My Narrow Escape
 By Finally There   •   19th Dec 2010   •   4,767 views   •   10 comments
Rescue Horse StoryNarrow was born on a family owned ranch. He was trained to be ridden and sold when he was two to a jumping academy. He was trained to jump and was an amazing jumper, who won many ribbons, prizes and hearts. One day in a show when Narrow was five he missed the last jump falling completely over it and rolling, breaking his riders neck and causing the rider to become paralyzed. The farm was sued and subsequently sent Narrow to an auction.

Narrow was starved during his stay at the auction holding pens and quickly became very skinny. He was bought by a cow farmer who wanted a horse for rounding up the cattle. He figured Narrow was cheap and he could run fast because of his height (this is coming from a man who admitted he didn’t know squat about horses). He bought Narrow and was boarding him at a farm down the road from him and taking him over to ride every once in a while. Narrow forgot how to jump, and forgot how to live. Narrow was kept in a stall and was fed poorly because of the man’s lack of money, but kept alive.

One night when Narrow was seven there was a barn fire, Narrow was the last horse out. He was badly burned. Narrow was traumatized and would not enter a stall willingly. He was terrified of being enclosed anywhere. The man decided to sell Narrow at another auction for the same price he bought him for, twenty dollars. My mom’s friend Alice just happened to be there and claimed him. She had him sedated and put in the trailer. She didn’t know anything about him, just that he didn’t like the trailer. She got him home and he was fine at first. Then it happened. He lashed out and was kicking the stall door as hard as he could. He would stick his head out the stall window and make a terrible whinnying sound. She called the vet and he gave narrow some sedatives. Then she called me, that was the moment Narrow’s life began to take a turn for the better.

Alice was my mother’s close friend. Alice called me about two weeks ago and told me she needed my mother’s touch. I was little confused and I thought maybe she forgot that my mother had passed on, so I started to tell her that she had passed on and she interrupted me and told me she wanted me and that I reminded her so much of my mother. She called my way of training horses “Her Mother’s Touch” or “My Mother’s Touch” or “Your Mother’s Touch” Or “Lady H’s Touch”. So she asked me to help her with Narrow, who was now a 17.3hh eight year old bay Thoroughbred gelding that was badly abused by his previous owner a tramatized by a barn fire. Narrow was afraid of trailers, dark places and flashing lights. He was just afraid of everything it seemed. Narrow had a very Narrow escape at life, that is for sure. I don’t pass down many offers to train any horse. I especially couldn’t pass down this chance to give this broken gelding his life back.

Day 1: Narrow Arrives October 18, 2010

Alice came bright and early with Narrow. They had to give him sedatives again to get him in the trailer. So Alice and I talked some before I unloaded him. He already had the halter on so that wouldn’t be a problem. I took him out of the trailer and brought him into the barn, he was still somewhat sedated. It was a bit of a struggle to get him into the stall, but once he was in he was alright for a little while. Alice had an appointment to go to so she took off and left me with Narrow. I went into the tack room to clean some tack where I would still be able to listen for Narrow. I took out a jumping saddle to scrub when I heard a banging noise. I dropped the saddle on the ground and ran out to Narrow’s stall.

He was kicking the stall door and rolling his eyes back. I talked to him to try to calm him down, but he just kept flailing his hooves.

I opened the stall door and walked slowly into the stall. He seemed to calm down right when I opened the stall door. I clipped the lead rope on him and led him out of the stall. “Come on boy, you’re safe.” I assured him. I know he probably didn’t know what I meant, but somehow it calmed him down. I led him into the round pen and let him off the lead line. I stood in the middle of the round pen and he ran circles around the outside rail. I stood watching him, he had such power, but he just needed to use it for good and not to just freak out. He would run and I would run out to the rail so he would turn around and run the other way. He needed to use up some of his energy so I just let him run around the pen and throw his head in the air and buck occasionally. I let him canter around for about thirty minutes without stopping him. His gait eventually began to slow down. I climbed out of the round pen seeing that there was no use just standing there and waited for him to calm down. I watched his movements and saw that he was just scared to be enclosed. He wanted to get out. He didn’t have an escape. He ran around for about fifteen more minutes and then started trotting around and slowly came to a tiresome walk. I was glad I let him use up his energy or most of it at least. I climbed back through the fence and stood in the middle of the pen until he came to me. He came to me cautiously and I pet his face and assured him it was okay. He was so stressed from what I could tell. I clipped the lead line on him and kissed his muzzle. We had a lot of work to do. A lot of work to do.

