Wrecks Are Never Planned

                                                     Wrecks are never Planned 


                                                               Mike Capron 


I am very thankful to have survived so many could be bad wrecks. Experience and age help us from getting exposed to possible wrecks.  Excitement helps us lose our fear of a wreck. Speed and power are some strong ingredients for a big wreck.   Old Men are always in a young man’s way as he is usually going slower and mounted on a less powerful machine…..not many 40 years old men are in the NFR. 

My first big wreck was in high school. My friend and I were hired to go to their family ranch and get a load of dirt for a flower bed in town. We were excited to be on such a worldly venture. We took his aunt’s big new Oldsmobile and a trailer. We had a wonderful time making some short side trips showing off his aunt’s new Oldsmobile to all our high school friends. After dragging main street we headed to the ranch to get our dirt. We got the trailer loaded with dirt and headed back to Artesia. By the time we got to the two big curves between Hope and Artesia we had gotten a little comfortable with the big Oldsmobile and were mashing on the gas a little too much when we hit the first big curve and slowing down with the brake wasn’t working, the load of dirt didn’t have any brakes and the load of dirt passed us in the middle of the curve. Luckily it didn’t turn us over, it just passed us and we made a full spin with the dirt still following us on the back bumper.  I don’t know how many spins we made, but we were lucky we didn’t  turn over or run into another vehicle coming from the opposite direction………didn’t turn a hair or put a scratch on the big Oldsmobile. 

 Automobile wrecks are a factor of learning to drive and being a young driver, I was excited to do some driving; it wasn’t long until I talked my dad into loaning me the family car.  He gave me all the consequences if I damaged the brand new family car.  I was certainly careful for all the reason that had impressed me. I made a quick trip and came home early.  I pulled into the drive way and turned the key off, but for some mechanical reason the car continued to lurch for several jumps and the motor didn’t quit until we hit the house.  Dad was in the kitchen and tried to get through the kitchen door which I had just hit and jammed it shut where it wouldn’t open………… I didn’t know whether to go help him open the door or run.  

I didn’t much like driving so I switched to horses ……….but it didn’t take long to have a wreck on a young horse I traded for.  I was riding just out of the city limits on a nearby farm, and wanted to cross a cement irrigation ditch.   Dobbin tried to tell me that he didn’t savvy irrigation ditches, but I was a newly formed horse trainer and was convinced he needed to learn how to cross irrigation ditches. He was very reluctant and did lots of jumping from side to side to try to get around the ditch, but I was sure he could just jump the ditch, but he had a different plan and did jump, but didn’t jump far enough and landed in the bottom of the ditch. The bottom of the ditch wasn’t wide enough for all four feet, so he scrambled, jumping, slipping, and sliding back and forth across the ditch 3 or 4 times trying to find somewhere level enough for all four feet. I was adding confusion jerking and pulling trying to stay aboard and guide him to the other side.   We finally came out of the ditch on the opposite side in a fresh field of cotton. The farmer was busy cultivating and he let us know that riding through his cotton wasn’t going to help his cotton any and he convinced me there would be a wreck if me and Dobbin didn’t get out of his cotton patch.

I learned to ride in rough rocky country and was always amazed at the abilities of the individuals raised in the rocks and rough country.   I was fortunate to follow other men who knew how to travel through the rocks. But there were still times that I had to have faith in my pony to get us through a tight spot. I was in the Chianti Mountains riding my favorite horse at the time when we came to a very rough rock slide that was very testy looking to me but sure had to be crossed to reach our destination. My horse Son of Mitch took to it like it was flat ground. The footing was very rough with big rocks and no level spots. He was staying mobile and upright, thankfully so.  About the time we got to the middle of the rock slide it started moving down hill, the whole rock slide was moving ……….Mitch and I both froze while we were taking a ride on a moving mountain. Both of us were looking for an escape route, but we were in the middle of the rock slide and no easy way backwards or forwards, so we just rode it down, with no where to scramble.  It finally stopped and Mitch was ready to finish scampering across the big rocks to the other side.  He didn’t seem as relived as I was…….I could only image how big of a wreck that could have been.

I have had times where I knew it was going to be a big wreck and to my surprise, nothing happened.  We were moving as fast as possible in thick pine brush in the Davis Mountains near Mt. Livermore trying to turn some cattle. I was very busy dodging trees and watching where the cattle were and I could’t see where we were going.  I just remember being air borne over a very deep solid rock crevasse and the other side where we had to land was a sloping solid rock bank.  It looked to be too far for a horse to jump successfully, and if he did manage to jump that far, it was going to be a very difficult slick rock landing. It seemed like we were in the air a very long time.  I was peddling and flapping when we landed. My horse was scrambling and scrapping when we landed, but never lost footing or turned a hair.   I used all the available oxygen helping him scramble up that slick rock slope ………!!!!!!!   Here again No Wreck, but many thankful blessing to survive the possibilities.     


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