The Runaway Horse

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, April 30, 1913:  I saw a horse running off this morning, and was rather shocked to see it land in a ditch, where it staid until it was yanked out.

The Runaway Coach by Thomas Rowlandson (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Runaway Coach by Thomas Rowlandson (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Runaway horses were scary and dangerous. I can remember elderly relatives telling stories at family gatherings when I was a child of people who were gravely injured by runaway horses. Fortunately, even though Grandma was shocked, it sounds like all ended well that morning.

Click here to see a fun, old, short, silent movie called The Runaway Horse that is available on YouTube.

31 Responses

  1. When we lived out in the country, we had two sets of runaway horses run through our property. It is scary to think my children ( young at the time) could have been outside and potentially injured…

    Blessings ~ Wendy

  2. I’ve actually been on a runaway horse. Luckily it never left the yard. I climbed on her near the stable and she took off for a freshly tilled garden and proceeded to roll in the dirt. I had to launch of her mid air so as not to get rolled on…..I was so po’d and dirty. I brushed myself off and made her take me for a ride…LOL. Loved the silent movie. That was one smart horse to find his way back to his cozy stall. What’s with the baby carriage…it sure got dragged thru all the muck, HA!

    • Your were brave–though probably really smart–to get right back on her and make her take you for a ride.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the movie–I also thought it was really fun.

  3. I’ve never seen a runaway horse, but I know what powerful animals they are, and a frightened horse running wildly would certainly be dangerous. The video was great! You might want to try embedding it next time so it can be viewed on the blog.

    • Thanks for the suggestion about embedding the video in the post. I haven’t figured out to do that yet–but your comment motivates me to try to figure it out.

      • The easiest way I have found to do it is to click on the “Add Media” button as you are editing your post. On the left side of the screen, click on “Insert from URL.” You can then paste the URL of the video and click on “Insert into Post” to complete it. The URL will appear in brackets on your edit screen, but if you preview the post or publish it, you will see the video itself. Hope that helps!

  4. I’ve fallen of a few horses who have then bolted and “runaway”. Not much fun having to trudge miles chasing down your charge, luckily nothing hurt but my pride.

  5. Great video. Real humour lasts forever it seems.

    • How true that real humor lasts forever–though your comment makes me think about how some types of humor have changed. Some of the jokes that I’ve read in hundred-year-old magazines that aren’t funny and seem inappropriate regarding the way they portray women or minorities.

  6. I’ve never seen a runaway horse, but can imagine that it would be quite scary.

  7. We had a runaway horse who wound up in our swimming pool – stuck on the seams of a winter cover. Got him out, but it was a horrific incident.

  8. I’ve been on a runaway horse who was spooked by gunshots. Stopped short of jumping over the gate when we got back to the barn. Scary.

  9. Back to the pithy Helena we adore :) I love that you found a vintage video to accessorize this entry!

  10. The only runaway horse I’ve ever seen was when I was 5 years old and my 9 year old brother was on it’s back :-(
    A city girl who has never been near a horse since but can admire the beauty of some… but alway from afar! {chuckl}

    • Hopefully your brother wasn’t hurt. I’m not much of a horse person either. I grew up on a farm, but by the time I was growing up horses had been replaced by tractors, trucks and cars.

  11. Maybe the horse would not have caused so much havoc if the people hadn’t chase him.

  12. I never encountered a runaway horse. One time there were a bunch of horses that had escaped their enclosure and were milling around in the road. I drove slowly through them and got away.

    • Your comment reminds me of one time when we visited a state park in South Dakota. There were lots of buffalo milling around on the road–but we drove slowly and they let us go through.

  13. Great old silent film! I’ve had 2 horses take off with me but all ended well!

  14. What a treasure to have that diary! I’ve enjoyed reading some of her entries and seeing the pictures.

  15. That is scary. We watched a tractor pull event at the county fair one year when a team of horses took off through the parking area, damaging several cars in the process. That’s a lot of force to be reckoned with!

  16. I had the pleasure of attending the Las Mariposas Civil War Reinactment a few weeks ago. It was the first time I ever saw a horse and buggy. The horse was huge and I hoped the driver was watching where he was going as they galloped through the crowd.

  17. Oh my gosh! That movie! HAHA! So funny! Thanks so much for posting the link.

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