Thursday, October 25, 2012

Training as a Draft Horse Teamster - The Greater Purpose of Suffering

The first day of the Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive at Marigold Meadows was quite an adventure! Excited about having the opportunity to drive our horses, Gary and I were having great fun discing the field in preparation for other teams to plow. I can’t even begin to describe how it feels to be a draft horse teamster. Ponyo and Nettie were responding well and seemed to enjoy the work as much as Gary and I.

After giving our horses a break from the labor, we decided it was time to return to the field. We hooked Ponyo and Nettie to the disc, double checked that we’d followed all that we’d been taught and I began to climb up on the disc. Having one foot on the implement and the other on the ground, the horses began to backup! My foot got trapped under the disc and the pressure of the moving implement pushed me down. The next thing I know, I’m lying on the ground with both legs caught under the disc!

While I certainly wasn’t comfortable, I was screaming, not so much from the pain, but in an attempt to get the attention of someone to help. Needless to say, Gary and the horses were frightened. Gary couldn’t leave the head of the horses in order to help me or we could have had worse problems. He was frantically attempting to get the horses to move forward in order to get the implement off of my legs. I feared that this would result in slicing my legs to pieces. Instead, the disc was inching further up my legs causing more and more twisting and crushing injury. While it was likely only a few minutes before helped arrived, it seemed to take forever.

It’s amazing what goes through a person’s mind in such a predicament! While my life could have been taken within seconds:

• I was concerned for Gary.

• I feared that I had let my brother down by not following his instructions in some way.

• I wanted to learn from what had gone wrong and was pondering the possibilities.

• I felt badly for the horses who were so confused.

• I didn’t want to frighten the visitors at Marigold Meadows.

• I was concerned about my sister-in-law’s camera which was in my pocket.

For a split second, I imagined the horses backing the disc and themselves right over the top of me!

The thought left me as quickly as it came.

I knew what I needed.

I had to get someone’s attention who could lift the thing off of me!

I went back to screaming for help and within a few minutes I was rescued.

What in the world went wrong? Stay tuned for next weeks article.



P.S. Please feel free to contact me with questions, thoughts, topics you’d like to ponder or to read past articles at:">
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Bonnie Jaeckle

In Search of the Whole-Hearted Life

Diagonal Progress

505 Jefferson St.

Diagonal, IA 50845

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