Horse Feather Boa

I have never had a positive experience with a horse. At age five, I was almost trampled by a pair of gigantic work horses. At twelve, an oversized Shetland tried to decapitate me by darting under low-hanging braches. And just last week, I had the most dramatic, near-death experience of my entire life.

I was sitting astraddle a gray mare when she decided to take off unexpectedly. I was thrown to the ground with my left foot entangled in the stirrup. With every beat of her thundering hooves my head banged off the pavement.

I screamed, “Whoa!,” and hollered for help, but she only ran faster. The Grim Reaper laughed and leaned on his scythe. Then, just as I was about to lose consciousness, the store manager came out and unplugged the machine. I swore right then and there, I’d never get on another horse.

This week’s photo prompt is courtesy of my good friend, Douglas MacIlroy. If you haven’t read his masterpiece relating to this picture you need to—I highly recommend it.  If you are new to Friday Flash Fictions, the leader of our cavalry squadron is Colonel Do-Write Wisoff-Fields. To learn how to participate in this weekly exercise in madness mosey on over to her blog for instructions. After which, scroll down to the blue In links critter and follow the links to other author’s blogs.

copyright Douglas MacIlroy
copyright Douglas MacIlroy

It’s time to water the humans.

They’re unsightly creatures with only two legs and no hooves or tail. In fact, their appearance is so hideous that I’m forced to cover my eyes when dealing with them.

We keep them behind a fence for their own protection. When allowed to run free, they often throw large leather appliances on our backs, strap them to our mid-sections, and insist we carry them around as if they were royalty.

For the most part, they’re more trouble than they’re worth. But occasionally they show up with some oats or an apple.

I appreciate that.

42 Comments on “Horse Feather Boa

  1. Yes, that is a bunch of horse feathers (if horses had feathers.) I myself remember riding on the horses in the grocery stores that cost a nickel or dime, but was a better rider than you and was never thrown. I was, however, dump soundly off twice in my riding life, emerging mainly unhurt from both, thankfully.



  2. I laughed out loud about your escape from the grim reaper. Good thing one can’t pay ahead on those ponies! Glad you got away!


  3. Dear Russell,
    I’ve always wondered what horses really think. Now I know. I’ve suspected as much.

    I’m less of a horse person. Raised in the burbs. One summer we took a little getaway to your neck of the woods. My husband had the bright idea of riding. I’m sure they chose the tallest horse in the stable for me. and if that wasn’t enough, the horse sensing my terror stopped on mountain trail. Not only was I high up on the behemoth but I was also looking down into eternity. I tried to get my ride to move but it wasn’t happening. My DH says, “Let him know who’s boss.” To which I say, “He knows. Get me the hell off!” And that sir is my last horseback riding experience.

    Col. Do-Write


  4. My parents let me ride a horse once, it threw me and dragged me through the mud. They made me get right back on so I wouldn’t have a phobia. Never ridden since – crazy animals! I loved your story, though, Russell. Great perspective. Just one thing – in the middle paragraph you use “they” to refer to the “leather appliances” and then again, but referring to the humans. Bit confusing for the addled baby brain over here!


    • I’m not sure I see what you mean there, Jen, but confusion is my middle name. The accident with the horse in front of the store addled my brain.


      • I’ll try to explain, although to be honest it’s not a big deal! They / them always refers back to the last relevant noun, right? So:
        “When allowed to run free, they [humans] often throw large leather appliances on our backs, strap them [the appliances] to our mid-sections, and insist we carry them [technically, this would mean the appliances, but the rest of the sentence suggests you meant it to refer to the humans. So really, you need to repeat the word humans] around as if they [same] were royalty”
        Make sense now?


  5. Ah, two for the price of one. It’s always nice to get a little more, and they were both a good read. I was on a horse (well, a pony really) when I was 10 and it bolted off around a steep hillside. I thought I was going to die! Good story and funny as usual Russel. 🙂


  6. both stories tickled me, but the first one was priceless, didn’t see the ending coming! Last weekend I was at Jaxon’s Five and Dime in Parksley, Virginia. The store is a throw back to the 1940’s, great place to reminisce, and buy Fels Naptha Soap if you need it. A father sat his little boy up on the “quarter” horse, inserted the coin, and the music and motion started. That little boy on the horse took me right back to my childhood. Thanks for two great stories this week.


  7. I got the feeling they weren’t impressed by us! Nice one Russell, as ever. I only got on a horse twice; the first time my experience was similar to Rochelle’s – only my horse decided to turn round and head back home on a narrow mountain ledge, and the second time it bolted with me clinging on for dear life. So after that, like you, it was the mechanical horses for me. Sounds like you got a wild one though. 😉


  8. Your intro suckered me along for that ride. Doggone it – when will I figure out you always mess with us? Your story was told from a great perspective. I like that we both spoke for the horse. Your was the funnier horse, of course.


  9. You are campaigning to be the official spokesperson for the equine world? I often wonder what things are like from the animal’s perspective. This is so good.


  10. LOL. As always. Loved your intro as well. It made me laugh out loud. And I’m finally on the board! I wrote from the horse’s perspective too.


  11. I wrote mine before seeing yours, also from the point of you of the horse, but damn you, yours is so much better! Anyway, I had a horse just like the ones you describe above, always trying to kill me. I can’t count the number of times I had to jump off before being thrown off, knocked off or crushed against a cliff side!


  12. Two stories in one this week! The second and third paragraphs of your intro make an instant classic, one of the funniest things I have read this year! The second story is excellent too, but anything would be overshadowed by the first one.

    You have earned the right to be sent to a stud farm for the rest of your life with these two stories. I’ll bet you even pick up another fan or two here. Great job, Russell!


  13. Hi Russell,
    Some big laughs here, but a core of truth too, because as a species I don’t think we can compete in cuteness with dogs, cats, or even cows. Certainly not horses. Sorry to read about your painful experiences with the nags. My painful experiences with horses mostly involve days at Oaklawn. Ron


  14. Oh Russell, that was LOL funny. I almost choked on my coffee. That was just great! Thank you for making my last read for the night so enjoyable.


  15. Ah….so that’s what they think of us. Not surprised. They always seem to be observing our behavior. Wonder what they think of the bummed-out druggy kids today?
    At least they enjoy their apples now and then.


  16. Pingback: I don’t want to ride that horse | lena de almeida

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