I’m not the be-all, end-all of equestrian knowledge, nor am I a paragon of safety. That said, I’d like to think I don’t make lots of stupid decisions when it comes to the horses. When I do make them, I try to learn from them.
For example, many years ago, I was getting ready to leave for a horse show. My dad was busy hooking up the trailer while I let my horse Spike graze on the front yard. I realized I’d forgotten something in the house, so I tied Spike to a flatbed trailer we had, figuring I’d only be in the house a minute and Spike would be content to continue eating. When I came back outside, Spike had pulled the trailer halfway down the hill in our yard. Mercifully, he got away with a few scratches and nothing more serious. Since then, I’ve tried to be very conscious to tie my horses to appropriate objects.
I want to know: What’s the stupidest horse-related thing you’ve ever done, or what’s the stupidest thing you’ve seen someone else do?
The incident that takes the cake for me happened a few years ago. I was working as the equine manager at a therapeutic riding center; part of my job included grooming and tacking horses for lessons. The horses were groomed and tacked tied up in their stalls. I asked a barn worker to check the cinch on one of the horses while I ducked into the tack room to get something. When I came out, she had MOUNTED the horse while it was TIED UP in a STALL.
I was totally flabbergasted and all I could do was snap at her to get down and ask what she was thinking. She blithely informed me that she figured if the cinch was tight, it would hold while she mounted. It never occurred to her that the horse could spook or pull back, or the saddle could slip, etc. and she’d be underneath an 1100 pound animal in a 12’x12′ space. Thank god the horse she was on was such a quiet, unflappable individual (as most therapy horses are).