What Nic Did When in Danger

Nic got into a very hairy situation this past week. The ability to go from a state of overstimulation, fight or flight, to patience and trust really paid off for his safety. That’s what this video is all about.


Hey, it’s Barb and Nic.

Nic had a scare this past week – as did I because of a bad situation he was in.

It made me understand the value in an emergency of training ourselves and our horses to bring our heart rates down and relax on demand.

Here’s what happened.

First, Nic has front shoes and has been living in a pasture with several stretches of wire horse fence. And what I’m about to tell you has never happened in 10 years. But for some reason, Nic decided to roll right up against the wire fence, unbeknownst to us… except…

We heard our dog bark, and when we went over, we saw Nic. At that point, he was still rolling. I immediately knew he was caught in the fence. In a moment, Tom and I were out there.

By this time… Nic had rolled almost on his back, upright, and his right front shoe was hooked into the top wire. He was strung up, and he was shaking. He’s a pretty scaredy cat kind of a horse anyway.

We approached and talked to him. At first, he started to move again, and I immediately backed off. I said, “Hey, Nic, it’s okay, buddy,” He began to relax. We went back and forth like that, and soon, we could cut him out of the wire.

I’m very grateful and relieved.

His leg was stuck in the air for those few minutes; but, it’s fine. He’s walking fine. He’s not lame. But his face looks like he went out on the town and got caught with the wrong group walking down the street. Haha!

My takeaway – helping our horses learn to relax on demand can save their life in an emergency.

So that’s what I’ve got for you today. As you can see, Nic’s relaxed since he was in that overstimulated state. He’s just fine.

Have a great week. Leave a comment for me.

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28 Comments on What Nic Did When in Danger

  1. Jeanne Reyher on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 12:19 pm
  2. Hello dear friend. Oh my gosh. so greateful to hear all Ok. Thank you for the reminder to keep preparing our horses and ourselves for those emergency situations that can quickly escalate if we dont remain calm and in control. The trust Nic has for you is inspirational.
    I’ve often wondered if every once in awhile we should take our horses back to colt starting basics to help them in wire, rail, or any other restrained situation of potential harm.

  3. DeAnna Leigh on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 12:31 pm
  4. So glad Nic had the training and trust that you, Tom and Nic were solving the problem!

  5. Elaine on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 12:54 pm
  6. So happy to hear that Nic is OK! It is very scary when horses get cast and especially when they are caught like he was because they can do so much damage to themselves and sometimes, those trying to help them. Obviously all the training you and Nic have done together and his trust of you, kicked in. It was a blessing you and Tom were home and where you could see him and help him quickly. Yes, Nic needs a good ‘war story’ for his nicks; maybe he slipped away down to Bandera and had a little ‘dust up’ in a cowboy bar? We’re sure the other guy looks a lot worse! At least that can be Nic’s story!

  7. Mary Kay Russell on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 1:17 pm
  8. That is so scary; so glad he is okay. You are right, situations like this really reinforce the necessity to be able to control our own emotions, and also to practice with our horses in bringing their emotions down; in getting their minds back into their bodies. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Mark Mahnken on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 1:40 pm
  10. So many arena horses never get hobble broke. Mine included. Has he been hobble broke? Many say this helps tremendously in these situations. I’ve been in your situation several times over the years. Some horses seemingly do it on purpose, they like laying down near a fence instead of away. I’ll even release them in the middle of the arena only to have them find the fence to roll. Glad all went well.

  11. Tassie Corbett on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 1:49 pm
  12. So glad Nic is fine. That was a very scary situation. I know his trust in you made all the difference. Man, sometimes I think they look for ways to scare us to death. Again, so glad he’s all good.

  13. Gayle Kiser on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 1:52 pm
  14. For every story ending well as yours, there are many fold traumatic events that don’t end so well with panic the key in both horse and owner. I wish a Schulte panic button could be required b4 anyone takes ownership of horses. (But, wait! you’d never have time for us again in your lifetime, lol).
    Relationship goes a long way to helping mitigate danger, but calming ourselves is the super sauce we need to practice to be most successful. Thanks for sharing and reminding us it’s ok to breathe in again just hearing Nic’s story!

  15. Jackie Snyder on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 2:02 pm
  16. Thank goodness you and Tom were home and that you and Nic have that trusting relationship. It is truly a scary thing when a horse is cast upside down. (I’ve had it happen once with a yearling who caught her leg in the top of a gate and was upside down). Both horse and human having the experience and ability to calmly trust each other and quietly and quickly remedy the problem is a blessing. So glad Nic is ok.

  17. Cynthia Koroll on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 2:22 pm
  18. Oh my goodness! Fortunately he has a Horse Whisperer for an owner. The dog is a real champ too!

  19. Diane on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 2:51 pm
  20. Oh good grief! Thank you so much for sharing!! How scary! And yeah to you and your husband for fast thinking and acting. Thank you for everything you share, Barbara. I think you are wonderful!!

