Someone Went Past On A Horse

spiritdoctor

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#1
Hello all

My parents told me about this incident which happened to me when I was a young child. I’ve been thinking about posting it for a while (but I’m not sure that I am describing it that well..)

I was probably less than four and was walking through a field with my mother. The field was near my aunt’s house in Oxfordshire and we usually walked there when visiting my aunt. It was a warm day in summer and we were approaching the top of a hill, I was walking perhaps a bit ahead of my mother and separate from her and we were cutting diagonally across the field not on a path.

My mother told me I suddenly said out of the blue “what was that?” And when she asked “what was what? “I said “someone just went past on a horse.”
My mother said there was nothing there, just us alone in a field, in broad daylight, in summer.

Every so often my parents would bring this story up and I always said I didn’t remember anything about it, assuming that I was too young but one time my dad was talking about it and said “do you remember that time in the field when you saw a man on a horse?” I was confused about this because I was absolutely definite that I had never said the figure on the horse had been a man and had always assumed on some level in my mind that it had been a woman, thinking this seemed to trigger a memory of the event as though I’d always had a memory of it of it from childhood but had never quite connected it with the incident they were talking about.

What I remember is the day being particularly hot and it being a struggle to walk a long distance for a youngster, then suddenly I could hear loud rhythmic hoof beats really thundering and vibrating through me and at the same time almost being knocked over by a rush of air as a horse’s legs and rider’s boot rushed passed just an inch or two away from me on my right side going at a full gallop (towering over me since I was young and small). It was over very quickly just a second or two, suddenly it was there virtually knocking me over and I was staggering to stay upright and then suddenly it was gone. I didn’t see it approach me from a distance or anything (nor did I see it disappear because it came from in front of me and went behind me).

I remember asking “what was that?” Because I was confused about what just happened and assumed my mother would know and had experienced it too (I mean she’s an adult right so I expected her to be able to explain it).

One thing that I remember strongly is the rider’s hands being held together and outstretched like you would hold the reins when going at a fast gallop with them leaning forward a little (but still in the saddle) and the rider wearing brown leather gauntlet style riding gloves (meaning with a wide sleeve to them). I don’t think I really saw the horse, only it’s legs as they went passed me, it was a grey mottled white color. The rider had cream riding breeches, dark brown leather riding boots going up to the knee, which were all close to me/ my child’s viewpoint. I think they were wearing a baggy but tucked in white shirt and had long dark curly hair flowing out behind.

I also feel like they may have had a white or cream scarf over their nose and mouth (like a highwayman would have) with the ends of the scarf flowing out behind but I’m not really sure about those details. Something was flowing behind but It could have been just long flowing hair.

It seems difficult to date the clothes etc because riding gear seems quite similar in different time periods. But I’m fairly definite that it was a woman and they were riding astride not side saddle, and wearing riding trousers which I saw fairly clearly not a skirt. I tried to look this up and it had become the standard way for women to ride by about the 1930s with trousers and astride, so that dates it a bit maybe.

In terms of the history of the area, I think it has always been a farm or a field. I think there are some barns or farm buildings close by. We were on a public access footpath but leaving the footpath to get to the hilltop for the view as we always did in that field. There is a nearby village thats quite old but the rider was not headed in the direction of the village or the road that goes to the village they were going across the field towards the entrance, which we had come through. I wouldn’t have known this as a child but thinking about it as an adult if they had kept going in the same direction they would have arrived at the nearby larger town. I did walk there many times and never had anything else happen and don’t think any one else has ever reported anything.

It’s difficult to be sure if it’s a genuine memory. It’s what I seem to have a memory of. It can be a bit hard to know did I definitely experience this. I mean I was very young. It’s possible it was more a young child walking a long distance in the heat rather than a genuine supernatural experience.

Basically to summarize, my parents say I claimed that “someone went past on a horse” and I seem to have this memory of hoof beats and air knocking me over and staggering and the horses legs and riders leg going at full speed as it passed me just a few inches away (like it couldn’t see me) and then it being gone.
 

