What is a life worth?
What is it worth to prevent a person from being completely immobilized? What is it worth to prevent a broken neck, back or even an arm? What it is worth to not be frightened of anything to do with horses for the rest of one’s life?
We were judging a recent horse show when a teenager’s horse reared over during an end turn in the pole bending contest and landed on top of the rider. We were nearby timing the event, and ran out with our steward to her, demanding she not move. Severe injury was obvious, and others were quickly beside her, consoling her as she
cried out in pain.
EMS crews soon arrived, and caution was of utmost concern in every action. The victim wept, despite the medics’ comforting attempts. Her entire body trembled, as she was apparently in shock, while being loaded into the ambulance. Reports shortly thereafter indicated she was airlifted straight to a major city hospital.
Accidents with horses happen all of the time. Perhaps, this one could have been prevented. The cowgirl asked us before the class if it would be permissible for someone to lead her horse into the arena because he was difficult to get in. We consented to the request, which now seems wrong, although refusing would have created hard feelings.
When her name was announced, there was a bad scene outside the gate as the horse was rearing, backing and refusing to come forward. An assistant got hold of the bridle, the horse was led in; but upon entry, jerked loose, and went at full speed to run the pattern, with only minimal control from the rider.
We’ve seen this scenario many times: a horse terrified of an arena, requiring considerable maneuvering and then running almost entirely on instinct with little rider guidance. There have been wrecks, but generally things end up satisfactorily, though we’ve heard of debilitating injuries and deaths.
The simple, yet complex, truth is that horsemanship is a dangerous sport, with accidents always a possibility, regardless of how disciplined the horse and talented the rider, because there are such a great number of variables.
However, people today don’t have to ride uncontrollable horses. There are too many highly-trained horses, at reasonable prices; if a mount is a problem, he can be replaced. No horse is worth a person’s life, and incomparable is the value of a horse versus personal bodily or mental injury.
Of course, one might ask as in First Corinthians 15:30: “Why are we also in danger
every hour?” Yet, we must remember Psalm 33:17: “A horse is a vain thing for safety.”
However, we know Proverbs 21:31: “The horseis prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the Lord.” Thus, the advice in Ecclesiastes 10:19:“Safety first. Be alert.”