Horse I.Q., odd stories? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-08-2020, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2019
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Horse I.Q., odd stories?

I'm sure people have interesting horse stories to tell. I thought of one my Grandfather told me.
He was born pre-automobile (late 1800s) and they had a mare Millie. Great-grandad had a surrey carriage, he grew up near Scranton Pa. One Sunday on the way to church they had to cross railroad tracks but this Sunday Millie wouldn't cross them. Grandad said his Dad whipped her but she refused to budge. All at once he said a train engine went flying past! No cars, he said maybe a runaway train but they never heard or saw it...but Millie did and saved their lives.
I wouldn't have whipped her, I would figure she had reason to wait.
I'm interested in other horse stories.

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-08-2020, 05:14 PM
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I recall an incident that happened at the horseback riding summer camp that I went to during my preteen years.

The camp operator had --in addition to two dozen young, fit and sweet-natured horses-- a truly ancient, fat and irritable mongrel pony mare. This had been her childhood pony. This pony was in retirement, none of the campers rode her. Frankly, we were all a little scared of her! Her name was Onion.

One day at camp, we saddled up the horses and went on a trail ride.

The campers were divided into two groups. The camp operator took one group on one trail, her eldest daughter (Her daughters were the closest thing that the camp had to "Camp Counselors"!) took the other group on another trail. I was in the camp operators group.

My group had a lovely trail ride, the other group didn't come back.

We gave them an hour to return, nothing. The camp operator tried calling her daughter's cell phone, no response. A thunderstorm started moving in, parents were due to start arriving to pick up their kids. The camp operator was rather frantic at this point. She couldn't leave the remaining campers, we needed adult supervision! But calling the police to launch a manhunt would effectively mean that her camp would never operate again.

All while this is going on, Onion had been pacing around her stall. She kicked the walls, jiggled the lock and periodically would look in a specific direction and let out an ear-piercing whinny.

This understandably did not soothe the camp operators nerves.

Eventually she got so sick of this that took Onion out of her stall and turned her loose onto the property! For camper safety, allowing the horses to roam the property freely wasn't typically done. But she stayed in the barn with us (The campers), thinking that Onion would find a nice spot to graze and would settle down.

Onion did not do that. She galloped straight toward the nearest gate and jumped it! I was awed, the other campers were delighted, the camp operator was horrified. Now she not only was her eldest daughter and a dozen campers missing, but her beloved childhood pony was on the loose!


Within ten minutes Onion was back. With the missing trail riders!

Nobody could believe it!

The elder daughter explained what had happened once everybody calmed down and put the horses away. The had taken several wrong turns on the trail they had gone on, ending up quite a ways away from where they were supposed to be. They had tried retracing their steps, but that only got them turned around and effectively more lost. No one's cell phones were working.

Then Onion came trotting up the trail. She had not only somehow found them, but she ended up leading them back to the camp!


None of the campers were afraid of that half blind pony after that.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-08-2020, 06:04 PM
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I was 16 when I learned the horse may know a lot more than me.

I was on a cousinís horse, by myself, down at the lake. It was Fall the water was way down.

We were probably 30í-40í from the where the water was lapping but riding on ground that had previously been under water.

Suddenly the mare stopped and refused to go on. I couldnít see anything ahead so I urged her forward.

She went, albeit very hesitant ó and sank ó up to her belly.

When I got off her, I barely sank but her weight evidently was more than the quagmire could handle.

Thankfully, I was bareback so didnít have the weight of a saddle to deal with. I was able to get her out of there by some miracle and it was a heart stopping lesson learned to always trust the horse.

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-08-2020, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Another amazing horse story to me was my Dad had a few horses, his first and favorite was Blaze, a gelding. Dad grew up in the city, he and I built his horse barn, he had never ridden a horse yet saddled Blaze and took off. Our neighbor had miles of trails through woods and pasture.
Dad was very honest, never made up stories but when he returned he swore it was like he had been riding all of his life.
When he heard Ronald Reagan had cancer Dad wrote a letter of encouragement since Dad had cancer in his 30s, wasn't expected to live yet was a survivor. President Reagan wrote Dad back with a picture of himself on a horse that looked just like Blaze saying "There's nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse".
The only time I saw Dad cry was when Blaze had to be euthanized. Dad passed a few years ago, he was 88.

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post #5 of 8 Old 04-08-2020, 07:23 PM
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A million years ago, I worked for a breeding farm in Virginia. If there was any sort of thunderstorm, a specific handful of mares had to be brought into the barn. Pop up storms were common, so all the staff knew to drop what they were doing at the first sign of a storm to bring in those mares. For simplicity, we each had a specific mare we alone caught. The mare I collected lived in the farthest field from the barn and the metal round pen was in the middle of the lawn we crossed to get from the pasture gate to the barn.

