The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #49105   Message #741758
Posted By: katlaughing
03-Jul-02 - 05:32 PM
Thread Name: OBIT: Rosie, the Guide Horse
Subject: RE: OBIT: Rosie, the Guide Horse
Horses are highly intelligent; I read a story about one which typed out answers to questions on a giant, specially built typewriter, true story. I also have known horses to whom I would trust my life, totally. One got me home when I was a young child and lost. She knew what needed to happen; I just held on and cried. I don't think of them as lower food chain. I think they are "fey" in that they are highly sensitive, seeing and sensing things we know not. Sometimes that may make them seem silly or stupid.

The cowboy author who illustrated his own books, Will James, told a story in Horses I Have Known about an old rancher who suddenly went blind for no discernible reason. His sons trained a saddlehorse to be his eyes, so that he could still feel useful by checking fencelines and finding downed calves, etc.

One day, while he and his horse were on the other side of the "crick" the sun got very hot and melted a lot of the snow in the high country. As the day went on, the creek began to rise from the runoff, so that soon the rancher could hear it had become quite a torrent, a real flashflood. He decided to head his horse down to a nearby railroad tressle and try to cross over to home that way. As they neared the bridge, he could hear what sounded like large trees and other debris slamming against its foundations so he knew there was no time to waste.

He urged his horse to step out for the crossing, something they had done many times before, when the horse refused. Thinking the water and noise had scared it, he urged it once again. Again, it refused to step foot on the bridge. Finally, the rancher insisted and the horse gingerly stepped out. Going slowly, they worked their way across. About halfway, all of a sudden, he heard a train whistle. It was coming towards them and by the time of day he knew it was a passenger train. Knowing they wouldn't be able to stop, he knew he had to get off the tressle, so he tried to get his horse to jump off into the water. The horse, still with a mind of its own, refused. The rancher stood up in the saddle and waved his hat back and forth, hollering at the train to stop! Then, he gave his horse its head and that horse fast walked across the rest of the bridge, jumping off just as they heard the train come to a screeching halt just shy of the bridge.

They later determined that had the horse done what the rancher wanted, i.e. jumped off, the train would not have stopped AND the bridge would not have stood up under its weight; all would have been swept away. The rancher also had his vision back, apparently from the high-fright of such an event.