Day 2: Making a Little Progress October 19, 2010

I didn’t sleep very well because I was up and down all night tending to Narrow’s many needs. He was so afraid to be in that stall in the dark that I had to leave the lights on all night in the barn. I was constantly doing T-Touch on him and constantly singing and saying soothing things to him. It seemed like he calmed down the most when I sang “You Are My Sunshine”. I got him calm enough to eventually fall asleep. Narrow slowly fell asleep for about two hours from about two o’clock to five o’clock. I usually get up at five o’clock every morning anyways, but after about two or maybe three hours of sleep I was more tired than I had been in a long time. Unfortunately my father wasn’t home at the time so he couldn’t pitch in with keeping an ear out for Narrow. I got up and fed all the horses. I fed Narrow first so he would calm down. I gave him some natural herb sedatives that I had bought at a little horse tack shop one time. He was calm until I could finish my chores and said “Good morning!” To all the other horses.

Even though Narrow was top priority right now all my horses were still a HIGH priority. Narrow started getting antsy again around eight forty five. I went into his stall and tried to brush him a little bit, but he bit me. He bit me hard to. Even though I wanted to give him a slap on the rump I remembered what his past was like and put my hand on his neck and softly said “It’s okay Narrow.” He glared at me and I stepped back a bit and he put his head down to his hay. I stepped back up to him and put the brush on his withers and he turned to bite me again but I stepped back too fast for him to get me. He put his head down again and continued munching. I walked back up to him and just pet him this time. I had the brush in my pocket so he wouldn’t get scared. I pet him and he didn’t mind at all. He just chewed his hay and I hugged him and leaned on him.

He was fine with it.

But as soon as I took the brush back out and tried to brush him again he turned up to bite me. He didn’t catch me that time either. I decided maybe he had sensitive skin and got a softer brush. I brushed him with the soft brush and he didn’t mind it as much. I decided my decision was correct, but he would have to have extremely sensitive skin in order to react like that to a medium bristled brush. I brushed him all over with the soft brush and then took him out to the round pen. He ran around in it for a while, quite a while and then slowed down to a walk and soon came into the middle to see me. I pet him and assured him. I walked around the arena and he followed me for a while. I left him in the round pen with some hay for the day and he was fine. He could see the sky.

Day 3: Another Sleepless Night with Flashing Lights October 20, 2010

Well I tried to sleep last night with earplugs, but I still slept in the barn. Everything was going alright until about 2:14 A.M when I heard a huge crash of thunder which was followed by a flash of lighting and another crash of thunder and so on. The next thing I heard was a blood curdling scream. Narrow! I jumped up and ran over to his stall to check on him and he was standing in the corner of the stall and rearing. I opened the stall door and told him it was alright but every single time the lightning flashed he spooked and went crazy again. He kicked me pretty hard in the leg and I dived out of the stall. I came back in with a lead line and a carrot. I held it out to him and right when he started coming near me another flash of lightning occurred which scared him to death. So he once again was going crazy. The lights flashed in the barn a few times and I hoped the electricity wouldn't go out. Thank goodness it didn't. But there was still lightning and thunder. The lights flashed on and off again and Narrow went absolutely out of control. I started singing "You Are My Sunshine" and he seemed to calm down (I still think it's strange that it calms him). The lights flashed again and he kicked the stall door continually. I was in the far corner of the stall trying to calm him down, NOT SAFE! He kicked the door so hard and so many times that the screws on the hinges started coming out of the wall. I held the carrot out to him and the lighting and thunder stopped long enough for me to get a hold of him. I hooked the lead rope on his halter and led him out of the stall. The lights flashed in the barn and he reared up but I got him back down. I then brought him out to the round pen.

