Re: [RC] Tedd's "Frantic" ride in the mid 80's - Barbara McCrary
I had an extremely interesting experience related to swimming a horse across
a river, way back in the 1970s. A local horsemen's group put on an obstacle
ride in a park. The horse-rider team started with 0 points. Each obstacle
was allowed X number of seconds to accomplish. The river crossing was
allowed 45 seconds. If you went undertime, you got the same number of
points as the seconds it took to do the obstacle. If you went overtime, the
score was doubled to 90 points, if your horse refused the obstacle, the
score was tripled, and so on. It was great fun....18 miles of trail to be
ridden at your own pace, but the obstacles were timed, and some of them were
doozies. Anyway, the first year I tried it, I approached the river with
some ill-advised ideas. I believed that I should loosen the girth so that
the horse would be able to take in larger amounts of air into his lungs,
thus making him more buoyant. I also thought I should remove the
breastplate, in case it hindered his swimming motion. Thusly prepared, I
rode him into the river, which was not too wide, but was swimming depth
within 2 steps off the bank. The horse went in and started to dog paddle,
with his head and shoulders up. All this seemed to be happening in slow
motion....I saw the horse gradually becoming farther and farther away from
me, yet I was still sitting in the saddle....for a while anyway. Then it
all fell apart......the horse ran on up the trail and I had to be fetched
out of the river, saddle and all. The horse had literally swum out of his
saddle! I asked the ride personnel for a second chance to try this, since
there were no other riders coming along, and I agreed that the score would
not change should I do better the second time. I didn't do any better, and
I had to be fetched out of the river again. I thought about this for a
whole year, and the following year I was ready with a new plan (same horse).
I observed that this horse would drop his head against my pull on his mane,
so I used this to good advantage to keep his head down and prevent him from
dog paddling. I also took my feet out of the stirrups while holding on to
his mane and the reins and simply floated over the saddle while he was
swimming. I also reined him direct, rather than neck reining, as the latter
would roll him over on his side (I found that out on trial #2 the previous
year). It all worked like a charm.....we made the obstacle in 11 seconds
flat! This was in the summer, in coastal CA, so the water was not bitterly
cold. It surely was a fun ride. Wish they would do it again, as some of
our horses would do a lot better than that one did on other obstacles. It
took an enormous number of personnel, and I guess that is the reason it is
not done any more. Too bad......
----- Original Message -----
From: "Laura Hayes" <mark@xxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, December 16, 2002 5:00 AM
Subject: [RC] Tedd's "Frantic" ride in the mid 80's
> Sue wrote:<<<<Back in the mid-80's at one of Teddy's Frantic rides, Bill
> Wilson and his
> horse got washed down the river while crossing. The Corps of Engineers
> not received the message NOT to open the flood gates. I think Bill's
> got caught in a submerged log or something. Pretty scary for a while, but
> both Bill and his horse came out of it OK.>>>>
> I was at this ride, also. Brian Weaver and I were on two of Wayne
> Rushcreek mares and were the first ones to the river. Brian tried to get
> Nancy to cross and couldn't. I tired with RC Joan and she would start to
> swim and then pull me toward a pile of brush in the middle of the creek
> instead of going to the other bank. It really wasn't too far across, but
> the banks were steep and the water was over their heads in seconds. There
> was no current, but it was cold and deep.
> Bill Wilson came along and plunged in and his horse just flipped out and
> floundered around. Bill bailed off and ended up on the other side of the
> creek and Brian jumped in and held the horse's head above water and got it
> to back to the same bank we were on. I will never forget the look on
> Brian's face - it was sheer terror- and from a man who never seemed afraid
> of anything...I am sure that horse would have drown if he was not there.
> And mind you, this was in April in OH - it was COLD! I had just broken a
> couple ribs the week before and being in that water really hurt!
> We now had Bill's horse on the first side of the creek and Bill was on the
> far side, so I was going to tie him to a tree and Bill told me to let him
> and he would just go back to ridecamp - so we did, and HE did! It never
> occured to me what people would think when Bill's horse came back without
> Brian ended up getting Nancy across and about that time Teddy came by and
> told us to go around. I ended up catching Jeannie Miller who won the
> who had just jumped in and just swam across, and ended up second and BC.
> I grew up on the shores of Lake Erie in NY - we swam our horses all the
> time, and went to college on a swimming scholarship, so I was no stranger
> water or swimming horses, but poor RC Joan just couldn't get across that
> river, and Bill's horse had NO apptitude for swimming. I am sure he would
> have drown if Brian had not jumped in and held his head up. The funniest
> part was, as we stood there at that creek, several riders came along,
> in and went across just as easy as pie. Very Odd.
> Laura Hayes AERC # 2741
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Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp
Ride Long and Ride Safe!!
- [RC] Tedd's "Frantic" ride in the mid 80's, Laura Hayes