Horses Saving Human Lives?! Horse Heros.

A  horse as a flight animal.  Danger = Ruuuunnn!!!

If humans were an animal of prey, we would rather run than discuss the matter as well…  However, there have been some Horse Heroes recorded lately…

Here are a few stories.


I read about a lady from England who went out to see what was bothering a wailing calf.

She realized her mistake after she had already gone into the pen when the Momma cow rushed to the calf’s aid thinking the woman was the issue…

The cow sat on the woman.  Not good.

The woman realized her predicament and thought she was a goner.  But, suddenly, her horse who shared the pasture, came over and started kicking the beejueezus out of the cow.  The cow moved and the lady crawled to safety.

I’m guessing the horse had had experience with kicking this particular cow… since they shared a pasture.  However, this horse came to the rescue of her owner!

A remarkable story.


I just read about this older rancher who went out to feed in the morning and came face to face with a pack of nasty looking coyotes.

Well, his trusty three horses who were also in the field, came to his rescue.  They circled the wagons and defended their owner against the coyotes.

The rancher reported seeinga few direct hits from his mares to the largest coyote.

Once safe, the rancher exclaimed that he was absolutely sure that these three mares saved his life.

Nice, ladies! Here he is pictured with his horsey heroes!


Another story which doesn’t really fit my model here, but is a good story nonetheless…  In this article, a father swears that his horse helped his autistic child.  He says that the child uttered his first constructed conversation when riding the horse.  And, he feels that the horse was extra special gentle with the little boy.  Much more gentle than with anyone else.  I’m sure this is true because I have a pretty rank lead mare at my ranch and she will test any grown-up I put on her back but will be an angel with a kid.  Go figure.


I once interviewed Rocky from the famed Cowboy College.  He said that he got lost in the Arizona mountains during really bad weather.  He swears that he was so overwhelmed with exhaustion and cold,  he passed out while riding.  The next thing he knew, he was being brought into the ranch house.  His mare had gingerly carried him the extra miles back home.  He feels he owes his life to this horse.


I know that my horses are your normal horses… really no heroes among them.  They will, however, step up and settle a score for me or make things right,  if you know what I mean.  I have accidentally been bitten by my lead mare but once she realized her offense, she looked aghast and just stood there bracing herself for what she felt was a fair retaliation blow.  I didn’t.  I just started to sob gently and she nuzzled me.  Good enough. She made it right. (Horse bites HURT.)

My most literal score settling incident happened when I positioned myself badly and received a grazing kick from a colt.  His Mama, the same horse who accidentally bit me,  ran after him and kicked his hiney across the field and up onto the hill.  Atta girl!  (Pictured is Tess, my lead mare.)

And, as I’m sure  you have all seen, when you are out in the field with the herd and one particular horse is being a butt-head, the rest of the group will snap at some point and say, ENOUGH!  Usually the offending horse will run off and hide behind a tree until he can sneak back unnoticed.

Indirectly, horses have saved my life in an emotional way.  During my divorce many years ago, I was not healthy minded.  Yet, through all of the drama, I still had to take care of my animals.  I dragged my pitiful self out to the barn to help them with their lives.  Hmmmm,  I seemed to forget myself when I was out there.  They got me out of my funk and inspired me to find some money and save the ranch for us.  They got me back into the game.  (Pictured are two of our playful young fillies.)

Another indirect save was just last year when I lost Fanny.  I stumbled upon her body in the barn.  I had never seen a lifeless pet before and I was quite startled and shocked.  I started crying.  After a few minutes of this, I noticed that the whole barn was quiet and watching me.  Now, I had no horses IN the barn.  But, they had all come up TO the barn.  Every one of them was peering inside through a window or an open board, trying to figure out why Mom was so upset. They weren’t demanding treats or hay or anything from me.  They were being honorable.  I remember looking up at all the faces and realizing how lucky I was.

That is why, for me, the human — the predator on the evolution scale — I find it fascinating when the prey animal (the horse) helps us.

I guess that is partially why HORSE AND MAN created the BUCKET FUND.  It is nice to give back…


HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!


HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

7 comments have been posted...

  1. Kate

    I fell in a hole and couldn’t get up my ankle was twisted and I yelled and me horse ran over and brought me to my house and doug at the door of get my mom to help.

