I've spent the last couple of days eating ibuprofren like candy, and moving around very gingerly. Well, if I don't sugar coat, I feel like I got hit by a truck - but it could have been so much worse. Happily, I had my helmet on, as I might not be capable of typing this, had I not. Helmets are good.
The first giant horse flies of the season? They were buzzing us during grooming. Captain Outburst next door shooting something out of his mower as he rode up and down next to the arena? His timing is uncanny. Me paying more attention to a visitor to the farm, than to my horse? Probably. Me blocking my horse as I tried to get a trot transition rather than the canter? Definitely. I had second thoughts about riding when both horses spooked violently at my visitor's dog as she arrived - Val bolted, losing his saddle that I hadn't quite girthed up yet. (Hated, hated, hated watching my new saddle hit the dirt!)
It doesn't ultimately matter. After a nice warm up, I rode out a warning buck, but a few minutes later lost my seat as Val bronced across the arena. I remember me coming down and him coming up, and then knowing I was about to hit the dirt, just like my saddle.
I landed on my side quasi rolling, but still very hard. I turned over. Everything seemed to move okay. My vision was blurry for a few minutes though (concussion?), as I collected my bemused horse. I remounted, and rode for a half hour or so on the buckle.
I haven't fallen off for a couple of years. I've come a long way I guess. My reaction this time wasn't doubting my horsemanship or fearing my horse, but obsessing over what I could have done differently. Even though my former trainer isn't in the area for me to get lessons from, she generously makes herself available for telephone debriefing. Thank you E.!
Our conclusions were that falling off is inevitable, and more importantly, cannot be prevented. Falling off is a moment in time - the horse isn't obsessing about so neither should we. Our horses deserve 100% of our concentration and attention when we work with them. Anything less is disrespectful, and occasionally dangerous.
E. gave me some good advice (again) for how to move forward with our trot / canter issue, namely never let your horse know that what he's doing isn't what you wanted. Don't get upset. It's more productive to go with the wrong gait and then ask for the downward transition. Never let them see you sweat. Keep a light heart.
Bright side. I didn't break anything, or miss any work. It wasn't as bad as the anticipation - nothing ever is. If statistics mean anything, I'm a lot farther away from my next fall, than I was the other day. :)
|Probably need a new helmet|
|Wish my ass had stuck to the saddle|
|Hand needed attention|
|Shiner on my hip|
|Later that evening - it's all good...|