I've been working around horses and riding them for about 20 years, but a couple of days I got seriously drilled by a young filly. I was about to do up leg straps on her rug when she double barrelled me in both legs. (im still not sure how she managed to get both of em).
Anyway, she had 3 shots at me, got me twice, and now im nervous going anywhere near the back end of a horse. The two I was working with over the weekend wouldn't dream of kicking, but if im nervous or anxious, they're going to feel it and I keep thinking, s#&t im going to get hit again!
Maybe im paranoid, but my behaviour at the moment is likely to get me kicked.
I've been kicked before, but never like this, and i've never had one horse take 3 shots at getting me.
(scenario for you, small yard, under rug on and done up, putting top rug on, talking to her the whole time (she's only a baby), no horse close to her, she's fairly relaxed, then starts barrelling, I hit the deck - she knocked me off my feet - and crab crawled out of the yard, where I lay on the ground for about 20 minutes waiting for my legs to work again, then got up and rugged the other two horses, and helped this horses owner rug the baby, with me holding lead rope, owner very carefully and from distance trying to do rug up, and another person there just for safety).
Can anyone suggest anything to help me get over this?
Thanks in advance
Ps. I have two very nasty bruises, one on each thigh, a bruise under my left but cheek, and one or two on my back where I crashed into the yard rail, oh and very sore kidneys where her hock got me, but other than that I think im okay
Pps. As of tuesday, i'm going to be working with this filly getting her ready for another event, so will have to be near her back end regularly, and I don't want to get kicked again, or have her feel the need to defend herself in this way. (i hope it was in defence!)
You need to remember that in *20 years* you have never experienced this before! That should tell you something right there! This is a rare thing. She's a young girl so everyone obviously needs to pay real attention to her body language when working around her.
If this is not typical for her, there were probably warning signs or else something unexpected happened (stung by an insect, for example) that threw her off.
Keep your confidence up. Wear whatever protective gear that makes you feel better -- steel toe shoes, helmet, vest, gloves and work around her with a pissed off attitude instead of a "are-you-gonna-kick-me-again" attitude. I find being confidently and calmly angry is far safer than being scared. What the heck was she thinking anyway??? Bee, fly, shotgun blast in the distance... too freakin' bad horse -- if a person is around you DO NOT kick!!! Keep that in your head and be firm!
It happens. If this mare is young she has a lot of learning to do. It sounds to me like might have been the blanket straps she was trying to get, not you. Something to always keep in mind when working with young horses.
When I first got my boy, he was 7 months old and tho very friendly, had never been worked with and was quite worried about everything all the time. On one of my desensitizing sessions with him, all I did was gently rub my hand on his belly. I was standing out of what I thought was kicking range, but surely enough he gave me the boot. It wasn't a hard kick but it was his way of telling me he was worried and didn't like my hand there.
Was I worried after that? Sure I was! But that's what happens when you work with horses, especially babies.
The almost same exact thing happened to me. I was putting a blanket on my horse and she kicked me and fractured my knee. I guess you just gotta realize it happens and think of just like battle scars I guess,lol.
Jeepers, I just read what I wrote up above and it sounds like I'm saying you shouldn't consider what the horse what kicking at and why... Sorry. Of course, that is important -- her body language right before the kicking started would give clues to that. But, still, remember you are the human and you are boss. My 5 yr old has had very little in manner-training and I'm constantly teaching her that if she has a fly on her belly, she had better use the foot furthest away from me to get rid of it!
Well, it appears that I wasn't so lucky after all.
I ended up in hospital with kidney and liver contusions, massive swelling and the inability to go to the loo. I'm much better now, and fortunately did not require surgery, but im still all bruised and battered!
And no, still not quite over the fear of horses hind legs.
Just reading back through my original post, it sounds like i'm either bulls#@ting about my experience or the intensity of the situation. Just to help clarify, in all my years, I HAVE been kicked by horses, it goes with the territory I believe, but NEVER have I had a horse take so many shots in quick succession, and never have I had such severe injuries from them.
Anyway, just to help clarify, and thanks guys, for your advice and tips. Its nice to know im not alone. :)
Wow, well I'm glad you are on the mend. A friend of mine just ended up with a broken rib, bruised kidney and something wrong with her hip because of a horse, but when the doctor told her she had to stay off for 10 weeks, she just kept thinking about what state her green horse would be in if she basically ignored him for that long!
I didn't think you were bs-ing. I have not seen a horse take several shots like that either, ever, but I have heard of it a couple of times. Pretty rare though.
Anyway, back to your situ -- why not wear a vest when you are working around that filly? Or any other horse for that matter. Safety is after all #1, right? If you are scared, the horses will know it, so use what you must to help yourself. And, you know what, if she is prone to kicking, hobble her if need be until she understands. I mean, it might not be in order, but if it is, so be it. And enforce ALL aspects of respect for humans and our space! You can't help anyone or any horse if you are in the hospital.