Last weekend Huginn and I went to Wild River State Park in MN. We got
to the park early Thursday and had fun riding all weekend. We rode
with a variety of gaited horses and one QH.
On Thursday, Huginn and I went out for a solo ride. Friday
morning...we rode with a group of Paso Finos and Peruvians Pasos, then
came back into camp for a late lunch. In the early evening.. Huginn,
Dixie and I went out for a quick 5 mile ride. I pony Dixie. She's so
darn cute... she walks, trots, canters next to Huginn. <;]
On Saturday, I went out with three other freinds; two pasos and the
one QH. We went out on Sunrise Trail (11 miles one way), got the end
and turned around, headed back to camp. About 8 miles from camp,
Huginn and the QH were in the rear, they kept getting real goosey and
scooting forward, as if something was spooking them from behind.
I kept looking back, but never saw anything. We thought it was a deer
tracking us. This happen to us three times. On the third time, I
looked back and saw a guy riding a mountain bike. He was about 40'
behind us. Of course, we ...the humans never heard him, as bikes are
so darn quite. The horses were doing the "wanna bolt jig", so I asked
the biker (who was still peddling towards us) to please stop. He just
kept peddling and gave me a "you're in my way and slowing me down"
I finally said, "Look, you need to please stop. You are spooking the
horses. Please stop!" He stopped and gave us a disgusted sigh.
I then said "I'm not sure if you know this, but you just can not bike
up the rear of horses with out announcing yourself to the riders.
Horses spook easily and you might cause an accident". The guy gave me
another disgusted look, said "whatever" and started to peddle towards
I then said to him "Please stop. We are going to move our horses to
the side of the trail so you can pass us, okay".
As he started to pass us, one of my friends said "This is not a bike
trail, this is a hiking/horse trail". The guy said "Yes..this is a
bike trail". My other friend said "Look, we don't mind sharing the
trail, but you need to respect the fact that you sharing the trail
with horses. Horses who may spook." I then said "Please be careful
when approaching horses, please announce yourself, talk to the horses
as you pass, so they know you are a human. Please think about having a
bell on your bike to warn other trail users that you are coming".
The guy said "yea..whatever." He then sped by us.
We continued on the trail. About 5 minutes later, we went
around a bend in the trail. On the ground near a bog was a young girl
(12 yrs old), crying and holding her arm against her chest. Her mother
was on the trail, holding her horse. A man was a bit further down the
trail holding two horses.
The woman looked up at me surprised and said "Raven? We thought that
was you with all that purple". I asked "What happen?"
What happen was that the man on the quite mountain bike had spooked
the three horses, causing them to spin around and start to bolt. The
little girl's horse spun around, dumping the girl onto the ground and
she landed near the bog.
I asked "Is anyone hurt?" and the mom said, "I think she is". I got
down from Huginn, gave him to my friend to hold.
I walked to the little girl and I knew right away that she had a
broken arm. Her left arm was bent at an awful angle at the ulna and
her wrist was just a dangling. <:\
I asked if anyone had a cell phone. The last two days, I had had mine
in my ankle safe, and that morning I had taken it out to chat with my
hubby and had forgotten to place it back into my ankle safe!! DUMB!
DUMB! @#$%%&% DUMB!
The mom said "The guy riding the bike went for help, so we're okay."
A few minutes later I could tell that the little girl was going into
shock. I took my rain duster off Huginn, and wrapped it around the
girl. I took the woman's horse, tied him to a tree and asked her to
sit with her daughter and hold her.
I again asked "Who has a cell phone?". The mom said she had one but
no service. The guy said "I also have one but if she doesn't have
service, neither do I."
I looked at him and said, "Why would you think that? Have you tried
yours?" He said "No".
I said "I have Verizon and I had service out there. Who's your service
provider?" He said "Verizon". I then said "Please let me use your
phone to call 911." I dialed 911, it took me two patchy phone call to
gave them the details as to where I was and the extent little girl's
injuries. They also asked me to keep the line open in hopes that the
GPS would track our location down.
I have to tell you...I know these trails like the back of my hand. So,
I never pay any attention to mileage signs, etc. No need too, as I
know how to get back to camp.
BUT...that day, I notice the sign telling me that I was crossing
county lines, I also noticed the 5.8 mile maker sign that we had just
passed. All of these things helped me to get help for the little girl
My three friends who had been riding with me...left for camp...to see
if they could find some help.
When the park ranger and the sheriff deputy arrived. The deputy took
the girl and her mom to the waiting EMS unit. As they could not get
the EMS unit onto the trail.
This left the guy (a cowboy type), me and four horses that needed to
get back to camp!!
I asked if the guy knew how to pony and he said "No". Great! I
mounted Huginn and took hold of the red QH. And the guy mounted his
mare and took hold of the black QH.
As the park ranger was getting ready to leave, the guy's mare started
kicking out at the black QH. My gut told me...this is another
accident waiting to happen. I asked the ranger to please go back to
camp and asked someone who had a safe horse and knew how to pony to
come back to help us.
The guy on the mare said "It'll be okay, we don't need any more help.
She'll settle down once we get moving". I looked at the guy and said
"I don't mean to offend you, but my gut tells me different."
Well....it was hell trying to get those horses back! That damm mare
kept kicking and kicking and bucking. The guy didn't know how to pony,
I asked him to keep the black QH's nose up near his knee...and to not
let him get stringed out ...to the end of the leather reins, behind
the mare's butt. But..the guy would not hear a word I was saying.
So, the mare kicked and kicked...scaring the poor black horse, he
pulled back and broke the rein.