The lightning and thunder was slowing, but the rain was coming down hard. I let him loose in the round pen, but took off his halter first and it seemed like as soon as he calmed down the thunder crashed again. I sat as close to the rail as I could and I ended up being in a mud puddle. I hadn't heard the thunder for about 10 minutes and decided the bad part of the storm was over. It was still raining pretty hard but at least there was no more thunder. I crawled under the rail and sat on the outside of the round pen and listened to Narrow run around and slide in the mud. I was soaked to the bone and covered in mud but I stayed with Narrow. I ended up falling asleep and I woke up to seeing someone's face I love so much. Daddy's. I jumped into his arms. I was so drained and he carried me into the house and I slept for a little while longer, but had to get back up to take care of Narrow. I worked with him for a little while in the round pen and brushed him for a while in the barn. It was like giving my life for Narrow. I pretty much was. I am NOT getting paid enough for this. Narrow and I had a pretty good day. I let him rest for a while around 2:00 this afternoon, but I leave him in the round pen during the day. I might have to during the night too. Ahhh my Narrow.

Day 4: The Sleepless Night With a Fence at Midnight October 21, 2010

Well last night was going pretty smoothly until about 10:00 PM. Yah, it was great. Dad and I were finishing up the chores and the feeding and we had something’s to do in the tack room because dad had just gotten back. We heard Narrow start up again and I walked out into the barn. He was not going to ruin another stall if I could help it. So I went into the stall and tried to calm him down. He was restlessly walking in circles in the stall and sticking his head out the window whinnying. I walked in and he thought that he had a way to escape so he tried to get out almost knocking me over. I grabbed him by his halter and stood up to my whole four foot seven inches in height, which was nothing to a horse that I can’t even see over his back. I firmly said “No!” He was then upset at me too. I held him back and gave him a carrot, that didn’t last long though.

I then took him out to the round pen and let him canter around for a while when dad came in to tell me he was going to bed. Dad went up to the house and it was just me and Narrow. He would whinny and nicker and buck, but he was relatively calm compared him to the night before. I took him out of the round pen at about 11:30 when he had some energy out. Or so I thought. I brought him into the barn and right when we came to the stall he spun around on his heels and tried to bolt out of there. I turned him around quickly and he tripped over his own feet. A classic trick. I tried to get him in the stall again, I had never had a horse that was this terrified of stalls. Some of my horses were cautious after a fire in the barn we had years before, but none were traumatized like Narrow.

I finally gave up trying to get him into the stall and took him and we walked up the hill to the house. Narrow and me. He was fine walking up. Just like a puppy. It’s because he wasn’t enclosed. I could tell by his eyes he wasn’t trusting and was very stressed out.

He never relaxed.

So we got to the house and I knocked on dad’s window. He got to the window to see a flashlight and a horse’s head. He jumped, but then realized it was me and Narrow. I told him I couldn’t get him in the stall and I wasn’t leaving him in the round pen. He got manure all over the rails and the ground and trampled all over it. Leaving it a mess! So he wasn’t going to stay in there because I had a lady coming in the morning to see a horse and try him out. Dad got up and came out and we brought Narrow back down and he told me to put Narrow in the round pen. Then he switched on the light for the paddock told me to get the wheelbarrow because we were going to build a fence. We were going to fence off part of the paddock for Narrow to stay in because he couldn’t be in with the other horses yet.

So at midnight there we were hammering stakes into the ground and stringing wire for the paddock. On the outside of the paddock there is white fencing, but we separate it with wire fencing. We fenced off a part that took us about an hour and a half and finished about one thirty in the morning. I thought I was drained the day before! No way! I went and got Narrow when we were finished and let him loose in the paddock. He ran around and whinnied and bucked a few times, but then started grazing. THANK GOODNESS! I went back into the barn shut off the light and went to sleep.

At five in the morning I woke like every other day and fed all the horses. I fed Narrow in the paddock and he was fine. I worked with him a little more in the round pen after the lady came and purchased one of our horses. I tried using the whip again and he didn’t like that at all. I was just trying to get him used to it. I don't use whips on horses, but I will follow behind them with it. I also figured out if he’s not really scared he’ll stop on a dime when you say “Whoa!”
That was helpful to know. But I'm still trying to figure out how to get him to be not as terrified in the stall.

