My Hoofed Hero

I'll never know how my horse got out of the locked stable to save me.

By Mary D. Wilson, Port William, Scotland

As appeared in

My husband and I owned two horses that were as different as night and day. One a jet-black mare called Midnight—some would call her a "devil horse"—and the other, my favorite, a gentle six-year-old palomino called Amber.

Shortly after my husband, John, had bought Midnight, I went out to work with her. I led her out, bolted closed the stable door behind me, and proceeded to saddle and mount her.

Midnight was nervous. She skittered. Within seconds she became violent. She reared and threw me to the ground, then went berserk, rushing wildly about the yard. Suddenly she headed back to me at full gallop, teeth bared. Already in great pain from a shattered neck joint, unable to move, I knew she was trying to kill me, to stomp me to death. "Lord, Lord" I screamed, but there was no one near to hear.

Suddenly, Amber came charging out of the stable. She hurled herself at Midnight, savaging her with her teeth. Midnight retreated, charged again, retreated again and came back again. Amber stood her ground, defending me until Midnight gave up.

And to think that I'd last seen Amber in her stall, a restraining chain across its entrance. And the stable door — it was locked. I myself had carefully slipped the metal bolt.

Yet my gentle Amber had rescued me. She had overcome the barriers between me and her. Had done that with crucial and uncanny speed.

How?