  21. Val Taylor on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 3:00 pm
  22. Scaredy for sure. My horse did the same thing a few months back. With a huge pen to roll in he decides rolling next to the wire fence was the best spot. As I was leaving his barn I stopped to check on him like I always do….and there he was laying on his left side with both back shoes caught in the wire. I managed to get one loose but the other was stuck between his slider and his hoof. Ran to the house and got my trainer and some wire cutters and got him freed up. He laid still the whole time. No lameness…just a little wire cut on his heel which we doctored up. Thank goodness for calm horses.

  23. Alicia Knutson on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 3:33 pm
  24. Barb, what a story! Such an important reminder of the value in building strong relationships with our horses founded in trust and calm. Grateful Nic is okay and that he had you and Tom to help him out, literally. A&L

  25. Claire on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 3:45 pm
  26. ditto on everyone’s previous comments (I guess I might be the lucky 13th!). I see others too-have given kudos to the dog-YEAH-and yeah for realizing he was giving a “something’s wrong bark”. Very grateful that it all turned out well-wire and horses can be real messy-and yet it is almost impossible to have life without it!

  27. Nancy on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 3:48 pm
  28. Hope your smart pup got some extra biscuits for alerting you to Nic’s danger! Glad he’s ok!

  29. Caroline Mackinnon on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 4:00 pm
  30. Those moments until you have the horse free are awful!
    A great message in this, thanks Barb.

  31. Robyn Dale Kilmister-Martin on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 4:31 pm
  32. Great to hear your story Barb, I’d been missing you and Nic. So glad all ended well, and what a great lesson for us all to learn. The skill to learn to relax is so very important.

  33. Gretchen Ruffin on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 5:13 pm
  34. So glad he’s ok!
    Thank God for your dog too!

  35. Carla Whitney on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 8:47 pm
  36. Holy smokes. Amazing how these beautiful creatures can get into the craziest situations. My ole boy Woodrow somehow got the lid of a large trash can stuck to face mask and all we could do was talk quiet and wait for him to reconnect to his trust in our quiet voices and slow movements. Patience was a key factor of which I have little! Thanks for the share. ❤️🐎

  37. Coral Stafford on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 10:23 pm
  38. It was lucky your dog alerted you about Nic’s dilemma. I was happy to hear Nic did not have any serious injuries.

  39. Carol MacGregor on Sun, 17th Sep 2023 10:36 pm
  40. Hi Barb, Oh WOW!!!! How scary that must have been to see Nic in that vulnerable and unusual position with his right front foot caught high up in the fencing. SOOO good he was not struggling too much. Very good to hear that Nic responded to your voice and presence the way he did. You always throw a little light on a serious subject with your quip about Nic being in the wrong place with bad company–because his face has a few scratches. I’ll bet this week you are especially thankful for that big, pretty boy!!!! 🙂

  41. Nancy Clark on Mon, 18th Sep 2023 5:15 am
  42. So glad Nic is OK! Yes, I agree teaching them to give to pressure and just relax is so important. I spent a lot of time with a previous horse to give to pressure and it saved him a couple of times riding out and getting caught in barbed wire buried in the grass. I’m learning through lots of your programs the value of ‘practicing what I preach’ to my horses and just breathe, consciously pause and take a deep breath

  43. Jody Brooks on Mon, 18th Sep 2023 7:17 am
  44. Thank goodness Nic is okay! Such a scary situation but a great example on the importance of this lesson. He’s still a gorgeous boy with his soon-to-fade battle wounds!!

  45. Shawn Smith on Mon, 18th Sep 2023 8:15 am
  46. Thank you for sharing. So glad everyone is okay. I can see Nic is special to you. 💜🙏

  47. kathy moller on Mon, 18th Sep 2023 7:16 pm
  48. So glad he is okay! Thank you for sharing your story, always appreciated!

  49. Karen Stephens on Mon, 18th Sep 2023 7:35 pm
  50. Poor baby!!! Glad Nic, Tom and you are OK! It’s amazing how our lower heart rate helps them out.

  51. JJ Donna on Tue, 19th Sep 2023 12:27 am
  52. I second comment from Mark re: hobble training. My quarter horse mare got twisted up in a wire fence at farm where we board her. She was found at daybreak by another boarder, standing perfectly still in the wires, even though her herd was now out of sight. The woman ran and got management who cut her free. Everyone was completely surprised by my mare’s calm reaction to the situation, and they told me that she was easy to approach and stood quietly, without halter or lead rope, while they cut the wires. She ended up with only a small cut on her hind leg from the ordeal.

    I bought my horse from a ranch in Oklahoma, so I called the woman who sold the horse to me to share what I thought was a remarkable story. She was not surprised. She told me that they hobble train all their horses (which I did not know about my mare) and that’s why she was so well behaved in this unfortunate situation. Everyone had so much praise for my mare, and I really need to credit the hobble training.

  53. Harolyn on Tue, 19th Sep 2023 8:22 am
  54. Thank you Barb for sharing your life experiences with us. Daily reminders as we connect with our horses we develop trust with them and them with us💕

  55. laurie on Fri, 22nd Sep 2023 2:22 pm
  56. Loved this post, my Fritz got a hind foot in his halter at an event and was not spotted until upside down and he was cut free quickly. My rope must have been too long, luckily he trusted us. (I had him at Moab unstoppable) and am now doing versatility.

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