You see the dents? Those are from me. My trailer is aptly named the "Adventure" for good reason. I had an accident on Sunday while trailering out to McIver Park with some girlfriends. We took three trailers, four horses. I was so excited to get to use my new trailer for the first time. I loaded Maddy, she went in fine. She stomped a little bit on the ride over. I went to unload her once we arrived and as I opened her divider, she pulled back on her breakaway tie. I figured she would feel the stretch in the bungee and relax, but she started to pull harder. Silly me thought a "breakaway" tie would just break. Wrong. I was at her shoulder when she went into fight or flight mode and crashed sideways into me. She slammed me twice and the third time, she knocked me flat on my back. I remember lying there seeing a flurry of hooves. I was thinking "this is how people get trampled." I braced for impact, then I heard a the breakaway clip hit the ground and Maddy running on the gravel. I was slow to get up, a bit in shock, worried about my mare. I hobbled out, and my friends were holding Maddy, she had slipped out of her halter. She was dripping in sweat and had two large gashes on her left side from the divider hitting her. Man, I was shaken. Wow...nothing like a come to Jesus moment.
The Wrong Tack: I have a breakaway halter I ALWAYS use. I am very safety-conscious when I trailer. Maddy looks like a special needs horse with her helmet and shipping boots. I lost the break-away strap on our beach trip a month ago and I hadn't replaced it. This time I used a nylon halter that is a little big. Thank god, otherwise I fear she may have broken her neck. I just ordered another breakaway halter as a back up, along with 5 replacement leathers just in case.
Breakaway ties: I thought they just snapped open with pressure. I found out they snap open when YOU pull on them, not the horse. I should have tested them just to make sure I understood how they worked.
Prior Preparation: I took for granted that Maddy would see this trailer as the same as all the others she has ridden in. I didn't practice with her before hand and get her comfortable with MY trailer. We hadn't trailered out in over a month, I should have taken the time it takes to make sure she was ready to be in my trailer.
I have been out to the barn every day to check her cuts. I am posting the pics not as a way to gross anyone out, to be vigilant about safety even when the trip seems mundane. She is healing nicely. I am on the mend too. I think about what happened and how much worse it could have been for both of us. She never stepped on me. I think that was a miracle. My friends said all they saw was my head on the floor of the trailer and her blowing up around me. I know she kept it together enough to try to keep me safe. Still, I am saddened that I had a horse that was pretty confident in trailers, and I have given her a reason not to be. We have lots of work to do, but I am determined to make my wrong a right. I want her rock solid before I ask her to do that again. I know she was terrified to load back up and get home, but she got in again for me. Isn't it amazing what they do for us? Did I mention I love this horse?
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