Horse Encounters of the Worst Kind

Charles T. Faulkner

© Copyright 2022 by
Charles T. Faulkner

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Horses and I are at war. Don’t blame me, I didn’t start it. They hate me and have since I was a child. As Muhammed Ali once said about the Viet Cong: I don’t have no argument with them! I have never struck or in any way mistreated a horse. Yet, apparently they would kill me if given the chance. Let me elucidate.

My mom and I used to visit her family in a small rural Iowa town each summer. My grandmother lived on the edge of town adjacent to farm and ranch land, within easy walking distance. One Sunday before church I decided to walk to a small farm that had a horse in a fenced front pasture. I had on a brand new Harris Tweed sport coat. I pulled up some grass and offered it over the fence to the horse who decided that the sleeve of my coat was more appealing. He proceeded to placidly munch his way up my sleeve. Yank as I might there was no separating the horse from my sleeve and this was pretty frightening to a ten year old boy. I do not know how long the munching lasted, it seemed like hours, with me crying and trying frantically to get away. Suddenly, the front door of the farm house banged open and the farmer yelled something which did not bother the horse at all. He then ran to us and tried to pull my sleeve loose. Failing that, he hauled off and forcefully punched the horse in the side of head. This worked! I survived although my coat sleeve did not!

Fast forward 50 years of horse avoidance. During a visit to a friend’s ranch in Montana he and his wife suggested we go on a guided horse ride. What could go wrong? The wrangler would select a nice, easygoing horse for me and we have an armistice, good to go. After signing a waiver of liability it was time to climb aboard. The horse allowed me to get in the saddle, but immediately neighed loudly and rolled to the ground on its side hoping to crush me in the process. Luckily, after many falls on bicycles, and clumsiness, I know how to fall. As the horse went down I threw myself sideways, rolled once and stood up to everyone’s goggle eyed amazement. I should have spread my arms and yelled “ Ta daaa!” Once the wrangler was able to speak he said: “Damn, that horse did that last week to a young girl!” This guy was obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer; his waiver was probably not going to do him much good had I been injured. But, I was not and I did go on the ride, but it was on Margaret the mule.

Charlie is a retired radiologist who loves to travel, hike and freshwater fish with his wife of 47 years, Margaret. He studied at the University of Virginia and at Vanderbilt University. He and Margaret are also hard core fans of Vanderbilt baseball.

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