I almost did a post last week about how long it had been since I last “bought a piece of real estate” in a riding arena. I was almost at my 8 year anniversary of not falling off. I had been saying since I started with Phoenix about two years ago that I just wanted to make it to 8 years. The good news? I made it! Only by a few days, but I still made it! The bad news. I fell off of the Schoolmaster yesterday!
How did it happen? Well…I am not exactly sure. One minute I was trotting along, the next minute…not so much. The Schoolmaster spooked. At what only he knows. He tends to have demons in his brain so it is not surprising. What is surprising is that instead of riding out the spook and going with him, I stayed in place and the Schoolmaster went right.
There was a moment where my right leg was on top of the saddle. My left leg was in the stirrup and my whole body was off the horse. Far off the horse. I reached down to try and grab something to save myself, and there was nothing to grab! My only thought was “I hope my foot comes out of the stirrup”.
And then down I went.
Luckily my foot did come out of the stirrup. I fell down on my side, hip first so at least I didn’t slam my head off the bat although it did hit the ground so I am thinking I need to order myself a new helmet. I hung on to the reins with my right arm and the Schoolmaster was still freaking out so he dragged me for about 15 feet.
As he was dragging me I knew I had to get up so I focused really hard on getting my feet underneath myself so I could stand. After getting dragged on my knees I pulled against him and dragged myself up. He kept going backwards for a while, but I did get him to stop right as he was about to leave the ring.
I took a few deep breaths and readjusted my saddle (and fix the reins which thankfully came apart without breaking!). I walked him over to the mounting block and the Schoolmaster freaked out again and went flying out of the ring. Sigh.
Eventually I got him to stand still long enough so I could get back on, but it took a while because he was clearly terrified about something in the corner. It took 25 minutes to get him to calm down and focus enough to be able to ride in to that corner without spooking or bolting. At that point I was sore and ready to be done. Of course he had to spook again leaving the ring.
I swear the Schoolmaster could see dead people. After going in and out of the ring calmly and doing a little more work I headed back to the barn. This was not the ride I had hoped for!
8 years is a long time between falls. Especially when you think about all the times I have ridden. Even a conservative guess would be riding an average of 3 days a week for that time. That means that even with a lowball guess I have ridden over 1,200 times without coming off. Even more impressive when you think that I never came off my crazy Gennyral or my green Phoenix. I was due to hit the dirt.
The good thing was that I didn’t get hurt. And that I have not learned that I don’t have to go to the hospital every time I fall. I have only fallen off 6 times in my life counting yesterday. Not bad considering all the times and horses I have ridden. My pride though is pretty injured. I am looking forward to having a lesson and making sure my confidence is intact.