Best of HN: 5 Ways I’ve ‘Cheated Death’ In the Barn


A friend told me her story of how she accidentally got Cowboy Magic on everything in her barn and the resulting struggles that ensued, especially with trying to maneuver a full wheelbarrow with slippery hands. As if the horses themselves aren’t dangerous enough, there are plenty of ways to creatively injure yourself at the barn without ever throwing a leg over a horse.

1. ShowSheen.

We’re all guilty of this at some point in our horse lives: when I was young and had lots of time on my hands, and only owned ONE horse, I spoiled him rotten. This included long amounts of time spent grooming and pampering him. I had to have him look his best, so I used ShowSheen like it was going out of style. I would ShowSheen him up and then cover him in his winter blankets.

The thing is, ShowSheen is slicker than snot on a golden tooth, so when I decided to jump on bareback on a cold winter’s night in the barn aisle, I pulled off his blankets and climbed aboard. He turned one way and I slid right off the other way onto the concrete floor. Note to self: do not use ShowSheen anywhere a saddle or human may sit.

2. Spurs.

I always drive with my spurs on. I’ve never had a problem, but my boyfriend always tells me it’s not safe. Well, one day I was hauling my big living quarters trailer and traffic up ahead came to a screeching stop. I quickly lifted my right foot to brake and my left foot to downshift, only to find out my left foot was stuck on the floor mat holder hook by my spur strap. Finally after seeing my life flash before my eyes and a good yank, I was able to pull my foot free and downshift to safety.

3. Trailer loading.

So, remember how I always have spurs on my boots? This time I was walking my horse into the trailer and he was excited to go back home and even more excited on diving into that hay bag in the front of the trailer. I walked into the trailer and my horse followed and planted his hoof right on top of my spur, sending me into a downward face plant. Now when I load them, I send them in first, secure the divider and then tie them. (Alternately, I could just take off the spurs …)

4. Almost crushed by hay bale.

We keep our hay stored in 40-foot connex boxes. One I went in with a hay hook to pull a bale off the top of the stack and accidentally pulled over the whole front line of hay bales. When I backed away out from the impending doom, my feet slipped on the floor, which was covered in frozen wood and loose hay. Thankfully I regained my footing before being crushed by five 100-pound hay bales.

5. The adorable cat.

I have three cats, and they really love me … actually, they love everyone. They also love to run in front of your feet while you’re walking and roll onto their backs, belly up like a dog, and try to trip you.

When I was carrying a saddle from the trailer to tack up my horse, one of the cats named King Tut rolled into his belly up pose, except I didn’t see him until it was too late. Me and the saddle came tumbling down, and the cat barely made it out in time before being squashed like a bug. The saddle broke my fall.

It could have been worse. I could have been walking down the stairs!

Stay safe out there!