It's funny how, just yesterday, I was having an engrossing discussion with Christine at the barn about the dangers of being around horses, and we laughed at people who were scared of them and proudly declared, "You just have to be alert and know how to act around them!"
Fact is, you could study horses for a lifetime and still discover new things about them every day.
Pride comes before a fall, and perhaps we really shouldn't have made snide remarks about people who are afraid of horses yesterday, because I think I jinxed myself then - which led to this incident.
I'm working at the barn today, and I was taking Shrimpy back out to the paddock after his lesson. The galloways were all having a fine time chomping down on some bread we had given them as a treat, and I led Shrimpy through the gates as usual, keeping one eye carefully on all the other horses - because with food around, horses go a little haywire and I don't really want to risk my neck for a bit of bread.
Anyways, making sure the coast was clear, I turned Shrimpy round to take off his halter. As I reached up for the buckle - WHAM - he was flung sideways, all 1200 pounds of him. I was pushed back, but I jumped aside just in time
, and the next thing I know, he was almost on top of me. Bana had appeared from out of nowhere, ears back, teeth bared, all his powerful hindquarters hunched up to aim a massive two-barrel kick at Shrimpy.
Shrimpy and I were pulled up backwards and he was right in front of me - literally, inches from my face - and he reared up in fright - for one short moment which felt like an eternity, I seriously thought his front hooves would come crashing right down on me, possibly breaking all my ribs and through my skull. But thankfully Shrimpy loves me, and in that heart-stopping moment I saw him look right into
me with his panic-stricken eyes; through the chaos he jolted back, missing me by inches. I felt the dirt hit my face, and was slammed back into the fence, the impact knocking all the wind out of me, and the first thing I thought of was Shrimpy's safety, and thank heavens I had enough sense to let go of his rope.
That wasn't it though, the very next second Bana started kicking madly - and this was no normal little pony-tantrum kicks - this was a seriously angry horse crazy 1200 pound kick with pure intent to deal severe damage. He kicked out at Shrimpy multiple times, and it didn't help that Shrimpy was right in front of my face, trying to hit back. Bana's lethal flying hooves missed me by literally centimetres, I was slammed into the fence, I couldn't move back anymore and there were his hooves passing just inches in front of my nose - then one devastating blow scraped my wrist by just a fraction
, just grazing the skin off my wrist, and it started bleeding, and all I could hear was frenzied whinnies, flying hooves and dirt, and my voice in my brain yelling to myself, "F*ck, dammit, get out of the way, get out of the way! Get out of the way!"
Shrimpy wheeled around and all the other horses came running up. Bana was still kicking out, trying to hit him - and ended up giving the strong, iron gate a few powerful kicks - get this, he actually bent that sturdy, iron gate out of shape and almost pulled the locked post out of the ground.
Suddenly I found myself in a whirl of horses, and with a horrid feeling in my stomach, saw that Shrimpy still had his halter and lead rope attached, with Bana chasing after him, that brute of a horse. I swore a little, maybe, Bana you fool horse, and tried to calm him down. Shrimpy stepped on his rope a few times, trying to get away from Bana, everytime he did I had a little heart attack. Finally I got close enough to desperately pull the halter off him, before Bana decided to launch another assasination attempt.
It wasn't until I got myself safely out of the paddock and stopped to catch my breath did I realize just how crazily dangerous that was. I barely felt the pain in my wrist, and only as I clamped down on it to stop the bleeding did I thank God that it just grazed me, or else I would definitely
have a broken wrist and quite possibly a concussion. If Bana's hooves had been just a few inches off target, I would have been in grave life-threathening danger.
Although I didn't see my life flash in front of my eyes, or a blinding white tunnel, or anything like that. I did have a blank moment though, when Shrimpy's front hooves threathened to crush my skull and our eyes met. It was almost like everything just stopped for moment, like in the movies where they just freeze-frame everything, even the beating of my heart.
Wow. What a moment.
I still haven't learnt my lesson though, because far from being scared, after I had caught my breath, I returned to the same paddock with Dart, who kicked out lazily at Pride as I pulled off his halter, and started laughing at the excitement of it all.
Oh, I love my job. ♥
Labels: danger, horses, work