One day a storm came up fast and was already raging by the time I made it out into the field. I easily caught the 20-something mare, came out the gate, and started jogging towards the barn with her. I had lost track of how many times I had done this and she had always trotted along calmly beside me regardless of the weather. Well that day we were just approaching the round pen when the mare suddenly swerved and smashed into me with her shoulder. It was totally unexpected and I went flying backwards and sideways, landing on my butt a distance away. I had just figured out what happened when lightning struck the round pen. The bright blue light seared my eyes, all my hair stood on end, and my ears rang for hours afterwards. The mare had stopped with her body standing between me and the pen, carefully straddling my legs.

Had that mare not knocked me down, I would have been right beside the pen when the lightning hit it. She could have swerved away from me and gotten herself farther from the pen, but instead she moved into my path and closer to the pen in the process - her actions saved my life. She never behaved that way ever again, so you cannot tell me she didn't know exactly what she was doing.

She got extra cookies from me until the day she died and it was an honor to be the one petting her face when she passed.

There is no joy equal to that found on the back of a horse.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-08-2020, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! Great stories!

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post #7 of 8 Old 04-08-2020, 09:24 PM
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Stilts was either still young or the winter ground was so bad I decided to ride him in a snaffle with a McCarty that day.
Husband and I went out to look for missing cattle with horses loaded in the trailer. Not finding the ones we were looking for we spied some in the binoculars, found several pairs. I unloaded, trotted across the meadows and river to bring them down the upper fence several miles to headquarters while husband went to find others.

The pairs wanted to go the wrong direction and I fought them the whole time. At one point I needed to switch which fence side I needed to be on to get to where they needed to be. I trotted ahead of them while they were in the bottom of a small draw so hopefully they'd stay put, I opened the gate and went up high and around as not to send them back the way they came and wanted to go.
A jack rabbit had jumped up from the brush under Stilts, he boogered, slipped, tripped and fell on me.
I was wearing big heavy snow pac boots and felt my foot wanting to catch. As I rolled to my belly and tried to keep him rolling up slowly to make sure I was free, he hopped up my mcCarty tail left. He was up and thankfully not hung up but he took off with the cows which used this as an excuse to peel off back the way we came and the way they wanted to go. I expected Stilts to head the opposite direction which was home where he gets fed, his buddies and where he gets unsaddled. He doesn't. He takes off after the cows.
I hike about a half mile before I find him.
As I crest the draw ridge I see him pushing against the fence to go after a cow I gathered on the way that jumped a fence and headed to the river but also gets in from the other pairs and holds them until I get there.
He let's me walk up, get back on and way we go again.

If someone would of told me the same story I'd call BS.

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post #8 of 8 Old 04-09-2020, 04:26 PM
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I don't think it's because he's smart so much as Trigger's survival instincts are OFF. The. CHARTS... but he knows things. I used to wouldn't listen to him and that caused a lot of problems between us. The last time I ignored what he was trying to tell me, I asked, then told, him to go off trail. Why? Because a big brushy tree had fallen during the night over the trail my friend and I had taken that day. We'd met some mule riders before we got to said tree, so I knew there was some way around it by going off trail. I saw the mule tracks, pointed Trigger that way... he said no.

I said yeah.

He shakes his head, tosses his mane, tap dances around.

No, really. We go.

I give him a little nudge with my heels. And we go... two steps in, we bog to the knees. The hopping around to get out ensues, he goes blindly through the brush. I get clothes lined with a green brier vine and nearly dragged out of the saddle because if he stopped, we'd sink.

We came back out on the trail just 15 feet from where we started and no where near getting around the fallen tree. I had ligature marks on my neck, bleeding from scratches on my face and ears... and he is breathing hard and about to shake apart with some pretty dramatic tremors. Buck Snorts were issued (Pretty sure he was cussing me), and a lot of head shaking happened.

My Friend: Wooo!!!! He's ticked at you!

Me, while wiping at the blood that's running down my ear: Next time I'll take his opinion under advisement.

I have ever since and we haven't gotten in a pickle since then.

Unrelated to any of my own stories, the picture below is of my husband's best friend and his horse, Applebottom, from 6 years ago TODAY. Hog hunting gone wrong. Coincidentally, a mutual friend of ours who happens to be my farrier as well, was regaling me with the tale of how this all went down... he was there. Apparently they warned Friend to not go there, yeah it's shallow water, yeah it looks solid, no it isn't. Stay away. He YEHAWED right on ahead and this happened.

I said: Didn't Applebottom try telling him NO first?

Farrier: (Without a pause in the conversation) Why crap no. That horse ain't got no more sense than he (Friend) does!

PS: That's the family friend who gave us The Old Man and my son his SRS roping saddle that's the bomb.
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"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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