02 November 2009

What doesn't kill us, makes us....

From the Soldier side: For those of you who've never been to Bosnia, it's one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen in my life!!!

I'm not kidding...except for the bad roads and half a million land mines scattered all over the place, it'd be a great place to live.

One summer day in 2003, one of our "Terps" said that she really wanted to go ride a horse. The Team Leader (TL) was the type of guy who would try to make everybody happy...if they were female, so he said: "sure." At that camp, we had to make our own fun.

This was not something we had a written mission plan for...like we were supposed to...but the TL didn't think anything bad could happen. I figured that since he authorized it, that he'd be going. But at the last minute, he cancelled out and told me to go.

It was only about 20 minutes from Camp Cody, so I didn't think much of it. We took 2 Security Force (SecFor) guys, one of the "Team" and 2 "Terps."

I grew up around farms when I was a kid, so when I learned to ride horses, it was with saddles and you usually had some work to do. You just didn't ride for fun. I needed a "smart" horse, because I never really was taught how to ride....I kind of just taught myself. I needed a horse that would help me out. I was not good with stubborn or dumb horses.

The "Terp" who wanted to ride set up the "mission." She had talked to a guy, who knew a guy and knew some folks who knew a family that took care of some race horses.

We made it to the little home and I saw the horses. They were real race horses. The Terps rode for an hour or so, then the Sec For guys road. I sat and was "waited on" by the folks, since I was the "older" guy. They served me Bosnian coffee...it was good.

Then the guy who took care of the horses asked me if I wanted to ride. I looked at the horses and told him that I weighed many more kilos than the horse was used to having on his back. I don't think the guy understood and he insisted that I have a ride.

Did I mention that there was no saddle? I had no idea how to ride without one...but I didn't want to offend our host. I tried getting on.

The race horse didn't like me at all..and proceeded to buck and raise his head....dumping my ass on the ground.

I'm so glad I had all those Judo classes growing up (mostly getting my ass kicked) so I landed without killing myself. I got up and said: "see, I'm too heavy for this horse."

The Bosnian dude insisted that I try again. Now I had it figured out. They couldn't kill us with guns, so they were going to use horses.

But, being that I am a truly certified Dumb Ass...I got on again.

I got thrown off again. This time it hurt like hell. But I didn't break anything...but now my pride was hurt. I still managed to not drop my hidden M9 through all of this...so I went to the front of the horse and whispered into his ear: "Do that again, and I'm going to turn you into glue."

I got on the third time and I had no problems. I rode around until the horse understood that I was a trained killer.

My back and neck hurt for 2 weeks....but I couldn't figure out how I could go talk to the medic and tell him I got thrown off a horse.

Next Dumb Thing I did in Bosnia...coming up....


Anonymous said...

Yep, Murphy was there alright.

Hmm... good thing you had an M9 to show that horse you meant business.

Coffeypot said...

Well at least you didn't take landing lessons from Christopher Reeves. I wouldn't have gotten on that hay burner without a parachute, no sir.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Wrexie, I didn't think til' later...that horse spoke Serbo Croation...not Engliski...but I guess it was the face I made and the tone of my voice.

CP, I'm not superman, just an average dude who's been to some un-average places.

CI-Roller Dude said...

Wrexie, I didn't think til' later...that horse spoke Serbo Croation...not Engliski...but I guess it was the face I made and the tone of my voice.

CP, I'm not superman, just an average dude who's been to some un-average places.

Coffeypot said...

Evidently Christopher wasn't superman either. He screwed up his landing. You didn't!

Anonymous said...

1. Christopher Reeve landed on his head because he was surrounded by people who let him do things he wasn't up to doing.
2. Daughter routinely jumps 4 and 5 foot jumps: she knows how, and she also knows how to come off more-or-less safely, when the horse refuses.
3. Reeve crashed and burned on a 3 1/2 foot fence. He needed to practice at 18" for a long time.
4. Met him a couple months before he died (at a horse show). He was still surrounded by a bunch of yes men.
5. As a riding instructor, have to balance safety and instructional progress with keeping paying students in the fold.
6. Most common truths not spoken:
a. Go home, lose 40 pounds and try again.
b. You never could ride back in the day; if you listen to me now there's a chance....
c. Your child is not advancing because he/she does not follow intructions.
d. That horse is too good for you. Buy a plug that will put up with you lurching around in the saddle and hitting it in the mouth with the bit.
7. In truth, the horse is the best instructor.
8. If you were fooling around with race horses, you got off easy. Ask any jockey.
9. The best thing about the beasts: when you are on top of your game, thinking you're a true master of the art, they'll pull something that will make you wind up looking like an incompetent idiot.
10. In a life spent around them, this has happened to me many times -and always when needed.
11. BTW -don't do it for a living -just for the aggravation.
V/R JWest

CI-Roller Dude said...

J West,
Yes I needed to loose several kilos, or not ride a race horse.
Now days I stick to V=Twins. They never argue and I can park mine in the garage for months while I travel and not worry about feeding.
I love horses, just not much of a rider in my old age.

Anonymous said...

1. Am a losing a bit in ability, as I age too. Full sympathy.
2. The Harley dealer across the street keeps asking me why I don't try their product.
3. Agree they keep better than a horse.
4. Was incompetent, when I rode them 40 years ago with 20:20 vision and great reflexes.
5. A friend at the time suggested I stop riding before I killed myself. One of the few times I have listened to good advice (he was bigger than I was).
6. Can't see things will improve much, if I give them a try at my present state of decrepitude.
7. People in your (civilian) line of work seem to be best suited for riding bikes, being fit and well schooled.
V/R JWest