There have been many horses in my life, Swift was my first and of course most memorable. I would spend hours riding her through our woods and through the fields. I would meet up with a friend and we would ride along the roads together. It was not uncommon to be gone for hours. I don't remember anyone asking me where I was going, how long I thought I be gone. Things were different then, the roads had a lot less traffic and cars actually slowed down before passing a horse.
You know horses sometimes do become afraid of something big coming toward them, something loud or unusual. I marveled just the other day as I followed a semi in Amish country. We came upon a horse and an open buggy with three passengers. The semi never even touched the breaks as he went a little left of center to pass them. My heart was racing that horse wouldn't spook!
My wonderful horse Swift, the one that had a million miles of road time spooked one spring evening after school. I had decided to alter my ride to the farm where I was going to feed my 4-H calf. Instead of riding through the woods, we would do the road. It had been raining and the road were still wet, but the sun was out and it was warm for an May day. Off we go, down our quarter of a mile gravel lane and out onto the road. We didn't go far before we came to a woods that was on both sides of the road. The woods had a tunnel effect as the trees from both sides nearly touched above the road. Coming towards us at the other end of this "tree tunnel" was a dump truck, it would be considered small today, but it was the biggest thing my horse had ever seen and it was coming toward us. She would have nothing to do with meeting it in this "tunnel". She turned so quickly and took off running the way we just came, she turned down our lane and was running full out! I couldn't stop her for anything. (Maybe the chinstrap on my bridle was then gone.) She ran clear to the house, I was so angry at her total disregard for my commands that I determinedly turned her around to again go to the farm and feed the calf, by way of the road. She again took off running full out, down the lane! I couldn't stop her....... when she got to the wet paved road, her feet went out from under her. We together, went sliding across that wet road to the ditch on the other side, my right leg between her and the road, my hand outstretched to keep my face off the road! The wind was knocked out of both of us, I sat there along the road and she stood beside me. Both of us in shock from what had just happened.
I still had to feed my calf and she was my transportation, once more I get on her and AGAIN she wildly races down our gravel lane, totally out of control. I'd finally had enough and swung down from her back, holding onto her mane and reins to keep from being dragged. She is still running mind you, my left let is being tangled in her running front legs, but it was enough to stop her running! I put her in the barn and walked the half mile to feed my calf. My hand had all kinds of tar embedded in it, my legs were both banged up. I decided not to tell anyone and went to bed early. Next day was a school day and my Mother called for us to get up. I couldn't move in my bed, I couldn't get up and unlock my bedroom door. (I had a brother, okay.)
My Mother finally came up to see what was happening and I had to tell her the story. I went to the local town Doctor and he gave me crutches and pain meds to get me through the next few days. What did I learn from this? I'm not sure I learned anything, maybe to avoid wet road while running my horse. I continued to race around on my horse, Swift, with a broken chin strap. It was just one of those things that happened.....