Scribbles

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#4
I love this! Think you described it all perfectly. So frustrating though with memories that we can never go back and just check what actually happened.
 

spiritdoctor

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#5
Thank you for the replies

Admittedly it’s more of a childhood memory that may not be accurate; it partially happened to me.

where exactly in oxon ?
Yeah well this is the thing about it, that kind of makes me post it. It’s a bit cheesy and I don’t know what people will think but the larger town in question is Banbury. This is corny because the thing that Banbury is the most famous for (it’s not famous for much) is the rhyme “Ride a cock horse to Banbury cross to see a fine lady upon a white horse”.

I did see or think I saw a woman on a white horse (or white/grey horse) although it wasn’t in Banbury, it was near a neighboring village and I don’t feel the clothes etc looked that historical.

I did not initially make the connection with the rhyme either, it was something I thought of more recently when I realized that the horse seemed to be heading in the direction of the main town.

I tried to research the rhyme and some people seem to think the rhyme is connected with a historical figure from the local Finnes family, who was obviously a real person but I don’t think that family lived in the area in question from what I could gather.
 

henry

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#6
can you provide a location based on what you now know ?
 

spiritdoctor

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#7
Also sorry about the typo in the name of the thread it was supposed be “on a horse”.....
 

spiritdoctor

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#10
can you provide a location based on what you now know ?
I don’t live in the area or anything, I was visiting some relatives as a child.
You know how there is a public right of way to walk through fields (it is called a bridleway or something) you are able to walk to Banbury along the path we were on. I’m not sure how many miles it would be.

We were cutting through a grass field however at that point and therefore not on the path, maybe close to the middle of the field but I don’t really know.
 

EnolaGaia

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#11
I have a theory ...

It was a hot day, as a toddler you were exerting yourself relatively more than the adults, you were walking rapidly enough (for a toddler) to stay out front of the adults, and you were going uphill (however slightly).

The first cue was the thundering sound like hoof beats. You felt as well as heard this rhythmic thundering. You were suddenly staggered by (or as if by ... ) a large mass rushing past you in the opposite direction.

All this could be consistent with over-exertion in the heat and something like a transient semi-swoon, perhaps as a result of panicking in response to unfamiliar bodily sensation(s). The initial thundering sound would have been your heartbeat pounding in your ears. The temporary staggering was the somatic response your mother saw.

The more skeptical view would be that the vision of the horse and rider could have been a toddler's post hoc psychological analogue for something external that nearly bowled you over (a reasonable, if misplaced, explanation for what staggered you).

The more accepting view would be that an 'actual' (in some sense) vision may have been triggered or facilitated by your stressed physical state.

If there's any component of the incident that has probably been influenced by time and the vagaries of memory it's the vision itself. Here's why I think that ...

You didn't see it coming. You recall a fleeting glimpse of legs and a boot galloping past, but you don't seem to recall the horse as a whole.

In seeming contrast, you recall fairly specific details about the rider above, even though it's difficult to understand how you could have discerned details from the rider's front (e.g., hands; face being covered) and back (hair(?) flowing behind) during such a brief view. Your primary description of what you saw only mentions the rider's boot.

I would also point out that shifting one's eyes' focus from the field / hill to a horse's flanks inches from your nose and then up to pick out details of the rider above - all in the space of a second or two - would be beyond the ability of toddlers below a certain age. If you were 4 - maybe. If you were 3 or even younger - not likely at all.

I'm not refuting the incident in general, and I'm not challenging your description of what you recall. My point is that the description of the rider is the element most likely to have been projected retrospectively onto the memory or progressively mutated over time.
 

henry

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#12
im in favour of this being a bi-partite experience as you understand it now

there is the event which was related back to you, which may have been something as prosaic as the 4-year-old version of you mistakenly thinking you had heard a horse while traversing that field, or maybe even saw one somehow which escaped your parents attention ... other than your remarks it seems nothing was reported about any other effect on you (flinching etc) ?

secondarily there is the later (re-) interpretation of events trigged by your fathers remark

depending on the time between these two points (would be useful to understand how long), there may have been a layering of meaning on the experience as you now understand it ... perhaps influenced by the nursery rhyme amongst other stimuli ... i am reminded of the infamous "giraffe from under the door" episode which you may or may not be familiar with

so there is no location other than somewhere outside banbury ?
 