That explains a bit about Narrow. I didn’t have time to record all of the days. I am thinking everyone got to know Narrow from this little bit about him and his first few days with me. It seemed like he began to trust me faster than any other horses have. It seemed like it only took him about a week to be following me around. He seemed to trust me when I put him in the stall. He would fight it a little but eventually he would go right in. I spent time in his stall with him a lot. Brushing him and loving him. He didn’t seem to mind. His favorite song is “You are my sunshine” I sung it to him all the time to calm him down. He is an amazing runner. He can run and run and run for hours. I looked out when it was windy and he was in the back paddock we fenced off for him running and running and running. He is so beautiful when he gallops as fast as he can without any tripping or stumbling, he’s like a bird, he just flies.

Narrow is such an amazing horse and reminds everyone who has seen him of me. Just like Triumph was like me, Narrow is too. Narrow reminded me so much of Triumph that I couldn’t handle letting him go back to Alice, but I didn’t tell her that. I just kept to my work. He held his head high in the air, he ran like a cloud floating on air, he pranced around like a prince, he loved me like Triumph did. Always wanting to be near me. It had been less than two weeks and he was already following me around and would let me lay on him or sit with him while he was laying down. He was just so valiant. He is amazing. I started riding Narrow and figured out he went to voice commands. I was so excited! I rode him and took him over some jumps and soon we were doing three foot jumps. I was so amazed that in less than a month this horse had become my best friend.

Alice called today. I was afraid this was the day she was coming to pick him up. I hesitated answering the phone in fear of what she was going to say. I reluctantly picked up the phone and said as cheerfully as I could “Heartfords, Danika speaking.”

My Narrow Escape

Alice sounded rather cheerful and tears filled my eyes as she said “Danika, today is the day.” I almost slammed down the phone and cried, but I waited, as it would not have been proper to act in such a harsh way. I said “Around what time?” She said “Well I was thinking I’d come over around 2:00.” I held my breath trying not to cry, and said “I’ll make sure he’s ready.” She said “No bother doing that,” She said “Because he’s not leaving today.” I let out a sigh of relief, but still tears threatened my eyes. “Not today. Alright when?” I said trying not to sniffle too loudly. “Never.” Was her reply. Then the tears flowed. “NEVER?!” I half exclaimed half cried. “Yes, never. He’s yours, I saw how much he loves you, and you worked so hard with him, it would kill me, never mind you to take him away.” She said I could tell she was smiling because of her tone of voice. “Mine?” I asked her breathing heavily. “Yours.” She said. “He was your narrow escape.” Alice said now laughing a bit. “Thank you thank you thank you!” I said now laughing and crying at the same time. No one would think just a little thing like Narrow would change my life. But so many things have been going on lately, I needed an escape.

Narrow is “My Narrow Escape” I changed his name from “Trey’s Narrow Escape” to “My Narrow Escape”. He’s my escape. I was so happy that just now about an hour after Alice called me I wrote this article! A lot of you know what it’s like to get a new horse. The thrill and excitement. Well this, this brought unwanted tears to my eyes. I just couldn’t believe, Narrow is my escape now. I didn’t give up on Narrow and Narrow will never give up on me.

Even though I have many other horses, I have learned that you never know what is going to happen, like I say in all my articles, live everyday to the fullest, live each day like it’s your last and NEVER give up.
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  Finally There
Finally There  
Oooh it got published and Jeff Ness even likes it! =D
  Dec 19, 2010  •  2,716 views
Wow, that is AMAZING! I always wish I could do something like that...
  Dec 19, 2010  •  2,741 views
Wow! That is one LONG story you have here Narrow!
  Dec 19, 2010  •  2,710 views
Dakodia Elite  
Aww...that is such a sad yet perfect story :D
  Dec 23, 2010  •  2,809 views
My mom and me both love this story!
  Jan 6, 2011  •  2,717 views
Wanderin Boy Memorial  
Wow, this is an amazing story !
Great article and very well written
  Feb 1, 2011  •  2,716 views
Estella Noire  
Amazing article :) So glad you got to keep him!
  58 days ago  •  2,714 views
Never Let Go  
Narrow boy! :) I love that horse. Even though he doesn't like me so much, I love him. Haha, he's what keeps you sane Gracie. :D
  42 days ago  •  2,725 views
I love this story!! :P
  42 days ago  •  2,714 views
Great story!
  39 days ago  •  2,718 views
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