Many readers of our travelogue, What Boundaries? Live Your Dream! have asked where they could see more pictures of the crazy things that happened in the book. So, for those who asked, these photo excerpts are for YOU!
From Chapter 16 – St. Anton, Austria
Our last day in St. Anton, we decided to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible. We’d found a pasture nearby where the most beautiful horses were grazing. Honey-golden with a white-blond mane and tail, these Haflingers were spectacular and I was smitten. The Wild Horses of Austria and I were sure to be great friends!
“Thank you for cutting up the apples,” I said to Cheryl when she finished stuffing them into a plastic bag. All morning I’d been talking about bringing a treat to those beautiful creatures. It had been raining all day, but the afternoon cleared in time for us to go find my horses.
The herd wasn’t at their normal spot down by the fence, but way up on the hill.
“Can we get to them?” I asked.
Trying to avoid my disappointed pout as much as possible, Cheryl suggested we take one of the cross country ski paths up the mountain. The ground was so mucky from the rain, it was difficult to tell where the mud ended and the cow patties began. It was a steep, slippery climb and Cheryl started to regret it as soon as we leveled off.
“Do you realize we’re in the middle of a field with cows as well as your horses?” She commented with growing concern. “The cows have huge horns, too. Did I ever tell you about the time I was chased by a cow? I’m still afraid of them. And these have huge horns. We should go back before they realize we’re here,” she turned to slide back down the hill.
It was a little late for a quick escape as one of the horses had spotted us and was ambling our way. I was ecstatic. I’d get to feed one of them apples, after all. A gorgeous mare with a wide blaze, gently took the apple from my hand with the softest lips.
I even had time to rub her ears before the stampede began. In just seconds, I was surrounded by eight or ten – it felt like fifty – very muscular, wild animals all intent in getting their share of what was in the bag I was carrying.
While incredibly gentle with me when I offered my hand, they were not so kind to the others in the herd – kicking, butting, biting, and pushing each other out of the way. They jockeyed for apple position and I was right in the center of it. As I disappeared between mountains of kicking horseflesh, I yelled to Cheryl for help.
“They’re going to trample me!” I shouted over their whinnies. “I can’t get away. Help me! Help me, please!”
She wasn’t getting anywhere near me, but did yell advice in my direction. “Drop the bag! Drop the bag!”
When one of the horses moved in the direction of the bag, I could see her standing there, snapping pictures and laughing hysterically. Here I was being attacked by wild horses and she was taking pictures!
I ran away while tossing the last apple slices in the direction of the herd, terrified to hear hoof beats bearing down on me as I slipped and slid behind a tree. I could still hear Cheryl laughing as I peeked my head around the trunk.
“Are they gone?” I panted.
“No, but they aren’t chasing you anymore,” she hooted. “They’re grazing. You can come out now.”
As we picked our way back down the mountain, covered in black mud or worse; we kept looking behind us – Cheryl for the horned cows and me for the stampeding horses. When we were back on the road, I looked up at the calm clan of horses quietly grazing.
“I think I’ll enjoy them from a distance the next time,” I said, wiping bits of apple and horse gerb from my hair.
“Oh no,” Cheryl chuckled. “This was the most fun yet! I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. And I’ve got the pictures to prove it!”
Still haven’t read the book? It’s available on Amazon and THANK YOU to all those who have enjoyed the fun!