That went well...

Posted by Sharon Labels:

A few days ago, someone shared a photo on Facebook of a horse pulling a lawn mower. The photo inspired several "likes" and various comments mostly in the tone of "what a neat idea". I was not one of the "likes" and I refrained from commenting. What I saw was a wreck-in-the-making although I'm the first to admit that I would rather be on top of a horse than behind him in some mode of wheeled transportation. The real reason I could only see disaster in that photo might have been because it reminded me of a story I heard from one of my clients many years ago. According to Melanie, this is what happened.

Hank and Melanie lived on a small acreage beside a paved highway. Although admittedly beginner riders, they wanted a horse or two on the property. To that end, they bought an Appaloosa mare which they brought to me for training. I believe her name was Rosy.

 In those days, clients rarely left a horse with me longer than a month, believing (incorrectly) that I could return to them a safe, dependable mount in that limited time. Rosy was one of those. The little coloured mare had some issues. One of them was refusing to go forward but that's another story... In a month's time, the couple picked her up and presented me with a dozen roses for my trouble (they had witnessed a difficult ride). It was with some concern that I sent the horse home but the Appy behaved herself. She could not be blamed for what happened one sunny afternoon a few weeks later.

Melanie had just ridden Rosy but instead of returning her to the pasture this time, she tied her to a two-wheeled cart in front of the house and went inside, where she decided to try out her newly-purchased (from me!) Mary Kaye skin care products. Shedding her jeans and shirt for a bright yellow bathrobe, she pulled her hair up in a pony tail on the top of her head, washed her face with the cleanser and pulled out the deep-cleansing mask. She had just finished smearing the sticky white stuff on her neck and face when a commotion outside interupted her beauty treatment. Running to the window, she immediately saw what had caused the racket - Rosy was spooking at the cart... and the cart moved. The game was on and Melanie knew this would not end well. She sprang into action.

Grabbing a knife out of the kitchen drawer, Melanie pulled her boots on and the robe tightly around her and bolted out the door to see Rosy and the cart clattering down the driveway toward the highway. Now panicked by visions of a severely injured horse, she charged after her across the highway, through the ditch and in to an almost-ripe, four-foot high wheat field on the other side, with one thing on her mind - separating horse and cart.

But Rosy had stopped running. She must have decided the strange, noisy thing behind her was going to keep following her and the best thng to do was stop and look at it, because that's what she did, allowing Melanie to walk up to her, cut the shank and lead her away from her tormentor. Rosy was unhurt but the cart didn't fare so well - pieces were strewn across the highway, the ditch and the wheat field.

Only after Melanie had rescued her frightened mare did she think of the spectacle she presented to passing motorists (and to Rosy) – dishevelled woman in bathrobe, face painted a ghostly white (the mask was now cracking...), wildly wielding a butcher knife, pursues wild-eyed, wild-coloured horse towing wheeled wreckage through wheat field.

It's a wonder I wasn't arrested," she said. "And why didn't Rosy flee again, this time from the apparition coming  after her through the wheat?"

Maybe Rosy was more 'broke' than I thought she was...