Sunday, November 29, 2009

Facebook and a Close Call

Jason has started a Facebook page for the farm. If you type in Paradigm Farms in the search box on Facebook you will find the page, and of course you will want to become a fan! The Paradigm Farms fan page is far from complete right now but each horse has his or her own folder for pictures. Right now there are only a couple of pictures per horse but we'll be adding and updating pictures regularly. The world's cutest fainting goats also have their own folder of pictures as does Sparky the donkey.

For the most part the last few days have been very routine and very pleasant. Our gorgeous fall weather has continued on, with lovely days of 60 degrees and sunny. My horses have been ridden so much lately I am sure they are hoping for some cold, rainy days asap!

I say for the most part the last few days have been pleasant because I had one of those scary reminders of how easy it is to get hurt around horses on Saturday. Jason and I were out getting the hay feeders ready in the pastures, and we even put hay out for some of the horses this weekend. I always know winter is officially heading our way when it is time to start feeding hay. Anyway, Jason was driving through one of the pastures on the tractor and I was walking to the gate to open it for him. He changed gears on the tractor and sped up, and the noise and the change in speed spooked one of the horses (I'm not going to give a name!).

I heard the tractor and looked up and saw the horse spook. He started running and never even saw me (he was looking behind him with his head turned and not ahead) and slammed right into me, head on, at a gallop. I tried to jump out of the way but it happened to fast and I didn't have time. Thankfully he only had a couple of strides to get going. Jason, who got to watch the whole thing, said that as soon as the horse realized he had hit me he basically did a tap dance trying not to step on me. He hit me head on with his chest, of course I was slammed to the ground and then I rolled on impact, and unfortunately wound up underneath him. The next couple of seconds I don't really remember clearly as I had the wind knocked out of me, I just remember seeing horse legs and hooves above me. I did get stepped on once on my leg and maybe on one of my arms judging from the bruise, but that might just be from when he initially ran into me. Luckily I have nothing but scrapes and some impressive bruises to show for it, and of course every muscle in me hurts - a lot.

I always shudder when someone says something along the lines of "my horse would NEVER . . . " because I know from experience that it can happen any time, with any horse. Anyone who makes such a naive claim about a horse simply hasn't spent enough time around enough horses. In the years we have been running a retirement farm this is actually the second time I've been trampled by a horse in the pasture, and that was also an accident that would be next to impossible to replicate again. I do believe there are many quiet and bombproof horses in the world, and I would even put this horse in that category. However, no matter how much we work with them and how much training and exposure they have, they are, in the end, still horses.

Thankfully that whole incident was less than a minute of time out of an otherwise great holiday weekend. The bruises will go away and although right now the aches and pains are still getting worse, those will go away as well. I have no hard feelings at all towards the horse, it was an accident and the poor guy tried hard not to make it any worse after he realized what was happening. Although I wasn't moving nearly as sprightly as usual for the rest of the weekend I still enjoyed every minute of it. I hope everyone had a nice weekend as well. This week is shaping up to be a busy one around the farm. Have a great Monday and remember to find Paradigm Farms on Facebook!

Clay and Chili; Clay is a Quarter Horse who raced on the QH circuit before becoming a trail horse. Snappy is a Polish bred gelding who competed through the four star level in eventing under the guidance of Mark Todd. He was later sold to someone in the states, and after a cross country crash he converted to a new career in the hunters.

Slinky, a large pony who specialized in pony equitation

Lucky, a Quarter Horse cross and retired trail horse

Lightening, an Arabian and also a retired trail horse

The pet cows enjoying a quiet afternoon
Two very dirty grey horses, Lily and Cuff Links. Lily is a Quarter Horse/Warmblood cross and retired jumper. Cuffie is a Welsh Pony and retired pony hunter (medium)
Ivan wins the dirtiest grey horse in this post hooves down. Actually he wins the overall dirtiest horse award, period, the other side was equally as bad if not worse. Gross! Ivan is a Thoroughbred and retired Grand Prix jumper. Maybe he should go for a second career in mud volleyball or something.

Some of the big boys walking through the pasture. Thomas is the one cut off on the left, Trigger in the center, Apollo is mostly hidden behind Trigger, Homer is the grey hiding behind Apollo, then Ivan, and Baby in the very back behind the tree. Thomas is a Holsteiner and retired dressage horse. Apollo is a Hanoverian and also retired from dressage. Trigger is an Appendix Quarter Horse, Homer was bred and born in Ireland, and Baby is a Warmblood/Thoroughbred cross, and all three are retired show hunters.

Same group of horses. Thomas, Trigger and Apollo in the front with Homer and Ivan in the back. Levendi is the horse somewhat hidden behind the tree. Levendi is an Oldenburg and retired show hunter.

