landed in the ditch so his body weight was over her, not pressing down on her. My friend had lost her balance and fallen off, and unfortunately, she had not let go of the reins and was dragged along the road for several yards before letting go.

Luckily, nobody was hurt that frightful day (and nobody was wearing a helmet, to my recollection. I know my sister and I did not own helmets back then.) We did find out after the fact that our neighbor was newly pregnant with her first child at the time. The fall did not affect her pregnancy and she went on to give birth to a lovely little girl that grew up to adore horses as much as her mommy and became a great little rider.

My friend never took many more horseback riding lesson after that. My sister and I went on to continue our trail riding and crazy pony escapades- still helmet-less, I'm afraid to say.


  1. Oh you poor kiddos! Goes to show you how horse crazy little girls are! No matter what happens. I remember whe I was young, I liked my horse tall and the more spirit the better. Now I like them a little more broke. Still like them tall though. I am glad you and your sister and friends were ok. Made for a great story.

  2. Wow. How lucky that no one was hurt badly.
    Kimfer & I were riding and the neighbours dogs gave chase. (New neighbours at that time).
    The dogs came running out of nowhere and spooked both horses.
    The horses ran for home... which was across the highway.
    I am so thankful that neither horse slipped on the road or were hit by a car.

  3. I will never forget that day. It was probably one of the most scariest, especially at that age. A horse running full speed down a steep hill would scare anyone I think. And we were very lucky no one got hurt.
    Remember Beau, that huge white Thoroughbred that was boarded at our neighbors? Beau's owner took him for a trail ride one day and crossed that "road" that we always had to cross to go trail riding and somewhere Beau spooked and the owner fell off and Beau went running for home and crossed the road and was hit by a car. Not a happy ending for Beau. That was a very sad day. He was in his 20's and a very sweet horse. Our neighbor let us ride him alot and I think I have a pix of him somewhere.

  4. I love riding & used to get my riding gears through Back in the Saddle.

  5. Oh how I remember rides like that when I was a kid! We didn't even know what a helmet was back then. My poor mother used to say how scared she was when one of the horses would come back home riderless. We'd walk home with knees streaming with blood as we always rode in shorts in the summertime. Great story PG, thanks for sharing it with us!
    LOVE your header!

  6. I learned to ride when I was 6 and my dad bought me my LuckyPony. Well actually he bartered for him. I would take off in the morning and come home for supper and my parents never said a word about my safety (that I remember anyway). I can't imagine doing that with a kid that young now.

  7. Ahhhh...the!!! How were we able to stay on our horses back then? I always rode bareback and am now amazed that I was able to stay on like I did.

    We also never wore helmets while growing up, and while most of us were lucky in that aspect, Amber wasn't...she had two concussions from two separate incidents.

    Oh well, live and learn, right???
    Hope that you get some horsey time with your Boy this weekend! :)

  8. Paint Girl...I just read your comment. How awful!!!

  9. Runaways are scary stuff.

    I dare not get started on the numerous wrecks I got myself into over the years. My dad said the only reason I survived was because "God looks out for fools and idiots".
    LMAO-Some days I still wonder which one I am??

  10. Dont ya just love to look back at the old pics? I can remember doing some pretty crazy things. Had my horse slip and fall with me and sprain my ankle, my pony bucked me off and ran home, later mom said he had a cinch sore. We lived on or ponies or horses all day, we would pack a peanutbutter sandwich, which we would usually share with the pony LOL, we lived on horseback during the summer. I am surprised we lived through some of it LOL

  11. I remember one time when three friends and I, and our horses, went swimming in a river under the railroad trestle. We all rode bareback. It was great fun until a train came. Two of the horses went downstream, one ran to shore and my pony, Alfie (Palomino/Welsh/Appy! like your Shannon!)ran up the bank ahead of the train. We raced the train for a bit until I got him settled down. I was lucky he didn't run in front of it.

    I also had a Shannon at the time, but she was a dapple gray Thoroughbred.

  12. Yea, Those flashbacks are numerious!
    I dare not think of all baby sitters daughter and I with pony's! Never a helmet in them and never saddle's either...just us, getting blue stained legs from our "Blue Jeans"!My Pony she was a Chestnut and whtle(often blue)Pinto.

  13. I think we all have stories like that! I swear there are some guardian angels keeping an eye out for us, otherwise lots of us wouldn't be here today.

  14. I think those guardian angels did watch over us as kids...I swear if I tried half the things on horseback I did as a kid on my ponies, I would not be here today!

  15. Oh yuck! Glad that story has a happy ending. I hear you about the helmets. Just a couple years back we did not make our children wear helmets. What were we thinking???!!!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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