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Brighteyes 03-18-2011 09:56 PM

Ran my Horse into the Mud. Unconditional Trust? Check.
I got scared to DEATH today. Baby Girl and I were on a trail ride and arrived at the dam. Some idiot had dug it out and there was a channel with water flowing through it. It looked harmless enough, so I decided to cross it. Baby Girl was apprehensive, so I was like, "It's okay. Momma says it's okay..." She put a food in there and sank to her belly. I jumped off. She just lay in the mud, stuck, with this expression. "Hey... I'm sorta stuck in the mud." She didn't struggle or even look scared. She glanced over at me, expecting me to get her out.

I panicked a little (I hadn't brought my cell phone and was miles away from home), but I unclipped her reins and attached them to her halter. Again, she didn't act freaked out at all. She moved around a little but knew she couldn't get out by herself.

I pulled at hard as I could and told her to walk on. She braced against the lead and managed to hook a foot on the bank. With a little more pulling, she crawled out. She lay on the dry ground and panted for a minute while I rubbed her shoulder and told her she was good. "Yeah... I totally meant for that to happen. You passed the challenge." She gave me the "Yay, master is pleased!" look and got back on her feet.

I checked her legs. Nothing wrong. I re-mounted and rode her back up to the creek. She wasn't scared. She probably would have gone in again if I asked. We rode for the rest of the day without a problem.

It's amazing that she still trusts me. She will still do whatever I say. We crossed other unknown creeks --creeks I had ridden through, but never on her-- later that day. She didn't even question my orders.

franknbeans 03-18-2011 10:13 PM

I know this sounds harsh, but this post makes me salty.

As lovely as that story is, it is my belief that trust goes both ways. You also need to trust her. I have learned over the years, that if my horse is acting more apprehensive than usual over something there is usually a reason. He has saved BOTH our arses several times. I have learned to listen to him also.

Given the same situation, I most likely would not have put my horse through that.

Why would you say it will be OK when it was uncharted ground? :evil:
Unnecessary, IMO. Guess I am a bit more careful. You are right about one thing-it is amazing she still trusts you.:?

Brighteyes 03-18-2011 10:19 PM

... It was an accident. I was wrong. I thought it was okay and it wasn't. I admit and realize that. I wouldn't put her through it again if I knew that would happen. I didn't even think. It looked safe. I assumed it was safe. It wasn't. My judgement is fallible. My horse's judgement has proved "fallible" as well. 80% of the things she is afraid of are harmless. I figured this was one of those 80% of times. I'm not going to do it again. I'm just glad it didn't destroy our relationship. :)

I am not happy that I caused this to happen. The outcome was the best possible thing in this situation.

Cali 03-18-2011 10:26 PM

She sounds like a great little girl, I'm glad you're both okay!
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QOS 03-18-2011 10:29 PM

Glad both of you are ok. That must have been scary!!

jdw 03-18-2011 10:42 PM

I agree, Cali! She sounds like an amazing girl! Accidents do happen, no matter how hard we try. It probably made your relationship even stronger. She knows no matter what you'll get her out. God made animals perfect, in my opinion. Thank God you are both alright with no hidden damage. I think we have all had things happen when we look back we can see what we did wrong. It is compounded if we hurt the ones we love, humans or animals. I was gently loping down a street (old country road partly asphalt and dirt. (She did not wear shoes) Suddenly as we turned a small corner (not sharp, almost like a curve) there was some pea gravel I did not see and my mare slipped and fell. I skinned her up really good. I did not ride her further, but walked her back to a phone and called for a trailer. I would NEVER have intentionally harmed her. I raised her from a colt. I was 16 at the time, and never forgot this~hindsight is always 20/20. Today for you was much worse, but it sounds like it turned out fine. Glad you are okay!

Brighteyes 03-18-2011 10:46 PM



I talked to Baby Girl's former owner right after this (I like to stop by and say hey), and he said that, as a teenager and green rider, I will do stupid things. It will be an accident. I will have no intent to harm my horse, but won't think sometimes. **it happens, as Forest Gump would say. :wink: I am responsible for doing this to my horse, but I can't fix it. I can only learn from it.

WalkerLady 03-19-2011 01:57 PM

I recently tried to make Molly go up a bank she didn't want to go. It was very muddy but also very short and not too steep. She'd handled longer, steeper banks with no trouble. She hesitated, but I pushed her hard and she really, really tried. The mud must've been too much, because she couldn't make it. She slid backwards and ended up lying in the little creek with me still on her. She just turned her head and looked at me, not even upset, just a look that said, "Are you going to get off so I can get up?" Once I was off her back, she made it up the bank, that's when I realized how deep the mud was.

We all make mistakes and it's amazing that things don't turn out worse than they do sometimes. I'm a lot older than Brighteyes but still a pretty green rider, and it takes time and experience to learn to trust your horse. Brighteyes is right, sometimes horses get upset over things that are perfectly harmless, and you can't always let them decide where and when they want to go. In hindsight I realize that when she hesitated, I should've taken a closer look to see really how deep the mud was. So, it's a lesson learned and we're both okay. And I learned another lesson about muddy trails and when to trust Molly's judgment.

Glad you're both okay!

horselver1979 03-19-2011 02:37 PM

Well its not like you can predict the future or look into a magic ball or you would have never pushed your mare.

Schmit happens.

But glad everyone is ok. :)

apachiedragon 03-19-2011 03:27 PM

That must have been a scary situation for you. It sounds like you handled it well though. I'm glad you had the presence of mind to clip the reins on the halter to help her out, a lot of folks would have just yanked on the bit. Yes, accidents happen to us all, and I'm glad yours had as happy and ending as it did. :wink:

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