February 11, 2011

Not on my bucket list

I thought of various titles for this blog, like Runaway Horse, or Off, Again, or Mr Buggs’ Wild Ride, but this one best conveys my feelings at this time.

It was last Wednesday, and we were finishing up a nice, uneventful little ride out back on Cody and Buggsy. At our last grazing spot, Buggs, being somewhat sweaty by now, rubbed his head on his foreleg and shook his head forcefully. Thankfully I was watching because the bridle came clean off his head. He shied, and then feeling the bridle and reins around his neck, was off like a shot. I hung onto the saddle for dear life, literally. Off we went over hill and dale, or I should say, around bushes and over washes. Fast, faster, fastest. Any non-Arabian horse would have stopped after awhile.

I pleaded, entreated, threatened, commanded for Buggs to stop, or at least slow down, but to no avail. This went on for awhile; long enough for me to realize that I was in an ugly situation with no control over my horse, who without a bit and bridle ran all out, but also long enough to come up with an exit plan, should I be able to stay on long enough to get off at my convenience.

We missed the turn-off to home, but once he realized it he did turn toward home, still at high speed. Thankfully we were now on a more grassy slope, as opposed to a rocky road, or in cactus country, so I plotted my escape. I had a feeling that with me on his back, Buggs would never slow down or stop, and that I had to get off, given the right opportunity. I lost my nerve once, but when we went for yet another wash, I decided to bail, determined not to fall on any pointy parts (shoulders, wrists, elbows). So I slid down Buggs’ neck, who freaked out some more about that, and watched those legs go by.

I rolled a bit and then decided I was fine other than some scrapes. Dan meanwhile had followed on Cody, but had been reluctant to come up behind in case that would scare Buggsy even more, and cause him to go even faster to outrun Cody. Meanwhile, Buggs, now on his own, finally came to a fence and stood there sheepishly. We walked home, and Dan went back in the afternoon to retrieve my broken bridle. I also lost my sunglasses, but we found them yesterday afternoon where I had gotten off.

But should you be concerned about my physical, if not my mental condition, I am very fine. Sore, more from holding on than the fall I think, and a bit scraped up, but we went for our conditioning hike this morning and finished in our normal time.

Next time I will ride the ever-grumpy, but ever-reliable Bueno, who is opinionated but will not lose his head in an emergency.


webb said...

Wow! Not on my bucket list, either. Glad you had presence of mind enough to not get yourself hurt badly. We don't really need broken bones at this point in our lives. Take care.

DJ said...

Buggsy seems to have gone the extra "mile" on the "endurance" riding "bit".

Very grateful that you are safe.

Merri said...

geez - another scary runaway story! I was on a runaway racehorse once (though if I had thought about it, there was nowhere to go since he was on a small backyard racetrack, and he would have eventually slowed), and was so scared I wanted to bail. the trainer was out there yelling 'DON'T JUMP OFF!' I didn't - or rather, I didn't fall off - and I survived - but could never gallop racehorses after that...
- The Equestrian Vagabond