Check it Out!
[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]
[Date Index] [Thread Index] [Author Index] [Subject Index]

2 riders a bull & a bass boat - story

I wish I was good at telling stories - today's adventure just has to be
shared regardless.....

I left home this morning with a smile on my face.  Ridecamp had offered a
good start to my day and the story of meeting the elephant and the camel in
the woods had me laughing before 7 am..  As I pulled out my driveway with
Lella in tow, I wondered if we would meet any "elephants" on the trail
today.  I met a friend, Martha, who was going to ride with me and we
ventured to my cousin's huge farm an hour away.  I had been wanting to ride
here for some time, as it is located nearly next to  our old farm (now
subdivided).  Picture the rolling countryside of central Virginia.  Big
pastures bordered by a deep blue lake - a place that just calls to any
riders soul.  The weather was an unusual 65 plus degrees in December and the
sky was clear blue.  It just doesn't get any better than this.
Anyway, this was the day that  I would ride there and I was excited.  We
saddled up and headed across the pastures of my childhood.  I know longer
remembered how all the pastures connected so we opted to ride the fence
lines, shoreline and cow paths.  Before the first hour was out we had seen
six deer, a turkey and a heron.  We were on perfect horses and were having a
glorious ride and planning our return trip.  Most of the beef cattle had
recently been sold and only about 40 head remained.  We saw cattle off in
one pasture and *assumed* this was the remaining herd.  We had ridden for
over 3 hours and had only covered about a  third of the farm.  That was when
things suddenly went wrong.

We came upon another small group of cattle and decided rather than disturb
them we would turn back and go another way.  This was my first  riding trip
on the farm in many years and I didn't want to be at all disruptive.  While
both my horse and I grew up with cattle I just didn't see any need to go
that way, as there were plenty of other places to go.  Unfortunately, we ran
into a jersey bull who decided we did not belong anywhere near his herd (abo
ut 4-500 ft away) and he charged towards us.  Huh?  Standing ground and
trying to drive him away didn't work.  Where were we to go?  We didn't know
where the closest gate was nor did we know a safe, fast (no groundhog holes)
route out of there.  The trailer was at least a half mile away on the other
side of the pasture.   So thinking as fast as we can in the situation, we
gallop down the hills and into the lake with this little bull fast on our
heals.  Did I mention he had horns?  Hmmm.  Now what to do?  Luckily the
summer drought has left the lake a little low and there is about 2 feet of
mostly hardpacked sand between the bank and the water.  We stand out in the
water and he is on shore as we debate how can we outwit him and get
ourselves out of this little mess.  Our horses are marvelous. We are trying
to maintain our calm and they are just rocks.  We spend what seems like an
eternity standing in the lake waiting for the bull to loose interest.  No
way.  Hmmm.  Can we try walking out quietly?  Nope.  He herded us back in.
Finally, these two really nice guys in a bass boat who had been watching us
from a few hundred yards out, came to our rescue.  The plot - they would
distract the bull while we rode in the water along the shoreline, around the
next bend and out of sight.  Seemed like a plan.  We didn't know where we
would exactly end up, but it had to be better than where we were.  So off we
crept as quietly as we could while the guys eased their boat up nearly to
the shore line and had a little chat with Mr. Bull.  As soon as we were out
of sight we picked up a canter and then a gallop.  A quick look over my
should indicated we weren't being followed but we kept hightailing it down
the cowpath to the one gate I thought would get us out of that pasture.
Thankfully, the bull did not give chase and we were fine.  We did opt to use
the gate out onto the road and hand walk the horses the half mile back to
the trailers.  Whew! My knees were shaking and I know Martha's were to.  (It
just occurred to me that I now know I can stop Lella (from a hard gallop) in
the sidepull we recently started riding in.)   I have ridden with cattle,
including bulls, for years and I've never had one charge.  It seemed strange
because we weren't really that close to them when he gave chase.  Live and
I called my cousin tonight to let him know we had a great time and to share
a laugh about our adventure.  He said "Oh, that's the friendly bull.  He
comes running to everybody because he thinks people always have grain."   I
don't know about that - I still have an image of looking over my shoulder
and seeing him running about ten feet off of Maggies butt, shaking his head
and bucking.  Friendly?  It sure didn't feel like it to us.
So thanks to the unknown guys in the bass boat who saved the day and to our
wonderful cool headed mares who listened and responded to every cue without
getting the least bit upset.  Now we have our "Elephant" story to tell about
the day the bull ran us into the lake and we were saved by two guys in a
bass boat. <grin>

Sally Aungier ( & Lella)
Powhatan, VA

Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net,    
Information, Policy, Disclaimer:   

    Check it Out!    

Home    Events    Groups    Rider Directory    Market    RideCamp    Stuff

Back to TOC