Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Canberra Australia
Trauma can be a hard thing to get through, and depending on your personality and frame of mind, it can be easy or hard. I will relate a couple of experiences I had, both were instances of me nearly being killed while on a horse, one affected me bad, the other not nearly as bad as the first.
When I was 14, I was working for my uncle who had just sold his cattle station and we needed to clean muster it as he was moving the cattle to another place he had just bought. The place was in North Queensland in the Great Dividing Range north west of Charters Towers and was in some pretty mountainous country. I was cantering diagonally down the side of a mountain after a cow that had made a break for it and as I went after her we got into some thick bush, mainly small Ironbark trees, about 8 to 10 inches across. As we went among them the horse dodged around one and I didn’t, the tree got me under the jaw and broke it, I nearly bit off my tongue and cracked a bunch of teeth. This pulled me out of the saddle but I was hung up in the stirrup and it kept me on the horse behind the saddle, I slowly rolled off the the near side till I was horizontal from the horse and a full sized Ironbark tree took me across the chest breaking a bunch of ribs and skinning me up bad. I kind of came too and found I couldn’t breathe, I eventually managed to breath again and found my mouth filling with something and spat out a mouthful of blood and realised I had nearly bitten clean through my tongue. I figured if I stayed where I was no one would find me so I managed to climb back up to the top of the mountain where the guys with the heard of cattle should come by. They found me and my cousin galloped off to find my uncle who had already found my horse, saddle missing a stirrup, he knew from that something bad had happened. My uncle and cousin hoisted me back on the horse and my uncle left the guys with the cattle and we set out to get me to hospital, about 6 hours away. We rode for about 2 hours to the truck, then another 2 hours back to the house, where my aunty, for some reason, decided I couldn’t go to town in such dirty clothes and made me take a shower and wear my town clothes. 2 hours after that we were in the hospital.
The second time I nearly got killed I was 18 or 19 and working on a massive cattle station in the northern territory. There were about 60,000 to 90,000 head of cattle on it and all mustering was done with a combination of horses and helicopters. Helicopters would go across the paddock and get them moving we’d come across on the horses in a line as best we could and try to get the stragglers, stragglers that were adept at evading helicopters and horses. One of their tricks was to crawl under these giant clumps of grass, kind of like pampas grass, and hide. If you went by the grass however and managed to get above it you could often see down into it and see the sneaky cattle hiding, at which time we’d try to get them out. Me and one of the other ringers were trotting along a couple of cow pads looking through this grass, unfortunately for me I was on about the clumsiest horse I have ever ridden. There was a log across the path I was on and as we trotted along, me standing up in the stirrups looking down into this grass, the horse, instead of jumping the log, just tumbled over it. She fell with her head down between her front legs, I went straight over in front of her, with me off her she jumped back up and ran me clean over, and I had only put a new set of shoes on her the day before. I got a hoof in about my right eye socket and got all smashed up then another hoof in the back of the head. The other guy got the head stockman who wasn’t far away and they both dragged me to an open space and got the helicopter down, loaded me in and he took me back to the station where they got the NT equivalent of the Flying Doctor to come and get me, by about, actually I was mostly unconscious, I can’t remember how long it took. But eventually they got me to the Darwin hospital.