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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Live for the Moment

I've spent a few days thinking. Trying to come up with the right words for this post. There is a lot of pent up emotion churning inside me.
I still don't think I've got them, its all still a bit jumbled, but I need to get this out of my head so please bear with me...

Planner. Procrastinator. Both words fit me, in a weird contradictory sort of way. I make plans, I make lists. But I put things off to the last minute, or beyond.
(let us not even go into the "how's the packing for the big move going?" lol)
Seems there's always some sort of excuse. Even with all that I try to be there for life as it happens. To live for the moment. To appreciate what I have while I have it. To enjoy what I'm doing while I do it. To be thankful for those in my life while we're together. But I know I can do better at that... and I need to make it a priority.

Horses can be a dangerous hobby/career. (hang on this does tie together) We can try to make things as safe as we can but "stuff" can still happen.
I spend a good chunk of my time disagreeing with my in-laws about this. They really don't think being involved with horses is a good thing. They'd love it if we sold all the horses. They just think about the dangers.
My usual reply is that I could just as likely trip on the stairs and break my neck as get hurt with my horses. That I HAVE been hurt, and worse, in car accidents than in any of my horse accidents. Does that mean I should never get in a car again? Ah-ha but I could get hit crossing the street if I was a pedestrian!

The truth is I have never pictured my life without horses in it in some way. And I am thankful for horses... but the risk involved is there and not to be ignored.

Sunday morning a friend/acquaintance of mine lost her mother in a wreck. Long story short she was driving a team, one horse spooked, equipment broke, the team bolted and Mrs. K fell out of the wagon and broke her neck.
A freak accident and a mother lost her mother on Mother's Day.

Then I found out that the day before, Saturday, a lady I barrel race with had a freak accident roping. She had just dallied on and her horse took a bad step and flipped. She was thrown clear but the momentum of the steer pulled hard enough on the rope that her horse got pulled over and onto her as it was tumbling. He crushed her into the ground resulting in broken bones and head injuries. She was taken to the hospital and admitted as a trauma. Up until Tuesday every time she stood up she'd get dizzy and/or pass out. (that could still be happening I haven't gotten any news past Tuesday evening)
It was another freak accident, she was on her good ole broke horse, not one of her colts. And she's lucky. If it had not been for where she landed she would have been hurt a LOT worse. The ground was freshly worked and fairly deep so it cushioned her as Dez rolled onto her, in fact there was a hollow in the ground shaped like her when the ambulance took her away.

We all hear of stories like these. Or have experienced them or bore witness to them ourselves. Does that mean we stop being horsepeople?
Well for some of us that answer is yes. For others it means we consider it. I for one have been haunted by these two stories the last few days.
Yesterday I went for a nice ride on Applejack and felt the sun beaming down on me, the breeze caressing my cheek and the ever so sweet smell of a sun warmed horse. And for me the answer is no. At this time I still cannot see myself without horses. I plan on trying to appreciate ALL I can squeeze out of every day and enjoy life and my friends and family while I can.

Don't wait to tell your loved ones you love them (I'm so glad for C's sake that she had already called her mom and told her "Happy Mother's day mom I love you" before the accident)

Don't put off vacations/trips/whatever it is you want...

Sadly tomorrow doesn't always come.

My thoughts and prayers are with both my friends and their families that I mentioned above as they struggle through this time of grief and healing.


  1. I agree entirely with your sentiments on the subject, and my heart goes out to your friends.

    last year, while engaged in an event organised by the British Horse Society, (BHS) I was on the obstacle course, which is out of sight of main arenas. There are judges there. However this obstacle, a gate, is not judged as it is considered to be a basic requirement on any ride. To get to the finish line, any rider has to negotiate this gate.
    It must be attempted from horseback. There is the rub! I was with another competitor as a team. I went first and went through the gate, however, my riding partner, an novice, failed to close the gate properly. I then went back to it and began to close it from the saddle. Easy enough!

    Not quite! The bolt on the gate was a spring loaded one, it was locked, with the spring held back, so it didnt catch anything. But unfortunately, it sprung itself! Right into the cinch, causing the horse, a real good one, who doesnt get upset! She stepped away from the gate as the bolt hit her. As she did so, the cinch got caught, then she pulled away hard, and reared! near to us on the side, was a ditch. She reared back into the ditch and I felt her go back, she came down on top of me! However she was across the ditch, which prevented me from being crushed.
    I managed to wriggle free, while my female partner was stunned at the speed of this accident. My horse righted herself and stood as though nothing had happened!

