Ouch.

I’m not sure which is more badly bruised- my hip or my ego. Based on the way it’s throbbing right now, I’m going to go with my hip.

Yep, I fell off. Technically I got bucked off, but the result is the same. My backside made contact with the hard ground. I actually landed like a slab of beef on my left side. My hip hit first, and then my shoulders, and then my head kind of bounced. Good thing I ALWAYS wear a helmet.

I rode today in a new pasture for the first time. There are three pastures at my new barn; this was the last one left to try out and it also happens to be where I plan to do most of my riding because it’s big and flat and has room to set up jumps.  Riding in this pasture required that B and I leave Lyric behind. Lyric is the elderly Morgan mare. 

Sidenote- I never got a chance to post about my first ride at the new barn. Long story short- Baron was totally flipping out, bucking, trying to canter, throwing his head dangerously in the air and generally being a butthead. I rode through the bucks that time and thanked God that he isn’t normally like that. I gave him the benefit of the doubt- things were new, we were much closer to the road and cars, etc… I figured out that if I gave him a loose rein and rode with a deep seat, it helped to calm him more than keeping him on a tight rein and trying to hold him back that way. I actually think I rode really well that day. I didn’t lose my cool and I was able to contain him and calm him down until eventually he was walking politely.

I kind of expected some shenanigans today because it was our first time in the new pasture, but I hoped to ride through it again. He was actually doing very well, a little jumpy but under control. Things deteriorated quickly though. He refused to walk, kept trying to canter and eventually started bucking. These weren’t huge, “I want you off my back” bucks. More like “I am nervous and excited and don’t know what to do with my energy since you won’t let me canter” bucks. Unfortunately I lost one stirrup and then the other stirrup and with no stirrups I was off after a few canter/buck/canter strides.

So I fell off. And you know what I did next? I walked right back over to him and got right back on. I actually hand walked him for a couple minutes til my legs stopped shaking, but then I got right back on. I firmly believe that you have to get back on ASAP after a fall (as long as you’re not hurt and the horse is under control). The horse shouldn’t be rewarded for bucking. He should be put right back to work. Psychologically, I feel it’s essential to get back on because you don’t give yourself time to be afraid. You just try again instead of standing around thinking about what went wrong or how bad it hurt or how you’re a moron for a buying an ex-racehorse.

Once I re-mounted he was still a little jumpy so I put him to work. We rode serpentines and figure 8’s and small circles until he started listening to me and quit worrying about the cars and birds and phantom horse eating monsters. After I felt like he had given me an honest day’s work, I hopped off and we headed back to the barn.

Pride really does come before a fall. I felt so good about my last ride, like we were making progress and I was figuring out on my own how to make changes in my horse. Oh well, there are peaks and valleys with everything. Today I fell off and landed in the valley. Time to go ice my hip…

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4 thoughts on “Ouch.

  1. Barbara January 31, 2011 / 12:51 am

    Ouch is right. Epsom salts in a hot bath is your friend. Glad it wasn’t any more serious and I’m old school too. Get up and get back on. Good for you.

  2. Amy January 31, 2011 / 6:10 pm

    Good for you for getting back up there. It happens to all of us. Feel better!

  3. Debi January 31, 2011 / 10:26 pm

    Hey there…falling sucks. TB’s are born to do one thing…go forward. If in doubt go ahead. So…if in a strange situation keep Baron moving forward in a brisk trot with lots of changes of directions and circles, 15m, and take no nonsense from him. A TB who has been at the track understands a firm “Quit that you butthead!!’ add any colourfull embellishments as required. Silence to a TB is nervewraking. Good job re: back up and at er, within reason of course!

  4. Jenn February 7, 2011 / 10:06 pm

    Debi is absolutely on the money. With TBs, especially the OTTBs, they relax when they have something to do with that nervous energy…always forward! Don’t let him canter if you don’t want him to, make him WORK…put him into a good working trot and do exactly what you did after the dismount…circles, serpentines, tempo changes within the gait, lateral work. If you can get their minds back on their work and give them a physical outlet for that nervous energy they come down pretty quickly. Gabe does that in new places sometimes, too. He gets up and nervous, prancy and snorty and bucky…and I put his big butt to WORK at a good, strong, working trot. It always works!

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