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....