Apollo, Homer and Ivan

Faune is a Selle Francais and retired show hunter. He is affectionately known as the Big French Guy.

Winston and Trillion grazing together. Winston is a Thoroughbred and Trillion is a Dutch Warmblood, both are retired show hunters. Trillion was consistently one of the top horses in the country in the 4' hunters and was circuit champion at the Winter Equestrian Festival. In the back Ogie and B-Rad are grazing. Ogie is a Thoroughbred and retired eventer, B-Rad is a Belgian Warmblood and retired show jumper.

Sky and Norman grazing together. Sky is one of my horses and Norman is a retired pony hunter.

MyLight is a Thoroughbred and retired dressage horse

Baby is one of the fanciest hunter movers I have ever seen, and I look at a lot of super fancy horses every day! When he is relaxed and does his big, swinging, toe pointing trot across the pasture it is really something to see. Baby is a son of the well known hunter stallion Jupiter.


lytha said...

right on! you've hit upon one of my soap boxes, may i?

every horse has his moment. this is why i consider carriage driving in a downtown metropolis foolish. as i did it for a while, i learned that even the calmest of our draft horses had his moment. at that point i realized everyone in and around the carriage was in danger, and they had no idea.

every horse has his moment, and people get hurt.

the daftest thing i've done so far is to crawl under a fence at night in pitch darkness, not knowing my horse was sound asleep in front of me. i always joke, "baasha would never hurt me, except for that time he kicked me in the head when i crawled under the fence!" ok, he would never hurt me intentionally: ) i got stitches in my head that night and a real fear of crawling under fences, day or night.

there is this circus act in town where the guy lays between his horse's legs. he needs to read your post here.

i think i'll ask my man to read your post when he gets home. you did nothing wrong, (unlike me and circus guy) were just standing there, and still you got hurt. i hope lots of people read your post and think about it. especially when there are children around.


Anonymous said...

All horses, no matter how well-trained, can do things that can hurt us and accidents also happen. I've never been knocked over or trampled (yet) but I've had plenty of other incidents like yours to remind me of this. Hope the bruises fade quickly!

Lily does the dirty horse thing really well, and I see that Norman is staying close to the ladies!

Melissa-ParadigmFarms said...

Lytha, I totally agree with you. I cringe every time I read the Fugly blog and she has yet another sales ad of someone showing off how quiet their horse is by putting their two year old on it - with no one holding them! The cherry on top is that often the horse in question is a young, unbroke stallion.

Kate, Lily does do the dirty horse look quite well, but there are others that take it to a whole new level! Norman always, (did I say always?) sticks close to his girls!

ZionFarm said...

I am so glad you are ok after that accident! How scary to look up and see legs and hooves right above you.

Ivan's pictures is hilarious. A couple of our horses (Hoffy included) love to roll in the mud puddle and stay dirty 90% of the time. :)

Oh, I tried finding the Paradigm Farm page on facebook, but did not see it come up on the search. Ill keep trying.

Jon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jon said...

Hey Melissa - nothing like getting run down to realize just how big and how fast 1,200lbs of startled equine can be - heck even 500lbs of weanling is no picnic. Glad you're ok.

stilllearning said...

Ouch. Glad you weren't more badly hurt.

Vivian, Apollo's Mom said...

Hi Melissa- I am glad you are OK. I've never been run over but I've been in the midst of a field of running horses, mine included, where I was cringing on the post holding up one side of a shelter. I am looking forward to seeing the farm on Facebook!

Jen said...

Oof. I was once run over by my 17hh TB in a freak thing like your incident was. I was a little freaked out about handling him in his pen with his herd for a while after that; it's scary!! It just goes to show you can never completely let your guard down when working around horses, and even then accidents happen. So glad to hear you're okay.

Jason said...

Folks, Melissa is right when she says to watch yourself and pay attention when around groups of horses ! I think about everyone's safety ALL the time around here..Melissa often tells me that I'm a freak about it and I agree with her....I harp on about it all the time.

Safety is the primary reason we don't let clients (almost all experienced horse people) visit and wander around without us being phyically present. We might not be able to prevent every accident but we CAN at the very least administer first aid and dial 911 ! LOL !!

This is proof that even when everyone has plenty of experience and is paying attention, accidents sometimes happen. I've got to tell you it was horrifying to watch Melissa get run happened so fast it was unreal; she had no chance at all to get away. Fortunately other than bumps and bruises, Melissa is just fine.

Hope this message finds you well and also SAFE !

jane augenstein said...

Oh, my! I'm glad you weren't hurt any worse than you were! How scary, I have been so lucky with Gilly not hurting me. He has spooked several times while I was leading him and (knock on wood) he always has jumped away from me, not on me. I know he could jump on me, knock me down any number of things. So far I am lucky!