Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Had I been a baseball....

In a moment I went from standing at Callie's shoulder, putting fly spray on her face, to lying face down in the mud wondering if the next thing I would feel might be her crushing weight on top of me, or my being cut to shreds by her flailing hooves, or worse, a fatal blow to the back of my head as she struggled to stay on her feet.  All of those thoughts raced through my mind while I heard her hooves make dull, thudding noises in the mud around me, and then there was silence.  One of Callie's hooves had pinned the right leg of my shorts to the ground, her hoof coming down between my splayed legs.  I remember the silence that followed, and I always will.

When I got to my feet, Callie stood there looking at me with what I thought was both sorrow and fear in her eyes.  A quick check told me that I was ok, but I was covered in mud and nursing what was more than likely a bruised or jammed left shoulder.  The mud on my right calf told me all I needed to know about how close I had been to being seriously hurt.  I cradled Callie's head in my arms and tried to console her, telling her over and over that, "It's ok, girl, you didn't do anything wrong, I'm fine."

Over the past year or so the bond between Callie and I has grown, and my horse, Stormy, a dominant mare, has let it be known with pinned ears, flashing teeth, and the occasional threat to kick, that she is not pleased.

Callie's height partially blocked my view of Stormy as she approached, her head slightly lowered and her fly mask hiding her expression and her intent.  To be honest, I didn't give her a thought.  I've always been able to defuse Stormy's black moods with a word or hug, so I didn't pay much attention to her approach or her body language.  Stormy must have nipped Callie, who's first reaction was to flee.  She wasn't using the thinking side of her brain when she flattened me, she just wanted to get out of there.

Had I been a baseball, I would have been a line drive to left field, for sure a single and more likely a double to the wall.  There's little good to be said about over confidence, especially when dealing with thousand pound animals.  We forget that they have an emotional life just as we do and that that emotional being can quickly change from a friendly, loving companion to a jealous, aggressive beast.  Complacency and confidence can kill you.  How well I know.

(This happened on Sunday, June 3, 2012)


Copyright June 5, 2012