    I was uninjured, and thankfully able to continue riding on. To sum up, I still ride, and do lots of open country work, away from assistance. I often think about the risk, but weigh it against what I do.
    I was lucky, in 2005 my back was broken in two places, resulting in 6 months on a flat bed! But! That was a car accident, caused by another.
    I always get off now to open any gate. I hope you dont give up horses or riding, it would be a loss.

  2. Risk is there, all around us in life, including life with horses. All you can do is try to be as safe as you can - always wearing a helmet is a good place to start - while still enjoying what you do - with horses as in the rest of life. I've heading towards 60 years old, and I take fewer risks now than I used to, but accidents can always happen.

  3. Our thoughts and prayers are with you CDN, and the families of your friends.

    Ride. Ride for the ones who have gone on before. Ride WITH them, as they ride on the other side, on horses who have also gone on, and wait for us.

    In *my* little corner of the world, to ride has always been the way to know I am, in fact, alive.

    So drive it like ya stole it, and Ride it like you own it.

  4. You've had a tough time lately...but how could you not be who you are? Accidents are just that...accidents. We try to be as careful as possible and make the right decisions. What will happen, will happen. I'm sure you couldn't be happy without a horse...I know I couldn''s in your soul...

    Blessings to you and your friends in need~

  5. WHat terrible tradgedies! But I agree it could and does happen in every walk of life not just horse people . You can choose to live your life watching , or living . for know I choose living , with all the risks and bumps involved

  6. I know JUST the feeling and thoughts you are talking about. And I also know what it is like to feel like I'm the only one who "gets it"....and no guys I'm not refering the commenters above. SAFETY is my #1 concern when I'm around horses because I am honest to god scared of them... a respectful scared not timid scared. When I think of some of the wrecks I've seen my stomach bunches up in knots...not because of what happened but because I know it WILL happen again in the future. Horses are SOOOOO dangerous. They can kill you in a split second. But so is driving to the barn. I'm still making the choice to ride but I'm always weighing the risk to reward ratio.

    A few weeks ago a friend asked me for some help with her horse. I went out and worked with the horse on the ground but refused to get on him. In my opinion he wasnt safe, and what's more is that I dont think he'll ever be the kind of horse I'd trust to ride. He's too much of a dingbat. I tried to write a long e-mail to my friend to explain how while I think he's a sweetheart, I am worried about her riding him and that there is more life to be had outside of the saddle and it's just not worth it... but I didnt send that e-mail because I knew it would fall on deaf ears. She LOVES her horse and wants to ride off in to the sunset with him.

    My old shop teacher in highschool told me I'm a accident waiting to happen after I put my finger through the band saw... and so he took to calling me "Hazard". Riding horses is hazard, IMHO and should be treat as such. ESPECIALLY BY PARENTS!!! I take the risk and continue to ride but I'm going to do my damnest to be as safe as I can be.

    Hope this rambling comment makes sense:) I just wanted to say how much I agree with what you are saying and the sentiments behind it.

  7. I agree that we should love and love each day as if it were our last. We don't know the number of our days, or anyone else's.
    Fear is always an issue- not just with horses, but in many aspects of life. I'm fearful of flying, I can't imagine a worse death than being thousands of feet above the earth, falling, and knowing you are about to die a painful death. However, I still fly if I have to. God gives us fear to counter balance foolhardiness; it keeps us in check. I would never give up riding, until I can no longer do it physically. The risk of being hurt is always there, so I try to always be safe. Sometimes I do stupid things and get hurt. But I try to learn from it, and be safer next time.
    My condolences to your friends in their loss and pain, and a big hug to you.

  8. Funny, My dh is a firefighter and I'm more nervous when he's riding then when he's at work. (riding his 25 year old "broke to death" gelding, go figure) Truth be told I would rather go doing something I love then suffer with cancer. Although it might piss me off that I couldn't get back on that horse and set him straight :-)

  9. Your blog post was the second one I have read in the past 15 minutes regarding horses and "wrecks" with them. It is scarey to think about all that can happen to us out there riding or just being around horses. Just how often do we think about the dangers? I think subconciously we do whenever we are with horses. We know it can happen but don't dwell on it. We try to keep in mind all of the right things to do around horses to keeep us safe. I know from experience how letting the fear overtake you can happen. I have had to start back at square one and it has been a long road to being able to ride again. The fear is still there but I have worked on managing it. I almost lost one of the things I love most in life....riding my horses.
    As I mentioned, this was the second blog I had read in just a few minutes that addressed this topic, and in much the same way. I had planned on heading out to get on a horse that I don't normally ride to go check cows. I'm thinking now horseback is not on today's agenda. Will take the truck to be on the safe side. Just feels like someone was trying to tell me something!

