my bombproof children's mount takes off at a canter... with a child.
today was the worst day to date.
As you might know, I have a 21 year old Quarter Horse Arabian, Katy, that is the definition of a bombproof youth horse. Well she was.... every summer I send her to the YMCA Tippancanoe Horse camp to be used as a camp horse for small children. Every year for the last 6 years. She is one of the favorites out there for the kids. She is a chubby 14'2 chestnut mare that was once, and still sometimes is, my barrel horse. She has made a great transition from a 3D barrel racer to a youth mount. Well I have a 4 year and a 8 year old cousin that ride her while I ride my green broke paint mare. We do this all the time. I ride this mare bareback pretty frequently to keep her in good shape since the kids don't really wanna ride her the way she should be rode. But I try not to let her out at a canter very often so as to not get her hot again, like she was for our gaming career.
So here is what happened today...
My 8yo cousin was a bit tired from soccer so I took my 4 yo cousin out on katy by herself. We rode like this before, and had been riding for about 10 mins prior to this incident. My paint mare I was riding is a bit of a fast walker, and katy tip toes when she is being rode by a child, so we are always in front. I can't pony them together because Katie hates her, and is very aggressive with other mares. Well we were on the road, and came by a field that was on our left. She was just a bit behind me so there wasn't a big gap between us. Well all of a sudden I hear my cousin screaming, katy is doing an uncollected trot with her and at this point she has dropped the reins and is hunched over holding onto the horn. I immediately start screaming for her to pull the reins back because katie has an amazing sliding stop, but my cousin believes she is "running" at this point (she usually does a "parade" trot, so her fast choppy trot is quite different for her) and is doing nothing but screaming. Well I get off my horse and attempt to catch katy, at this point she does a mean barrel turn away from me and starts a canter down the bank and picks up speed through the field, this is a big field. My cousin is screaming and crying and holding onto the horn for dear life and all I can do is scream and run after this horse. I am off of my horse, I knew the best thing woulda been for me to get back on her and gallop towards her and katy to catch up, but my mind was a blur. My cousin made if for atleast 45 secs of a canter across this field but when katy did a sliding stop at a lush patch of grass, my cousin toppled over... and hard, right on her shoulder and flipped. I literally broke down thinking my cousin had broke her neck or something. But she was fine. She had a helmet on, and a child's chest protector. This was the scariest moment of my life, and something I can NOT understand why it happened.
This is a youth mount horse prodigy. Why would she do this? How can I send her back to the camp knowing she can really just snap like that? This is literally been tearing me up all day, that all this credit of being such a fabulous youth mount of a horse that I built up is gone. My cousin is terrified of horses, she broke this little girl's spirit and hopefully one day, but not for a long time this little girl can go back to loving horses and being beyond brave again... I have ruined her, today at dinner she said to me as I was explaining what had happened to her father "you lied to me, you said she was good and I wouldn't get hurt" .... how can I convince this girl that she can trust me, ever trust horses again? I tried to get her right back on either of the horses, being lead home. She cried harder at the thought...
I am at a loss for words, and sooo disappointed.
Last edited by allisonjoy; 01-07-2012 at 08:50 PM.