Sigh. I then told the guy "This is really dumb, you're going to get
one of us or one of the horses hurt." He said "My mare just doesn't
like other horses. But she's one great barrel horse". In times like
this...that don't amount to beans.
I then said "Look, we need to just get down and hand walk these horses
in". He said, "I ain't walking five miles back to camp!' I said
"Well, you don't know how to safely pony a horse, so we have no
choice. Or you can ride into camp yourself, bring back some help, or I
can ride into camp and come back with help". The guy said "Nope to
So, I started hand walking Huginn and the red QH. I told the guy "look
don't get caught between them two if your mare starts kicking!"
We walked about 5 minutes and the guy said "I can't walk no further,
are your ready to get back on? I want to try to pony again."
Well....his mare would have no part of it. So, I then tied the black
QH to the red QH's saddle. And I got on Huginn and tandem ponied the
two big QH's. The two QH's had never been ponied ..so they were not
sure what was going on. They were also having a hard time rating
themselves to Huginn's fast walk. They would jog and kept getting a
bit in front of Huginn.
I said to the guy "Please get in front of us, this will slow us down.
I'll stay about 20' behind you. Pay attention to your mare, so she
doesn't give us any nasty body signals".
We walked like this for about 5 minutes, then out of the blue...the
mare...canters in REVERSE, bucking and kicking as she's
coming.....back into us and kicks the crap out of the red horse. The
black horse pulls back and break the rein again, the mare starts
beating the crap out of the black QH, she kicks him in the left
leg...breaking skin, blood everywhere...black QH won't put leg down
(this is freakin' made for TV scary video). I'm yelling at the guy to
spin his mare's A$$ around and to get her under control.
He finally manages to get her far enough away from the other horses. I
jumped down and tie Huginn and the red QH to a tree. I checked the
black's leg, he will not put it down. I mutter a few choice words
about the mare. I said " You need to ride into camp and get help."
The guy said "Look why don't we just turn the black horse loose, he
has no place to go, he will just follow us". By this time I was ready
to whack the guy.
I said "You can NOT just turn a horse loose. This is YOUR friend's
horse! How are you going to explain to your friend that you lost her
The guy then said "You need to ride into camp. I'll wait here".
So, I jumped on Huginn, grabbed the red QH and left them on the trail.
I holler back "what ever you do, do not get hurt, and do not turn that
black horse loose!"
We walked away from them, and as soon as we were out of sight, I
kissed Huginn into a fast tolt. We tolted all the way back towards
About a mile from camp, I ran into one of my other freinds on her
Peruvian Paso, the ranger had told her about my need for help and a
horse who could pony. I told her that the guy was back on the trail,
that the black horse was hurt, told her to stay far away from the
mare. I asked her to please go back and pony the black horse into
I rode Huginn into camp, I gave the red QH to my Paso Finos freinds,
asked them to untack him, hose him down, hay & water him. I then
turned Huginn around and started back down the trail to help with the
black horse. Boy...Huginn was not happy about leaving camp.
I got about 1.5 miles from camp, saw my friend riding with a couple
who were ponying the black horse.
I was very confused. I figured that the couple had come upon the guy
with the mare and he had asked them to help. BTW...the guy was no
where to be seen.
I asked where the guy was, the couple said "What guy?" I said "The guy
on the mare who was with the black horse."
The couple told me "We were riding down the trail, that follows the
road behind the woods. We heard a horse on the pavement, this black
horse was running loose...down the road".
So...the husband grabbed his lasso and got the black horse!!
We got into camp, my PF friends untacked the black horse. I took care
of Huginn, and when I was done with Huginn's needs I went over to give
the black horse first aid. His back leg was cut over the stifle, it
was swollen and he was bleeding. I cold hose him down for 30 minutes.
By this time the guy on the mare camp back into camp. I went over to
ask him what the heck had happen.
The guy said that after I left him, all hell broke loose. His mare
went bonkers and tried to kill the black horse. So, he decided to just
turn the black horse loose. Thank goodness that couple came upon the
BTW...I heard later that night that the little girl's arm had suffered
a bad ulna break ...not a clean one. She may need surgery to correct
the break. <:9[
When the ranger came over to get my name/info for his incident report,
he thanked me for the great detailed info I had given to the 911
dispatcher. Because I knew our location, they were able to get the EMS
unit near the location and that saved them time in trying to "find
The ranger also informed me that the man on the bike had never called
911~!! That man rode off after telling the little girl's mom that he
was going for help. Can you believe that scum bag!? The ranger also
told me that bikes are NOT allowed on that trail, it's only for hiking
Some things that would have helped the situation.
Please teach your horses how to pony another horse.
Please teach your horses how to be ponied.
Please use a halter bridle on your horse. Or carry a halter with you.
Or have a halter under the bridle. (I felt bad for the red QH, as I
had no choice but to pony him by his bit.)
Please carry a lead line. (I always carry a small rope lead line in my
saddle bag. Now...I lost mine that weekend, as I think it was placed
in the woman's trailer) ~:\ grrrrr!
Please wear a cell phone.
If your horse does not have "proper under saddle" manners towards
other horses...train them or leave them home. IMHO...a horse that
kicks other horses while under saddle is a liability issue. If this
mare had behaved we would have gotten back to camp quickly....not
Please be aware of your location on the trail, should you ever need
help you will need to give this info to the 911 dispatcher.
Thank you to Cathy for coming out to help me!
THANK YOU HUGINN FOR BEING SUCH A GREAT PONY!!
Without Huginn's patience (with two 15+ hand strange QH geldings) and
his dedication to my requests to tolt to camp and then back onto the
trail, I would not have been able to get the horse's the help they
I love my Ice Pony!! He is one totally awesome dude!