Cochise

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#13
TBF young memories aren't great at recording details like place names. My running off with the Gypsies (retold elsewhere) is a clear memory, and I know we were visiting my Uncle Ted, but I can't tell you where he lived at the time or where the wood was. (He's long gone so I can't ask him).
 

catseye

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#15
I find myself wondering if you saw a person ride past on a horse in the distance to which you reacted, and the event of the horse going past you has been retconned from subsequent memories/dreams of the event. I base this on the vividness of the details of your recall compared to any memories that were retained at the time. I was badly bitten by a horse as a young child (about ten) and I couldn't tell you the colour, appearance of the horse or the circumstances leading up to the event.

So any chance that a passing remark triggered dreams and a subsequent building up of a false memory? I find false memories even more fascinating than invisible horses to be honest!
 

cycleboy2

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#17
It was only "Someone went past on horse", which sounded like an encounter with a heroin addict.
Thank you. That's made me smile; I never thought of the drug angle - though I did see the band Horse London at Warwick Uni in the late 1980s...
 

henry

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#18
yeah never occurred to me either, though it was just a case of maintaining our exemplary grammatical record
 

Naughty_Felid

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#19
Kids minds tend to exist in a very different place to the rest of ours at times.
 

WierdExeter

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#20
A hotel worker I used to know experienced an invisible phantom horse ride through him on a country lane outside Lymington in Hampshire (North Common Lane). This would have happened in the late 1980s and was at night after a visit to the Wheel Inn at Pennington, and so unfortunately he copped some ribbing about spirits... He always maintained it has happened, though.
 
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#21
Hello all

My parents told me about this incident which happened to me when I was a young child. I’ve been thinking about posting it for a while (but I’m not sure that I am describing it that well..)

I was probably less than four and was walking through a field with my mother. The field was near my aunt’s house in Oxfordshire and we usually walked there when visiting my aunt. It was a warm day in summer and we were approaching the top of a hill, I was walking perhaps a bit ahead of my mother and separate from her and we were cutting diagonally across the field not on a path.

My mother told me I suddenly said out of the blue “what was that?” And when she asked “what was what? “I said “someone just went past on a horse.”
My mother said there was nothing there, just us alone in a field, in broad daylight, in summer.

Every so often my parents would bring this story up and I always said I didn’t remember anything about it, assuming that I was too young but one time my dad was talking about it and said “do you remember that time in the field when you saw a man on a horse?” I was confused about this because I was absolutely definite that I had never said the figure on the horse had been a man and had always assumed on some level in my mind that it had been a woman, thinking this seemed to trigger a memory of the event as though I’d always had a memory of it of it from childhood but had never quite connected it with the incident they were talking about.

What I remember is the day being particularly hot and it being a struggle to walk a long distance for a youngster, then suddenly I could hear loud rhythmic hoof beats really thundering and vibrating through me and at the same time almost being knocked over by a rush of air as a horse’s legs and rider’s boot rushed passed just an inch or two away from me on my right side going at a full gallop (towering over me since I was young and small). It was over very quickly just a second or two, suddenly it was there virtually knocking me over and I was staggering to stay upright and then suddenly it was gone. I didn’t see it approach me from a distance or anything (nor did I see it disappear because it came from in front of me and went behind me).

I remember asking “what was that?” Because I was confused about what just happened and assumed my mother would know and had experienced it too (I mean she’s an adult right so I expected her to be able to explain it).

One thing that I remember strongly is the rider’s hands being held together and outstretched like you would hold the reins when going at a fast gallop with them leaning forward a little (but still in the saddle) and the rider wearing brown leather gauntlet style riding gloves (meaning with a wide sleeve to them). I don’t think I really saw the horse, only it’s legs as they went passed me, it was a grey mottled white color. The rider had cream riding breeches, dark brown leather riding boots going up to the knee, which were all close to me/ my child’s viewpoint. I think they were wearing a baggy but tucked in white shirt and had long dark curly hair flowing out behind.

