Monday, December 6, 2010


There's a reason it's called horsepower. Anyone who has worked with horses knows and respects their strength.

This morning Phantom was Hoovering hay from the aisle in front of his stall while I groomed him. He would ground tie without much wandering; however, Zorro's dinner bucket secured to the front of the opposite stall is just too tempting. So I usually do a quick release knot to tie Phantom's lead line through a piece of bailing twine at the front of his own stall. Over the years Trainer Julie has witnessed too many nasty incidents related to cross ties and therefore there are none in this barn. Twine is more forgiving should things go awry.

As is the norm with horses, all is peaceful until things explode.

Phantom managed to catch his lead line under the edge of his stall door while munching. When the line didn't give, he panicked and leapt backward. Crash, bang, clatter! Fortunately, I was not in the way of Phantom's attempted flight and Indy was tied up on the inside of the stall. When the dust settled we had a stall door askew, a panting horse, and a blue merle Sheltie that may be a shade grayer now.

Phantom seemed fine, though still a little white-eyed. He stopped immediately upon the release of his lead. Indy was shaking, but he was on the opposite side from all the activity. The door was intact, but the brackets holding the rail on which it slides were goners.

As horse events go, this was a mild one and over quickly. The door was repaired immediately (thanks, Juan!) and no one was hurt. But it was a reminder of how powerful horses are.

There's a reason that the energy produced by our mechanized vehicles is measured by the strength of horses.


wilsonc said...

So glad no one was seriously hurt! They are pretty powerful and you can never really predict what they're going to do under unusual circumstances. Is your Juan the same Juan we have at our barn or a different one?

Oregon Equestrian said...

Different Juan. He and Roberto are the stall cleaning and arena maintenance crew. Juan sings while he works and Roberto whistles. :-)

gowestferalwoman said...

It those moments afterwards you count your blessings...
glad it turned out okay!