  10. I'm so sorry for your friends and their losses and injuries. It's never easy, epecially for those left behind.

    You know....after this past year of healing after being injured by my horse twice, selling that horse, and thinking I was done with horses, and then buying another one......I've come to inclusion that riding and owning horses is like giving birth and having babies.
    Yes, it hurts sometimes, but then you heal and you go on to have more babies.

    For those of us with children, it is just natural and we can't imagine not having our children. Even as they grow, get hurt themselves, and break our hearts as they get into trouble or have their own hearts broken.....we do it because there is joy, peace, satisfaction, and happiness.

    God gives us the ability and strength to move past the pain so we can have that same joy, peace, satisfaction and happiness...and love again.

    It's the same way with horses, I think.


  11. Hearing of the accidents should cause one to ponder. If it doesn't, there's probably something wrong with you. Recklessness is not good being around horses and not to ponder the possibilities would indeed be reckless.

    For me, there would be no life without horses. They keep me sane. They give me cause to get up in the morning. They bring me joys I never imagined before I had them. I can't imagine a day without them in my life.

    Even at that I can't imagine what it would be like to loose someone I love because of a horse. Healing thoughts, prayers and wishes for your friends.

  12. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your friends mom and the injuries to your other friend. Sending many good thoughts their way.
    I totally understand and know how you feel. I have witnessed many horse accidents that have scared me to death. I have been in horse accidents that have scared me to death and with my job it scares me even more because I handle so many horses everyday. But I am also very safety conscious and do my darned best to be safe and if something happens, so be it. I love what I do and I love horses and couldn't imagine a life without them.
    I am glad you made the decision to keep horses in your life. It is so difficult to see people you care about get hurt or lose their life. I am so sorry!!

  13. I think Lisa said it best. And honestly, her words helped me. I had to deal with Maddie freaking out in a big way on Mother's Day. It scared Casey bad. So bad he kicked at her whenever she came close until today. Then again, it's easy to break his trust and hard to regain it.

    I pondered being done with horses. Maddie was in our little barn and had I been in with her or next to Casey in the pasture, I would have been hurt, seriously hurt. So, I called our wonderful Mrs. Mom and talked through it. I took time to calm down and called her again and talked through it some more.

    The end result is that my trust wasn't broken by Casey, even though it was scary when he panicked and scarier when hooves started flying. And if anything, it somehow brought my boy back to me (he's been standoffish since coming home in Feb).

    I'm ok with Casey. He's my light, my heart. And he's ok with me again as of today. I'm not ok with Maddie and she's going away in the next 2 weeks.

    I do think about getting hurt by horses often. Sometimes it gets the better of me and I'm timid. Most of the time I'm fine. Just not with Maddie. Never again with Maddie.

  14. #1 its gonna be ok. really. Once in a while we all need to hear that. no matter what the circumstance. So its gonna be ok :)

    #2 you will make the right decision, no matter what the decision is, no matter what it is regarding. you will :) and it will be ok.

    #3 Im pretty sure if all of our loved ones who are gone could talk to us right now, they would tell us to love and appreciate what we have or planning to have, and not to spend so much time on the worrying/fretting on what we dont have or what could happen to what we have.

    AND lastly...

    #4 statistics say 100% of us will die at some point in our lives. We cant avoid it. Some of us will die doing what we love. Some of us wont. We can have some control over health & safety, but no control over this statistic. We really dont know when we will die, nor our loved ones. The sooner we get over this statistic emotionally, the more we can LIVE LIFE FULLY. Spoken to me by a wise person :)and it bears repeating...


  15. When I start thinking about all the horse accidents I've seen, had, can imagine... I just stop thinking about them. The joy is worth the risk, and you can die sitting on your couch wrapped in protective bubble wrap. Gotta do what you enjoy doing, because sooooooo many people don't!
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  16. This is a very moving and thought provoking post (and your blog is lovely, btw). I had an accident last year when my horse bolted with me and jumped a gate and flung me off. I had internal injuries and had to go to hospital. What happened afterwards was that I lost my trust in that particular horse, but it hasn't put me off riding. Riding is my life, my breath, my food. I cannot live without it. Everything else I've tried in my life was just biding my time until I could ride and I will continue to ride as long as I am physically capable. It's hard to explain to someone who hasn't got a horse, isn't it? But I couldn't live without mine. If you know it's what you were born for, you've just got to do it, haven't you? I'll never be an artist or a singer or an engineer, I was designed to ride horses, and so I will, until I am no longer physically capable. Then I will sit and look through my photographs, and smile at all the fun I had and be content. But at least I will have done it.