I also feel like they may have had a white or cream scarf over their nose and mouth (like a highwayman would have) with the ends of the scarf flowing out behind but I’m not really sure about those details. Something was flowing behind but It could have been just long flowing hair.

It seems difficult to date the clothes etc because riding gear seems quite similar in different time periods. But I’m fairly definite that it was a woman and they were riding astride not side saddle, and wearing riding trousers which I saw fairly clearly not a skirt. I tried to look this up and it had become the standard way for women to ride by about the 1930s with trousers and astride, so that dates it a bit maybe.

In terms of the history of the area, I think it has always been a farm or a field. I think there are some barns or farm buildings close by. We were on a public access footpath but leaving the footpath to get to the hilltop for the view as we always did in that field. There is a nearby village thats quite old but the rider was not headed in the direction of the village or the road that goes to the village they were going across the field towards the entrance, which we had come through. I wouldn’t have known this as a child but thinking about it as an adult if they had kept going in the same direction they would have arrived at the nearby larger town. I did walk there many times and never had anything else happen and don’t think any one else has ever reported anything.

It’s difficult to be sure if it’s a genuine memory. It’s what I seem to have a memory of. It can be a bit hard to know did I definitely experience this. I mean I was very young. It’s possible it was more a young child walking a long distance in the heat rather than a genuine supernatural experience.

Basically to summarize, my parents say I claimed that “someone went past on a horse” and I seem to have this memory of hoof beats and air knocking me over and staggering and the horses legs and riders leg going at full speed as it passed me just a few inches away (like it couldn’t see me) and then it being gone.
You saw the gentry. Lucky you
 
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#22
The other thing th at interested me is why your paents continued to describe it as a man, when you have probably told them it was a woman, and why you described her as ‘they’ instead of ‘she.’ I mention this because i had an invisible friend show up one day, and my parents always told the story with what seemed like a deliberate change of my description.
 

spiritdoctor

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#23
Sorry I don’t have a lot of time to be on the internet....

I do think it’s possible that I was just exerting myself in the heat as a child and that I might have staggered because of this.
Also I agree that there is some kind of hybrid explanation, like for example people might fast to induce a vision.

I searched for the giraffe under the door. Good story. A lot of people on that thread are saying they have a childhood memory which they are not completely sure if it happened or not and I do feel a similar way. Some of the memory is quite detailed but it’s hard to trust something from a long time ago.

I don’t really remember that much about the rider mainly their hands/gloves/position of their hands and long dark hair flowing out behind. I feel like the rider was not exactly a blur but I didn’t really get much of a look at them. The same with the horse I only really remember it’s legs. I don’t feel I’ve got a memory of seeing the horses head for example or any part of the horse except for the legs. I do remember it kind of towering over me, my viewpoint was from below/low down.

I could maybe give an approximate location on a map if it was really needed. But I’m not that comfortable with putting something like that on the internet....

I want to know what it was now! On a house? On a gorse? On a Morse? On a mouse?!
XD :rollingw:
Maybe I shouldn’t have changed the title these other ones sound better.
 

spiritdoctor

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#24
A hotel worker I used to know experienced an invisible phantom horse ride through him on a country lane outside Lymington in Hampshire (North Common Lane). This would have happened in the late 1980s and was at night after a visit to the Wheel Inn at Pennington, and so unfortunately he copped some ribbing about spirits... He always maintained it has happened, though.

Thanks for sharing the story, good to know that other people have experienced phantom horses.

During my experience the horse didn’t go through me but it did feel like it went very close, causing me to stagger and feel the air current of it rushing past, as though it was oblivious to me being there. So interesting that this horse went through the guy, presumably not seeing him either. (Wonder what that felt like?)

Was he in any way affected by the experience of it going through him? Or did he claim to be. Like something that happened to him afterwards etc, just wondering about it.

I would like to think that my experience actually happened (but maybe it didn’t...)
 
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