Hanks: My two worst wrecks on a horse
January 27, 2017
Gentle readers, in a recent column, I mentioned talents that some folks have, like for example, horse whisperers.
I am going to retell a couple of wrecks that I was involved in years ago, many years ago.
I had a new horse and a new rope, and I knew nothing about either. I had been told in order to stretch my new rope I would need to tie it onto something heavy and drag it.
They didn't bother to mention that maybe I shouldn't tie my rope to the saddle horn if I was on a bronc.
“I got off my pony and removed the jack from that poor colt and left it in the trail to retrieve at a later date.”
As luck would have it, I WAS on a bronc when I came across that crosstie buried in the sand. I tied one end of my new rope to the railroad tie and the other end to my saddle horn.
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I proceeded to try and pull that big ol' timber out of the sand. The horse struggled so I bumped him with my spurs.
Oh, did I mention that a cowboy I WAS NOT! I knew nothing. The horse jumped and the tie jumped out of the ground and all of a sudden a "bugger" was after my horse.
He bucked me off the back end and the crosstie barely missed my head as it sailed by. The horse ran away and circled the 20-acre pasture in a panic before the tie eventually went around a steel fence post and it cut the rope.
My poor horse ran back to me begging for help and to look at me like "what in the heck are you doing to me."
I lost a new rope, almost lost my life, but learned when a horse needs help he will most likely come back to his rider or so it seems.
The second wreck happened when I brought a 2-year-old colt to Colorado from Texas that I only ridden a few times.
I was mounted on a big buckskin horse when I started up the mountain that June morning. I had this colt saddled up and the plan was to take him to the top of the mountain, ride him a while checking cattle, then switch horses and come back down off the mountain.
I forgot to mention that while going up the mountain I found a brand new Handy Man Jack laying in the trail where some hunter must have lost it off of an ATV.
I hung my wild rag on a pinion tree by the jack so when I came down I could pack the jack on the colt until I got back to the ranch.
There we were, loading the jack on the horse. I put the foot of the jack in the off stirrup, stood the jack straight up and took my piggin' string (used to tie cattle down if necessary) and tied the top of the jack to the saddle horn.
I remounted and off we went. Then, all of a sudden the colt realized he had a "bugger" hangin' off his side and clear up over the saddle. He took off buckin' through the timber, a'squallin all the while.
I could hear rocks scattering and limbs breaking and caught a glimpse of him as he bolted through the trees. I could see that the jack handle had come untied and with every jump the jack would jack itself up another notch, or so it seemed.
Finally he came tearing back through the pinions and ran up to me out of gas and eyes as big as hubcaps on a 1956 Oldsmobile.
He was shaking and asking, "WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?"
I got off my pony and removed the jack from that poor colt and left it in the trail to retrieve at a later date.
Both of those young horses found themselves in a jam and came back to the source of it hopefully for relief. I could never get that colt to even look in the back of my pickup again because there was a Handy Man Jack layin' there. So, a horse whisperer I was not, but both horses gave me a little insight as to how they react in a situation like that. Live and learn I reckon.
Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, put yer best foot forward in all you attempt to do and I'll c. y'all, all y'all.❖