  2. Liz

    These are all quite cute :3
    My big man, I believe has helped me just as much as I help him. It’s a mutual thing. At the first place I had him there were some nasty horses in the herd, and he was scared of them, as was I but I’d go out armed with a lead, and be ready to use the shiny end if any of them charged me.
    When it came to him protecting me, he was a little over violent about it. The first time I was walking him on lead, and letting him graze. There were two young coyote/dog cross pups on the farm, and they always chased the horses. This time, they came running after the mini we had, and ran past my man and me. I was fed up. I took my horse by the lead and we ran side by side between the dogs and the pony, I growled at them and stomped my feet, for once my horse wasn’t nervous of the running dogs, he watched me instead.
    Later, the same day, and not minutes after, the dogs came to say hello to me, my horse wouldn’t have any of it, he reared up, and drove his hooves down inches from their heads… the dogs never bothered either of us again.
    Another time, again on lead, one of the other boarders insisted my horse and his Mare meet (they were from different paddocks) I told him Zephyr didn’t take well to other horses, but he insisted. I didn’t entirely like the guy at the time, and thought his manner of horsemanship appalling, noisy, and untrained. His mare was batty as old hell and I didn’t trust her either. Zephyr took more interest in the grass than in the Mare, until she came to check me out, he swung round me and charged her, and her owner. They both literally high tailed it in the opposite direction. Zeph came back, and rested his head on mine as if saying ‘mine, your safe now’.
    The only time that he actually beat another horse up and chased them off, when the other horse was being malicious towards me was when a new horse came, and I automatically went to allow it to say hi to me. It did not want to say hi. The new gelding pinned his ears at me and tried to lash out. And BAM my 17hh beast barreled into the new-comer, biting, rearing over him, and chasing him off into the opposite corner of the paddock.

    He’s also real smart about stuff, we were being stalked by a coyote one ride, and he kept spooking, but I was out alone with him and thought he was just acting nervous without other horses. About the fifth spook in, and after I’d nearly taken a tumble he stopped dead and wouldn’t move. Then he reached his nose back, and nudged my leg and pointed his nostrils up into the air, I was confused, he kept repeating the action, until I looked up on the ridge reside us; a coyote stood staring right at us. It was alone, and I told my boy it was OK, assuring him that his big old grandson of secretariat legs and intense race-horse speed would help us run the thing down if it tried anything.

    Recently he was injured on his back hock, and he told me by nudging my stomach and insistently looking back to his leg that was sore. I already knew something was up, but I wasn’t sure what, until he pointed it out for me.

    So he’s possessive, protective, and apparently is a pointer-dog himself :P

    I love my beast, I’d trust him with everything, and I do. He cheers me up when I’m upset, and seeks any way to make me laugh, and when I’m in my right mind he tests me like mad, and plays mind games with me any chance he can. He’s spirited, playful, friendly, and doesn’t have a mean bone in his body… unless ‘others’ need dealing with. – one guy I was dating for a while, he did not approve of, he charged him… and then shoved him when he got to close to me :P my boyfriend now though he approves of, he’s done him no harm :P

  3. Seabiscute

    My dear Tally (who was often bratty with me) used to give lessons to a little autistic boy — they used him because he was so very careful with his not-very-capable rider, and because he didn’t react at all when the little boy made strange noises and flailed around (he had a helper on each side). The parents said that riding Tally was the only time their son vocalized or moved his limbs in an energetic way — and you could tell he was happy!

    Bratty Tally never saved my life in the active sense, but like the commenter above, he did once in the passive sense. One day, while mounting, I slipped, fell, and got my foot caught in the stirrup. There I was flat on my back on the other side of the mounting block with my leg twisted up in the air. And he, the horse that liked to move away before you had your right leg over the saddle, stood like a statue while I reached up and untied my shoe to free myself and get right side up again. I miss him terribly.

  4. Carol Swafford

    Todays blog hit home. As a teenager during a jumping lession, my horse and I went thru rather then over a 4 ft boxer. I broke all the boards in the jump with my back or backside and ended up under my horse. He had both front feet on either side of my head. Being a bit of an unpredictable animal, my trainer and friends in the area were a bit freaked out…Rusty just dropped his head as if to ask why I was on the ground and not on his back…I loved that horse. Another story for you though, one I read just the other day that goes well with this article. Just amazing what an animal can do when asked!

  5. Amy

    I was really surprised in reading this post that you didnt mention this recent horsey hero story: Isnt that AWESOME!?!

    I have a few stories of my own of indirect horse saves. Its always amazing to me how they really know when you NEED the love and affection and give it willingly (versus when you just want to love on them, heaven forbid!) :) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the healing power of a horse will never cease to amaze me.

  6. Jody Brittain

    I totally agree with you. My horses fill in the roll of therapist. I could not pay them enough for the good they do to my health and my soul! That is why I say, “My therapist lives in the pasture.” I hope if the day ever comes, which I hope it doesn’t, that my life is in danger, that Libby, which I doubt, but I am sure Poncho would, protect me. Yes, horses are a rare creature that fulfills our lives!

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