- May 16, 2014 at 6:36 am #83347Donn HewesKeymaster
Here is a link to video of a Budweiser 8 horse hitch, as they trip up and end up in a pile. I am posting the link here because I think it is educational in a few ways. Folks are amazed that the horses stay calm and mostly still. Imagine dealing with this mess by yourself, but many folks before us have done just that. Here is the video.
Get to the horses head quickly, but quietly. The lines are useless. By yourself, free one team (or horse) at a time, just as they did. Stay calm, this is where the horses calm comes from. In a bad tangle the lines will be one of the hardest parts to sort out and can continue to pull on horses heads after they have stopped moving. Be prepared to cut lines if necessary. Lines stretched tight can be hard to unbuckle from the bit. You can see one man pulling long lines to get to the end. That is fine as long as they are not tangled and the horses are still. By yourself as you free a team turn them to face the other horses and tie them if you can.
It did look like they did a great job of dealing with the aftermath. I was wondering if the teamster was not their most experienced. The horses appeared to me to be getting a little loose before the mishap. Anyone else want to add something about dealing with these kinds of events?May 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm #83348carl nyParticipant
Donn, I agree with everything you said. I think the driver got them in a little to tight a circle and the swing teams both got a little loose, looks kinda like one stepped on the one in front of him.I will say that the driver did a fantastic job in the aftermath.
carlMay 16, 2014 at 6:17 pm #83349KMichelleParticipant
Number One reason I carry a sharp knife in my pocket when driving – always…May 16, 2014 at 7:33 pm #83351carl nyParticipant
For close to 40 years now I have carried a Stanley(utility) knife on my belt,always.Except while hunting, then I carry a folding hunting knife.
carlMay 18, 2014 at 9:35 am #83360dominiquer60Moderator
I had shared this on our facebook page as well, I think that this is a great example of a well trained hitch of horses and human crew. The lack of panic from all involved was textbook perfect, and the announcer was fantastic at keeping the crowd from panic and pointed out the positive aspects of what was happening.
There are folks in our circle with this level of a relationship, but it is tough catching successful failures like this video. So I think it is a great one to share for how a wreck can be handled when animals have a good foundation of training, with the patience and trust to wait for their humans to get them out of a bad situation.May 19, 2014 at 4:40 am #83363Carl RussellModerator
Great clip. Thanks for sharing that.
I have had several opportunities over the years to clean up a pile of tangled horses. Only two, mine, and usually not on level ground with anyone to help.
I have always been surprised at the calmness. I do work on having my horses trust me, but I have to say that it is uncanny the way good horses react to such a situation.
I have even had to unharnessed one horse in order to free them, and without halter had them stand and wait for the other to be freed, then reharnessed. And like the announcer said, you just can’t train for that.
A few comments about some of the other comments. NEVER use clips, snaps, or Conways on bit rings. A common misconception is that a strap under pressure must be cut, but a clean buckle can almost always be undone under extreme pressure. Clips, snaps, and Conways require too much slack to undo, and would need to be cut…… Then after the wreck you have lost your control to the knife.
The first horse that went down on me, I cut the side strap (unnecessarily) because I thought I had to. In the end I had to go home after I got him up because I couldn’t hitch him back up.
Even after a run-away, lathered and injured, I have bee amazed at how my horses look to me to assist them, standing calmly, and following direction, and waiting to be untangled.
This really brings home for me the momentary presence of the teamster’s craft. We need to be present, not only to the physical nature of what is going on, but also to the interaction between us and our animals. It is in the manifestation of that awareness that calmness in action is relayed to the animals. There are always choices.
Every moment brings new challenges, but also opportunities, and choices. Regardless of the tangle or constraint, if we step away from the situation mentally, step away from the connection with our working animals, then we give up any chance we may have toward solution, and the disconnection from the beast limits the future even more, for both of us.
There is courage, and faith in there for sure, but there is also exhiliration. To work unflinchingly toward an unknown solution can seem untenable. Working in the same way with a team of horses who are right there with you, carries incredible implications of responsibility, and no amount of personal preparation can provide enough experience to KNOW what the outcome will be. We focus on what we know we can do. Reach what we know we can reach. Use the tools we have at our disposal. All the while leading and partnering with the animals.
Description is evasive, but it awes me, and draws me forward…
CarlMay 19, 2014 at 11:47 am #83365CharlyBonifazMember
Our horses will (in an everyday situation) only be walked away from a hitch if all together walk away; meaning the first one has to wait untill the last one is ready to go. I wonder if that might easen a situation like that
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