The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49105   Message #740791
Posted By: wysiwyg
02-Jul-02 - 01:12 PM
Thread Name: OBIT: Rosie, the Guide Horse
Subject: RE: OBIT: Rosie, the Guide Horse
Sharon, on your two questions-- Yes, and I would hope so.

I have also known owners to use leather instead of nylon gear, because it will break when nylon will not. I have also known an owner to saw partway through one of the leather pieces of a halter, so that it would give if needed. You would leave intact (but loose) the part that goes over the poll (top of the head), because as long as that part is intact and loose it can be used to control the horse... and other parts can be made breakable that would then let it slip off if twisted, as a struggling horse would do.

Actually, I am not sure what is available nowadays, because I am unhorsed (a sad state believe U me). But long ago I used to sell tack (gear), and I remember also breakaway and quick-release tie ropes for trailers, and so forth. The release mechanism is usually in the hardware that connects the parts. Sometimes a horse accident is such that it would be too dangerous or impossible for a human to get to them to turn them loose, and sometimes they are safer loose than tied or corralled. The breakaway is like a fail-safe.

The sad fact of equine ownership is that there is no way to make them as safe as you would like to, in your heart. They are big and strong, and only smart enough to be partly trained or tamed.... they do all kinds of goofy things even after a lifetime of reliable service.... and they are so vulnerable to accident, whether in the wild or, more so, once we pen them up or try to manage them. So safety is a hope, never a certainty, and accidents are a risk we take when we own one. You have to be willing to shoot them yourself, or be able to wait for help and then authorize it done, because the most awful thing CAN happen and you can be there hearing your beloved friend scream and thrash as they tear themselves to bits.

BUt-- good news-- I knew a very delightful mare that was a dream to ride and a sweetie to manage. One day the owner woke up and the mare was out int he pasture, disoriented.... and stone blind, overnight. Maybe it was a lightning strike in the night. No injury could be found, no diagnosis possible. She adopted a pasture pal as her personal guide right off the bat, and in no time was perfectly at home in the pasture even by herself. The other horses, even ones just added to the mix from time to time, kind of looked out for her and never kicked her or played rough or tried to dominate her. Eventually she resumed being a trail horse! Yup! As long as there was another horse there, known or new to her, and a human she knew and trusted, she would be just fine to walk around on, and she would even trot or canter if the rider was brave enough to ask! She got another nine or ten years of good life, and foster-mothered everything else stabled with her.