Horrifying stupidity


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).

Author: Stephanie

Equestrian, amateur cook, people person.

16 thoughts on “Horrifying stupidity”

  1. My trademark move is lowering the butt bar and asking my horse to back out of the trailer while he’s still tied to the trailer… I’ve done that more than once.

  2. I have a horse who finds sheepskin anything to be absolutely horrifying. So one day, many years ago before I moved my horses home, I had Rio crosstied in the aisle at the barn where I boarded him. Someone needed to pass him so I went to drop the crosstie. Problem was I had my sheepskin half pad in my hand at the same time. Rio completely lost it, pulled it back, broke the crosstie he was still attached to, and went running out the door. He didn’t take too long to catch and was none the worse for the wear thankfully. But it was totally avoidable.

  3. I have lots to chose from…. thank goodness I haven’t gotten seriously hurt after my many moronic years 😛 My worst is probably not wearing a helmet in my teenage years.

  4. oh man… i’ve done SO MANY stupid stupid things. it’s really kinda amazing that nothing worse has happened… and i usually just kinda block it out of my mind now lol

  5. I’ve done some many dumb things it would be hard to pick just one. I do think the whole ride the horse onto the trailer thing I posted about 2 days ago would count for the stupidity of others.

  6. It is possible that when my horse was still residing at a certain therapeutic riding facility, I tied him in the aisle with too much slack in the lead rope and too close to the water pump. It is then possible that the rope looped under the pump handle, and the horse moved abruptly, not only turning on the water but pulling the pump structure out of the ground, partly, causing a significant leak in the barn. This is of course a hypothetical. I’m not saying that it actually happened. But if it did, that would have been very stupid of me.

  7. The first thing that comes to mind is that I was going to get on my horse from the ground so went to check his girth, felt that it was loose, literally thought “oh well I’ll tighten it when I get on” and promptly landed on my ass under his belly. I’m sure I’ve done much stupider things, but I can’t keep myself from automatically returning to that moment every time I think of the dumb things I’ve done on horses.

  8. I was lunging a horse, with the excess lunge line on the ground by my feet. The horse spooked and literally yanked me off my feet and dragged me with the line wrapped around my foot. Fortunately my boot came off.
    I also tied a horse to a tire with cement in the middle so it could graze. When spooked, that horse took off running with this tire and cement bouncing behind it, fortunately it missed the car and only took out the neighbors rose garden.

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