A friend and I went out for a trail ride as we do most mornings before work. I was on Lucy who has been going really well - I put a friends bitless rope bridle on her to see how she would go. My friend was on her good trail mare. These two ride really well together, nothing starts my day off better than a good ride out in lovely weather on good horses with good company!
Anyway - We usually ride along our section of the Bicentennial National Trail, which is a trail that goes from the top to the bottom of Australia. We have a little loop that takes just the right amount of time in the mornings. It's an equestrian trail and where the incident happened was a regularly used section of trail still in sight of the local government agistment paddocks. This trail gets a lot of use, and a fair bit by fairly inexperienced riders/horses.
We were trotting along a nice wide part of the trail and I spotted something funny in the grass about mid-cannon height. It looked like a really thick spider web crossing the trail at right angles - I leaned down to watch it break as we trotted through it.
Well - it wasn't a spiderweb. It was a string of some sort, tied to the fence of one side and I guess grass on the other. Poor Lucy freaked right out when she got tangled in it, and because I was leaning forward to see it, off I came. My friend was able to stay on as her mare shot forward as she got tangled, with Lucy running sideways into her trying to get free. Thankfully the end in the grass came loose and the horses got free once they had gone far enough. I love my pony - She just stood there looking worried and waited for my friend to catch her and bring her back.
I banged my head (Had my helmet on) and grazed my arm, but thankfully was ok after a few minutes lying down in the grass! The rest of the ride was actually really nice. I'm glad I had the bitless on because I got rope burn from hanging on to the reins.
Thank god it was us and our quiet horses who found it - There are so many in-experienced people who ride there, who ride that part at a gallop, whos horses would have bolted home, etc.
I folded the string up and hung it back on the fence out of the way - I was going to take it to throw out but it was actually looped around the fence and continued on through the next paddock as far as we could see.
I don't know if it was kids booby-trapping the trail, or surveyors string that had been left there... No idea. My friend called the ranger and let him know, hopefully he can find out how it got there and make sure it doesn't happen again!