My Missouri Fox Trotter Fancy is bold and hot and I have a big day of events ahead.  This big arena that hosts events has “No Mounting Block” anywhere! We can’t get over that. Horses owned by older people must not board here. People trailer to events here like barrel racing and cow events. They must carry their own mounting block with them is what I guess. Fancy and I are participating in a Natural Solutions clinic with my clinicians and trainers, Tony and Jennifer Vaught. They have been coaching me for nearly thirty years. Yes, I’m almost experienced now.

Outdoor Arena for Cow Working
I’m looking for something I can climb up on. They have wire fencing that are impossible mounting blocks. Some gates exist here that could be used, but all I tried were shaky. I like my mounting block to be solid still.
Aha! I spot a picnic table area! Picnic tables make wonderful mounting blocks!

I go over to a picnic table with Fancy. I climb up on the seat. I’m standing on the seat and turn to tell Fancy where to stand.

GASP! Fancy places a front foot up on the picnic table seat.

I’m standing there marveling when……

She lifts up her other front leg and places her foot on the table! I’m thinking stuff like: Wow!

How is she going to get down?

My horse is making a pedestal out of a picnic table! Wow!

Probably a second goes by when…..

Fancy, my Missouri Fox Trotter puts her weight on the picnic table leg to lift her other leg up and….
the board broke, splintered apart! These tables must have been outside a long time and boards are invisibly rotting.

Her leg went through the table. Her leg went through the table! I screamed a couple of times. Fancy calmly stood there with one leg stuck through a picnic table. She did not panic. Most horses would have blown up in near-death fear. Fancy stood quiet.

My brain went into frozen horror.

A nearby rider, Sam, with a calm voice speaks. My brain heard him. He speaks calmly.
“Get her out of there. Get her out of there”

His calm voice coaches my brain to melt and return to life. I go into the backup rope shaking signal. I whip that rope back and forth with all my my might. I’m dismounting from the table while shaking the rope.

Fancy shifts her weight to her back legs and tries to pull her leg out. It’s not working. I continue to whip that rope back and forth.

She pulls most of her leg out, but now her foot is stuck inside the table. She pulls backward and the picnic table moves with her. She pulls the picnic table towards us! It wants to tip over. Scream! Miraculously, her foot came out.. She got both front legs on the ground.

Fancy was standing beside me with all 4 legs on the ground. I did not want to look. My eyes did not want to look down. My brain wanted to keep my eyes looking forward. My brain did not want to look down.

I looked down at her front legs.
There is no blood. I look closer.
There is no ripped off hair.
There are no marks on her leg.

A refrozen brain human and calm horse walk away.

She is not lame.
She is not limping.

Someone has set up tubs for a mounting block. My legs were not shaking. I did not lose much adrenaline. My body and brain are functional. I was able to mount and we ran cows the rest of the afternoon. SCREAM!

I’ll never forget that 5-10 seconds of horror.

Fancy and I are running a cow. I hear someone say, “That’s Susan’s phone.” “Drat”, I think. My phone must have been ejected from my pocket! I hear a mumble of gasps from the riders behind me.

My phone was NOT killed by the cow. The hooves missed.

HOT Fancy

Fancy is a mare in heat. She lifts her tail and spurts a smelly wet mixture. It has a certain smell that all former fully intact male horses recognize. When Fancy strolls around the arena, every gelding wants to be her friend. They all had a memory of something that once was part of them. Fancy was hot!

In her normal un-heat life, Fancy will backup when I ask using only my body cues. When Fancy is “hot” and I ask her to backup, she squats, lifts her tail and spurts. Backing is not what she does. She does lifts her tail and spurts at other times too, like when I ask her to do something, perhaps like move faster!

Oh the joy with a “Hot” mare during a clinic. “She is Something Fancy”, indeed!

See all She’s Something Fancy O. (Fancy’s) accomplishments at

– Susan Engle-

Susan is an accomplished author.  Want to order her books off of Amazon?  Go to