Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › The Front Porch › In Memorium › Killed my first horse today
- January 3, 2015 at 11:36 pm #84465Sue BrennanParticipant
Jay, So sorry for the lost of your horse and companion. Our horse’s bring us joy in so many ways even if just hearing them nibble in the morning on the hay before going off to work. Know that Lee had a good home and a compassionate caring owner and enjoyed every day with you. I too lost a favorite horse in a freak accident. Actually in rented pasture, I placed 40 acres in new fencing only to miss 4 feet of old wire in a wooded area with rambles. I awoke in the middle of the night, jumping out of bed, thinking that I must go check on the horses. Decided that I was dreaming and had just been there a few hours earlier. The next morning I found Turbo with two hind feet wrapped in fence wire. He backed into it, both feet caught, went over the wire backwards and faced down hill on his back with hooves in air. Some thing must of really scared him? I buried him and did not tell anyone for a week due to gilt and pain of the lost. Thank you for sharing your experience and it is nice to see all the support and compassion offered to you. Unfortunately horses are prey animals and their nature is to flight. I certainly have had my own and am amazed I survived with the horse’s in tack. Some one could write a book on why horse’s run away. There are a 100’s reasons. I am so glad that you and no one else got hurt. Glad that Zeke is back in the woods. You have been on my mind the last couple of days and just know…YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND WE ARE ALL THERE WITH YOU.
January 5, 2015 at 2:44 pm #84467KMichelleParticipant
- This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Sue Brennan.
Wow, it’s incredible that I had just spoken on the phone to you…
I was part of an extremely clandestine first two years of driving where I was in some wrecks, saw some wrecks, and saw horses get wrecked. Some of these were inexperience, some were equipment failures (which I now associate with inexperience), and some were just to boggle the mind.
I cannot tell you why I still think it’s a good idea to hitch up a horse and go at it. But what I do know, is that I am here for the horses, and so are you. And that you have to get back out there and drive and build confidence. And some day you will have to forgive yourself.
But that doesn’t mean you will forget what and why it happened, or that you will stop playing it over in your head.
Jay, you are here and a part of DAPNet, sharing your story so that others might think twice. That is why we are a community, so we can share the blood and glory. I guarantee you will be reborn into conservancy, a superior and wise teamster. You will continue to share this with the community and we will all be the better for it.
Lee will live on through the many hands that are brought into the ranks of the draft horse community. You are a part of that, and Lee is a part of your story.January 6, 2015 at 5:16 pm #84471LongViewFarmParticipant
Thank you all for your support right now. It is incredibly helpful to hear a kind word. I used to say that the horses and I taught each other how to work, and that is totally true. Now Zeke and I must teach each other how to work without Lee. I am realizing all over again how little I know, and I hope to persevere.
Lee loved life. Food, of course, was his favorite thing, but he loved to work too. He was happy to let his brother do most of the pulling, and would step into the collar when needed. Even though he wasn’t the forward horse in the team, he was the leader, confidant. Lee also enjoyed people, and you could walk out in the field and climb up on his back without any tack or halter. He would take care of you. To feel him move slowly about grazing while you were on his back was something special.
Lee came into my life in 2007 or 2008. He was actually my dad’s horse, a farmer’s payment on a veterinary bill. Since my dad already had a team, and I wanted to spend time with him, I started driving Lee. His sire was the Morgan stallion Willoughby and his dam was a Belgian mare. Lee was maybe two years old when we put him in a Meadowbrook cart and started following my dad’s team around. I would steer Lee into dad’s wagon is ever I needed too. It was not the most formal method of training a horse for sure, but I loved it. I used to work twenty-four hour shifts in an ambulance company and I would get off work at seven am on Thursday mornings and rush right out to Unity to meet my dad to drive, sometimes after very little sleep. Soon Lee and I started driving on our own.
Zeke came into the picture a year later, from the same farmer for the same reason. Lee had taught me how to drive, and now taught his brother. In the pair Lee always had the confidence, I believe a result of working single before working in a pair. I have worked Zeke single, but not as often as I should. Training is never at its optimum level and using the team was the easiest way to get work done. Zeke was the more forward horse, and I used to joke about “Lazy Lee is on the Left” and enjoyed the alliteration. It made it easy for people to remember who was who in the team.
Lee brought happiness to many people through wagon rides, farm visits, parades, and weddings. We could pull logs and mow fields and spread manure. We had just performed amazingly in our first on farm forestry demo. I was looking forward to plowing and cultivating. He was a horse in his prime, with many great skills and years left to practice them. He came into my life by happy circumstance and grew to take a draft sized place in my heart.
It took one broken pole, 300 feet of terrified running, and all of that was gone to a broken leg and a horrible lesson. What still bothers me is that this was our first runaway ever, our first accident. Why did it have to prove fatal? So many people have said to me lately “I had that happen one time and almost lost a horse.” Almost? I WISH I had an almost story.
For some cruel reason Lee is gone and I try to remember all the good times we had.
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.January 8, 2015 at 12:15 pm #84492Tim HarriganParticipant
[video]http://youtu.be/D_6–bgCyWg[/video]February 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm #84972Brad JohnsonParticipant
How are you and Zeke doing over there? Are you working in the woods? Hope all is well and you are both staying warm.
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