Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Race Against Tide For Horse and Owner.!

Race against the tide: Bravery of young mother who stayed by her horse's side for THREE HOURS after getting trapped in mud 'like quicksand.

This was the terrifying moment a brave young mother battled to keep her beloved horse calm as sea water closed in on the animal after he became trapped in mud 'like quicksand'. Exhausted and mud-splattered, Nicole Graham clung to her trapped horse Astro for three hours keeping his head high in a race against the tide. The 78-stone show horse had sunk into quagmire-like mud and was facing the prospect of drowning as the water rose around them. Miss Graham had been out on an afternoon ride with her daughter along the coast near Geelong, south of Melbourne, when 18-year-old Astro suddenly sunk into the mud. Before she could shout a warning, the smaller horse her daughter Paris was riding was also partially swallowed up by the mud. After dragging herself through the mire, Miss Graham helped her daughter and the other horse on to firmer ground. However, Astro was stuck fast and her efforts to pull him free only resulted in herself sinking deeper into the quagmire. As Paris ran to their car and phoned for help, Miss Graham stayed at her horse’s side. She courageously clung on to his neck, terrified that he would not be freed before the tide came in. After three 'terrifying' hours, rescuers managed to pull Astro and Miss Graham from the mud.

A happy ending.

For me, this story was emotional because I think back and realize it could have been me and my horse, Misty Little Man, a sweet brown paper bag plain Quarter Horse gelding that I loved dearly. There is a place along the Gulf Coast in FL about 40 miles north of Clearwater near where I lived for 15 years. It was about 1980, a hurricane was just wind back then. They rarely came on shore or did much damage. It was Day 3 that this unnamed hurricane brought us wind and light rain. It is so humid in Florida that it was welcomed to us. We were outside all we could be. The misty rain felt cool on our skin, it was a welcomed relief from the usual subtropical heat. The streets were empty. People listened to the television and radio. They heard warnings, 'Do Not Go Out Side, You May Blow Away'. Much like the weather now. It is about drama and fear, it sells commercial spots for the media. It makes people glued to the TV.

While most Floridians were busy boarding up their windows and huddled in their homes, some of us horse people took advantage of the wind and rain. We saddled up our horses and road toward the beach, it was only a few miles away. It wasn't a public beach with a shoreline dotted with towels and umbrellas, it was wooded and it was still untouched nature. We were lucky to be there at that time on earth. There were deer, raccoon and black bears living there. They were our neighbors that we shared our space with, respecting each other. I had hiked through that area many times. It was mostly sand but there were areas that had mud that seemed like it would suck you up. I never knew much about 'quicksand' except what I saw in the old black and white movies back in the 1950's. It left an image in my mind that it could swallow up anything that stepped into it. Anyone trying to squirm out, went deeper in and was lost forever. A horrible death! As we got closer, I could hear the waves coming in. Like many horse lovers, I dreamed of trotting along with the tide rolling in and out of my horses feet. I was getting closer to my dream coming true but my gut kept telling me not to go. This may be my only chance to ride along that shore. I could imagine being in tune with my horse, his mane flowing, my hair blowing as we rode along listening to the peace and quiet of nature. They rhythm of the tide was calling to me but my gut was telling me, 'Beware'. The image of my horse being stuck in quicksand that was lingering wy back in my memory was coming boldly into my head. I could not go and take that chance. It was a struggle with myself, my conscience of not hurting my horse, my desire to ride along the beach. I let my gut feeling win out. Now I am really glad I did. I know that could have been me in that story. I could have been holding on to Misty for his life and mine too. I wouldn't leave him at that shore just like the dear woman in the Australian story couldn't leave her beloved horse, Astro.

My gut feeling is still how I make decisions for the horses in my care at the rescue (

Funny how some things stay the same.


Sandy said...

awesome story.....the gut feeling I get to me is the Holy Spirit speaking to me.....if you listen to always come out better off....."still small voice" praise God we have it....and God Bless us all....animals and humans alike...

Anonymous said...