The stupidist thing I ever did with my horse was years ago, about 1997. I had a wonderful arab gelding that was my best buddy. We used to trailer out to riding trails near a lake by ourselves all the time and ride alone. There was a public stable that was also near the trail head where I would park my rig.
I was really into gardening at tne time and I lived in a condo with a small patio garden. When I was out on my rides I couldn't help but notice the massive quantities of river rock that was all over the area. I got it into my head that I wanted to transport some of those rocks back to my place, and my gelding was going to be my pack mule so to speak.
So I rigged up this elaborate system of saddle bags on his saddle and rode out to where the rocks were. I got off and started loading them on. I hadn't taken into account how heavy the individual rocks were, and how hard it was to get them evenly balanced on something that was *not* ment to be a pack saddle. So, after much work and arranging, I started to lead him back to the trailer.
Well, it was slow going, the bags kept shifting, and I could tell my boy was less than pleased, though he was taking it all in stride....I had owned him for years and he trusted me implicitly ( possibly a little misplaced given my judgement that day). So we finally got back to my rig. By this time, the bags were starting to rip the screws holding the ties to my saddle, and I knew I needed to get those rocks out of there in a hurry. So without thinking, I started rapidly unloading one side into my truck bed, not noticing that the other side had become unbalanced and was slipping, and taking the whole saddle and bags stuffed with river rocks with it. My gelding shifted and then realized what was happening, panicked and bolted (he wasn't tied thank goodness), and he went racing along the upper hill of the trailhead with the saddle hanging sideways, spilling river rock all over and the riggings popping off my saddke and bags flying off in all directions. At this time, folks that worked in the rental stable saw him and started yelling "loose horse!! loose horse!!" and started *chasing* him, which really scared him. I started hollering to leave him alone, that he would eventually stop, which is exactly what happened.
He stood there covered with sweat, shaking and blowing and terrified. My poor sweet boy! I was so ashamed (and embarassed), but mostly horrified that I had been so stupid and put my sweet trusting friend through that absurd situation. Thank God he wadn't hurt, can't say the same for my saddle.
The moral here is that my arab was not a mule, nor was I a muleskinner. I did get the remaining rocks home to my garden, and though they looked good, everytime I saw them I thought of that awful day