How I Survived a ‘Drive By Shooting’

January 7, 2014

Photo of I'Candy and Brattzina

Candy and Zena

OK…as anyone who reads this blog knows, I have horses.

For the past several summers I’ve been feeding my horses at the farm where I live, then driving to my trainer/coaches barn for a lesson or to ride/video my horses there.

One Day Last Summer

I fed my horses here, had my usual rush of morning coffee and oatmeal, loaded a horse in the trailer, and made the trip to my trainer’s barn.

For the next several hours (in real time that’s translatable to ‘most of the day’), I rode a horse, videoed a few lessons, cleaned tack, discussed coming show and training schedules, told jokes, had lunch, and generally just socialized around the barn.

WOW! Was it 6:00 already??

The time really sneaks up on you when the days are so long, warm, and filled with activity. Someone mentioned getting home to feed the kids, I glanced at my phone, and realized I was late getting home to give the other horses their supper. Luckily, at some point during the day I decided to leave the horse I brought with me at the training barn and just pull the empty trailer home.

So…off I went, satisfied with my day.

Now, from my trainer’s barn to my barn is pretty much a straight shot (other than some fairly significant curves in the road). I pass a school, cross a major road at a traffic light, pass another school, pause at a 4-way stop, and take the final long leg back to my barn. The whole trip–from the middle of one nowhere to the middle of another–takes about 25 minutes, even pulling a horse trailer, and it’s mostly through rural horse and cattle country.

Well, there I was on the last leg of the trip and I hear a sharp “CRRAACK” that sounded like a close-up shot from a gun.

OH MY GOD!!!
What was that!?!

I glanced in both side mirrors to make sure my tires were OK, even though I wasn’t getting a feel that anything was wrong with the truck or trailer. All were fine so the next thought was:

OH MY GOD!!
Was someone SHOOTING AT ME?

That was when I ducked down almost below the dash and tromped on the gas. In less time than it takes to type it, I was racing along a country road with a horse trailer leaping and bounding over bumps behind me and not another car ahead or as far back as the eye could see (which was actually pretty far).

I WAS ALONE….ON A COUNTRY ROAD….IN THE MIDDLE OF TWO NOWHERES…WITH SOMEONE SHOOTING AT ME!!!

After about a century (real time 90 seconds) of a neck and neck race between my heart and the truck, I felt I was far enough from the danger zone to slow down some, then i had a secondary panic attack when I realized how fast I was going.

The rest of my trip was spent wondering if someone was hunting beside the road and just didn’t realize there was someone on the road next to them; if they DID realize there was someone there and shot as I passed as a practical joke; if there was some fluke atmospheric noise in the area; if I was imagining things and going crazy….

After what seemed an eternity

I arrived back in the safe haven of my own farm area and stopped the truck. I got out and walked all around truck and trailer searching for gunshot holes, rock dents, anything that would solve the mystery of the Big Bang, and found nothing, nada, not a darn thing.

Finally I gave up

I backed the trailer into it’s parking spot and was just about to get out of the truck to unhitch when something caught my eye. Something that just looked… wrong. It looked SO wrong that I couldn’t really place what it was so I got out of the truck and walked around to the passenger side of the trailer.

There, attached to the side of the trailer was my spare tire, and sitting on top of it was what, at first glance, looked like some kind of exotic bird. But as I approached, and my brain took in the reality of what was there, I realized that those things that looked like parts of a bird were actually parts of the tire….my brand new TIRE had EXPLODED…but WHY??

Since that time…

I’ve related this experience to many other people. Most show utter disbelief, but a few have commented that similar things have happened to them. Apparently, if you over fill your tire with air and it gets really hot it will explode. My only explanation is that I had my trailer serviced a few months before the explosion and the service person put too much air in the spare tire while the weather was cool. As the Florida temperatures soared and the sun heated the tire cover,

!!BOOM!!

photo

My suggestion to trailer owners is that you check the tire pressure in your spare tire regularly and perhaps keep it a little under-inflated. Better to have a tire that’s a bit soft than one that has a hole in it big enough to drive through.

In Conclusion:

I would be curious to hear if others have had similar experiences and what conclusion you came to about the cause of the disintegration of your perfectly good tire.

(Although, come to think of it, it probably wasn’t ‘perfectly good’ or it wouldn’t have blown up in the first place.)

My wish for you, my friend, and all others who take the road less traveled (or, in fact, any other road) and decide to pull a trailer:

May Your Trip Be Boring.

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25 Responses to “How I Survived a ‘Drive By Shooting’”

  1. That was a frightening experience. I have been an horse lover and rider and trainer since age 10 into my early 30’s when I learned I should not ride anymore due to a faulty kidney. I will always love them, and I envy your herd. I seem to have a difficult time finding any recent posts for you, but hope this message reaches you because I enjoy reading about your horses.

