Here’s an absolutely cracking story from The Spokesman Review about a young woman and an 18hh Percheron/Quarter Horse called Tonk who chased after a grizzly bear that was pursuing an eight-year-old boy on a terrified horse. They faced up to the bear and charged.
“… when you’re riding, the horse is your best protection, if you can stay on,” Erin Bolster said.
“Some of the horses I’ve ridden would have absolutely refused to do what Tonk did; others would have thrown me off in the process. Some horses can never overcome their flight-animal instinct to run away.”
In those minutes of crisis, the big lug of a mongrel mount proved his mettle in a test few trail horses will face in their careers.
Tonk’s mettle moved Bolster. She wasn’t about to send him back to Wyoming with the other leased horses.
“Two weeks ago, I closed the deal and bought him,” Bolster said as she was wrapping up her 2011 wrangling season.
“After what he did that day, he had to be mine.”
UPDATE: Tonk and Erin will appear on the David Letterman show next week, October 11th. And here they are!