Monday, March 29, 2010

Aidol's Story....... Tales from the Trails........ the Wreck

Part 1

When I'd first heard all the commotion behind us, I had turned my horse to see what was happening. As the horses in our group fanned out in the small clearing to make way for the approaching riders, I watched things unfolding, not really believing I was seeing what I was. There wasn't a shred of concern from the approaching group. All they could think about was getting ahead, faster and faster. You would have thought we were riding some kind of race instead of playing a poker hand.

The horses in our group got so spread out many were off the beaten path. Horses were going through tall grass and brush during the hottest months of the year in this area. Anyone who knows this area knows you're just asking for trouble doing that. It's bee season and the ride organizers don't sweep for bees off the trails.

The approaching riders dove into what ever places there might be room for them still heading on in their accelerated gait. The number of horses in that little clearing doubled in an instant with half of those horses running, the other half trying to stay under control.

It looked like a scene out of some old cowboy movie where the bad guys are attacking the good guys. Only in this instant, the riders didn't stop to fight, they did their damage on the way through.

In disbelief I saw two horses from this group of inconsiderate riders rush up behind Mark carrying my now not so composed husband/newbie rider. The horses separated at just the last moment, whooshing by the now frightened Mark, one on each side of the gelding.

Mark didn't know how to take this encroachment on his space. He may even have actually been bumped those riders were so close. I watched in horror as the gelding whirled around and Dave's saddle slide off to the right.

"WHOA!.........WHOA!........WHOA!" Dave screamed as he tried grabbing onto the horse's neck. Dave's eyes were as big as saucers and there was a pitch in his voice I have never heard before. If this horse was going to stop it was going to be by the sound of Dave's voice. I saw arms flailing in all directions grabbing for anything that would hold. The man was nowhere near a rein and knew nothing about a one rein stop if he did.

As it was I couldn't believe the man was still in saddle. I've seen many a rider hit the dirt from less dramatic a change in direction as Mark accomplished that day. Adding to that a saddle hanging precariously right in the middle of the horse's side, Dave had given that horse quite a ride. Now Mark stood there like a rock as he had been commanded to do with Dave hanging from his side.

Ever so carefully Dave managed to get himself back up onto the top of the horse. It was so odd seeing the man pulling himself up to the top of the horse with the saddle still hanging off his side. Then Dave began straightening the position of the saddle from up top pulling on the horse and wiggling himself around. How he did it, I don't know. Neither does he, nor any of those in our small group who witnessed this near disaster but Dave managed to get the saddle back on top of the horse before he dismounted.

Of course, the riders who caused this wreck were off down the trail. They probably never had a clue what kind of damage they had reeked. I doubt they would have cared. They probably would have blamed the "spooky" Arab who'd endured an assault on a trail ride no horse should ever have to endure.

Riders from our group went flocking to help Dave. Before I could get to him the horse was unsaddled and in the process of being resaddled. Riders were sharing safety tips with Dave as they put him and his horse back together. When Dave remounted, we were back on our way. I never even got off my horse which was probably a good thing after what it had taken to mount in the first place. My head was still spinning for the events I'd just witnessed. Aidol didn't seem to notice that anything was wrong.

Marks' confidence was shattered. The always quiet reliable trail horse was now a basket case. No amount of comfort was settling the horse down. Every time other riders came up behind us the horse fractured ed again. For the first time in his trail riding career, Mark was a jigging, lathered mess.

The condition of the horse wasn't doing anything for Dave's confidence either. We ended up splitting off from the group so we could slow up to see if we could calm Mark but that didn't work. I think by this point Mark was feeding off of Dave's lack of confidence and Dave was feeding off Mark's. It was not pretty.

Luckily no one had been physically hurt but the emotional trauma from this incident just seemed to build the farther we got down the trail. We were too far to turn back and I wasn't really sure how Mark would respond to coming at strange horses head on. It was a catch twenty-two.

Part of the time Dave dismounted and walked thinking if he led Mark the horse would relax. I felt bad for him but didn't really know what to do. I wasn't convinced that Aidol could deal with the rattled man any better than Mark. I was really thinking this trail ride had been a horrible mistake.

To be continued........

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by the number of votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. I've heard about ridiculous stuff like that happening on other poker rides. What a shame, and what a good horse Mark was!

  2. Heck of a recovery ! I bet the poor horse was rattled! those fools needed to get clotheslined of their horses! JI guess you just can't cure stupid! Glad Dave handled it as well as he did!

  3. Wow! I've been following along and am just dumbfounded at the ignorance and lack of consideration of the riders on this ride.

    No wonder I prefer to ride alone or only with a few friends.

  4. That certainly takes the fun out of what was supposed to be fun. Large groups of riders can be so dangerous. Even bomb-proof horses get all nervous and act silly.
    I'm sorry Dave had a bad experience.

  5. I belong to a pretty big list serv of riders - many friends, other acquaintances. Many post when they are riding & make it an open invitation. I've become picky about who I ride with and usually don't mention our weekend camp trips until they are over. I just love being on the trail with a few friends, our horses and the peace & quiet. I sponsor 2 big rides a year this group & that is it. The good thing about the list serv is the people know how I feel about unsafe trail practices in big rides & surprisingly, (knock wood) they go off pretty well.

    Years ago I attended some of the bigger rides like you mentioned and because of the situations like you described, I don't go to them anymore. I stand by my statement that "real" trailriders don't ride this way. Those you described are are weekend ya-hoos who lack brains and common sense!

    Poor Mark & Dave.... But good Mark for listening to the voice command. It could have been bad...

  6. That is great how Dave held on and Mark listened after his initial feeling of terror. I always think that other horse people know better... but the boarders next door to me are proof that's not so.

  7. My goodness, I am glad your husband wasn't hurt. I hope that they both recover from the incident

  8. What a bunch of jerks. I'm glad Dave wasn't hurt. People can be so inconsiderate and a gang of yahoos is not something you need on a trail whether you're a first timer or a seasoned rider.

  9. I have been a victim of such rides. They turned me off to trail riding, sad to say.
    Ummm...what is a "poker ride?"

  10. I am just plain shocked at the stupidness of some people. The lack of consideration probably is in every aspect of thier lives!!! But when they have the care of other living and breathing things....grrrr!


  11. Just got to read this. I am sooo sorry for Dave and Mark. Dave did a great job of not panicking, which helped Mark, but what an awful way to try to learn trail-riding. It's usually so great!

    My husband and I were requested as wranglers to take out a 14 yo 'experienced' rider who wanted a tougher, quicker ride than she could get with a group. We had done this often, so we said OK. Part way through the ride I had asked the girl to please not stop her horse and then come racing up behind us at a full gallop. Of course, she was irritated because she wanted the whole ride to be at a gallop. I tried to explain that there were too many dangerous spots for that; we would go faster when safe. Well, a short while later we had climbed a steep hill where the trail turned abruptly due to a very long dropoff. I stopped at the top to check on the rider. Before I could turn around in the saddle, I felt my horse bunch her hind end up and wham! We were hit from behind by this foolish child who had run up the hill and didn't realize we were stopped! The horse's head hit my back and it's chest it Jesse's rump. If I hadn't been on a very trust-worthy trail mount, we would have ended up at the bottom of the cliff. Jesse, my Mustang-draft cross, had enough weight to hold back the other rider and horse. Unfortunately, for a couple years after that, she would get flinchy when she heard a rider coming from behind quicker than a trot. You just can't seem to get away from acts of stupidity!