    • kayuk said

      It certainly was! I have a pretty wild imagination and the idea that someone was shooting at me was terrifying. Realizing I was zipping down a country road at the speed of sound while pulling a horse trailer was equally terrifying.

      I can’t tell you how mych I appreciate your interest in my writing! A lot of my stories are taken from life, but only the cottage description is true in the Cottage For Sale story. If you would like to read more you can do a search for ‘kayuk’ on the Two on a Rant website and my older stories will show up. And everything on this site is mine.

      Oh, I’ve been taking some courses at university lately so my writing time has been spent writing homework and exams. However, I found an old notebook that has a few stories in it and I’ll be posting them soon. The ‘Cottage For Sale’ story was so long it was my first attempt at a serial.

      I would love to hear how you like some of the other stories you come across.

      • I will look for them and look forward to reading them. What courses are you taking?

        • kayuk said

          The pre-reqs for Diagnostic Sonography. The usual premed stuff…Human Anatomy, Medical History, Medical Ethics, Public Speaking…It’s a limited points course which means they only take about 20 new students a year – those with top grades and highest accumulation of points to qualify. I have fingers and toes crossed.

  2. That’s just as fraught with danger as the other kind (of drive-by shooting from the hood), except a heck of a lot funner! 😀

    • kayuk said

      It was certainly funny in retrospect, but at the time my heart was beating so loud I couldn’t hear the funny side. Now, when I look back, it cracks me up that I was so frightened of a spare tire.

  3. Gede Prama said

    Thank you very much, I’am really glad that I’m following you. I’m still figuring out. Just wanted to say that you are an awesome blogger, Inspiring and May you inspire more readers essentially perfectly ok. greetings from Gede Prama 🙂

    • kayuk said

      Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment! I love making people laugh and feel good, so pull up a sofa, plug in your lap-top, and stay a while.

  4. Wow, scary. Hope you’re okay now.

  5. longchaps2 said

    Whew that will certainly wake you out of a perfectly good driving coma, lol. Seriously, l would have had a heart attack too. Good thing your horses weren’t in there. They probably would have spooked back pretty hard in the trailer. Fortunately we don’t get those extremes of weather where I live, but that’s good advice you give ;).

    • kayuk said

      Yes, my first thought was relief that the trailer was empty. However, knowing horses I would imagine that the very thing that had me terrified would not have registered on their brain at all. No, what registers on their brains is not the possibility of being shot through the side of a trailer, but the horror of having someone ride a bicycle past you; it’s not the fire truck that goes speeding by scattering gravel in all directions with sirens blaring and lights flashing as you walk your horse down the shoulder of the road; oh no!!, it’s the baby stroller slowly perambulating past. (OK, I actually get that one. Babies can be pretty scary.)

      • longchaps2 said

        Lol, yeah, babies terrify me as well, especially when they are so terrifyingly fragile and their heads just kinda flop around on those tiny necks when they are infants. Yikes. Anyhow, yes, it’s true animals have the blessed ability to live in the moment and not worry for one second about ridiculous psychotic killers chasing them down the road with guns, however I was actually thinking that it was a good thing your horses weren’t in the trailer when the tire blew because the noise of a tire blowing up two inches from their faces would have scared the bejeezus outta them. Or maybe not. Mine aren’t great travelers. We don’t go places all that often 😦 What a fabulous run-on sentence I created there!

  6. Thanks Patty! It was certainly scary when it happened, and for a while afterwards I wasn’t too trusting of tires in general.

  7. That does it. We have to ban tires. We could have a tire buy-back. Next, let’s ban the cars they attach to so that only wooden tires attached to wagons are allowed.

    Wow! I feel safer already. 🙂

  8. m33s66vr said

    Hmmm… Tires very seldom blow just from ambiant/environmental heat (air does not expand when heated like other gases can). Was the tire ALWAYS covered? Sun can degrade rubber quickly, causing it to fail (it ‘blew out’ the top, which is where the sun would degrade it the quickest). Also. ‘non-rolling’ tires (like a spare) become brittle, which doesn’t help. There’s also the possibility it was a flawed tire…
    I’m happy that you survived your drive by shooting. Fortunately, no one reported a ‘wacko’ driving a grey pick-up with matching horse trailer shooting up the neighborhood!…

    • Good to hear from someone who knows about rubber and tires. The tire was covered, but I think it came with the trailer–purchased in 1996–so it was pretty old. Never used. Tire manufacturers should tell you these things.

  9. O my! That must have been scary! I am relieved to read it was just your tire!
    Lots of love and hugz

    • Yes, it was a big relief to me, too. I was squinting my eyes as I ducked behind the steering wheel and raced for safety from my exploding tire….I was wondering what would happen if my windshield exploded.

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