Q. What does it feel like when you've been knocked down and run over by a Percheron?
A. Like a freight train just hit you.
I introduced Misty to a new object this afternoon...a Jolly Mega Ball.
I had her haltered and on a long lead line. I was very careful to go calm and slowly and keep us both in safe positions. It was a little windy out (first mistake), so I secured the ball so it wouldn't roll around and then I walked Misty up to it. We retreated and approached a few times from different directions until she was curiously-afraid enough to reach out and touch it. Soon she was licking it.
Then we both followed the ball as I rolled it slowly around her paddock. We'd stop and she would touch the ball with her lips, push it slightly and lick it some more.
Then I bounced the ball gently; then bounced it a little harder until I was bouncing it like a basketball. Misty was fine.
We pushed the ball around some more. Misty was relaxed and licking her lips. I patted her and told her she was a good girl.
All was going well and I thought it was time to let the ball move freely and see if Misty would like to push it on her own.
The ball was loose and out of my reach (second mistake). I still had Misty on a long lead. But I let my guard down and momentarily put myself in a bad spot. I was between Misty and the paddock fence (third mistake), while Misty was between me and the ball (fourth mistake). At that moment a gust of wind came up and blew the devil ball toward Misty.
I heard Misty's fear snort, then she freaked out and went right into flight mode...and there I was, standing directly in her escape route. She knocked me down, ran over me, and stepped on me.
I am very lucky that she stepped on my left calf and not on my head. I'm also lucky that I have chubby calves that protected my bones.
My left ankle is stiff and sore. My left calf is really painful and bruised. My left hip is sore. My left shoe flew off and landed about 20 feet away. I scraped my left foot, my right ankle, my right elbow, and 1/4 inch below the stitches that are above my right knee cap (from having a "goober" excised from under the skin above my knee cap last week; "goober", that's the medical term my doctor used. Glad I didn't scrape the stitches open.)
If the pain in my left calf and ankle are worse in the morning, I'll probably go to the doctor. But I think I'm just badly bruised.
After this happened, I stood up, clung to the paddock fence while I caught my breath and shook off the first wave of pain. I hobbled across the paddock to get my shoe. Misty was standing quietly so I picked up her lead rope and we did one lap around the paddock while I slowly pushed the ball. Misty licked the ball and we called it quits.
If I can walk tomorrow, I hope to do some more work with the ball, but here's what I'll do differently.
1. I'll wear full length denim jeans instead of capris that leave my lower legs unprotected.
2. I'll wear secure footwear, like boots instead of my slip-on barn clogs I had on.
3. I'll bring the ball out only if there is no wind, and no chance of gusts.
4. I'll be more aware of my position and not get trapped again.
5. I'll wear a helmet. Again, I'm lucky she didn't plant one of her drafty hooves on my head.
I always wear a helmet when I ride. But I should wear one when introducing a horse to new and scary things on the ground. I'll do that from now on.
MyLady loves little birdies almost as much as she loves me. She is heartbroken because there is a canary perched on the outside window ledge of her office building. It is pecking on the glass to get in. Maybe it is a lost pet from a nearby neighborhood, or it may even be a Waldo Canyon fire evacuee. It is obviously a very tame pet and wants to come inside with the people.
MyLady has succeeded in rescuing tame birds before, including a tame falcon that landed right on her hand as she held it in the air. But she can't do anything to help this lost little soul, and it is making her very sad.
Some employees asked if they could lure the bird down to the ground with some bird seed. The facility management people said no, because they don't want to attract other birds to the property. Harsh!
I've loved horses all my life and owned several when I was younger. I showed in English Pleasure and Amateur Hunters in my 20s. Now in my 50s, following a long absence of horses, I've rekindled my passion. I have three equines at home - Misty, a Percheron mare, Lyra a mini horse and her daughter, Lola, a mini mule. We're an odd looking group, but we get along great.