I fell off!

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.


8 thoughts on “I fell off!

  1. I bet many of the followers of your blog have “been in your shoes” or, rather, “been ‘in’ your knees,” dragged along by a horse that got terrified of “nothing.” You have lots of company.

    And yes, you must get a new helmet.

    I fell off my 16hh OTTB when he spooked at two little kids who popped up out of some bushes where we were riding two years ago February, doing a perfect 360 and landing flat on my back, his entire bridle in my hands (I apparently grabbed the crown piece as he zigged left and I zagged right, pulling it completely off his head). He, of course, was even MORE terrified because he’d “killed” his mother, so he ran back to where he lived–on my acre–and waited for “me” to open the gate and save him.

    I cracked two ribs (I found that out eventually because the ER doctor didn’t read x-rays well–he admitted that first thing) but more important, the horse was not injured (even after running a quarter of a mile on the blacktop to get home). It all turned out well, as did your incident.

    Horses keep us humble ;o) Glad you’re okay and keep writing. I’m emjoying your blog!

  2. The good thing is that you didn’t get hurt and that’s most important. A new helmet wouldn’t be a bad idea either…

    My sister had a dog that saw ghosts. Or at least that’s what we always thought. He would stop and stare at something near the ceiling (dogs rarely look up if you think about it) or at a spot on the floor where nothing looked out of the ordinary. Sometimes he’d go for days seeming totally normal and then he’d be on the ghost hunt. Of course, being a dog he wasn’t necessarily afraid of them but a horse being a prey animal, heck yeah!!

  3. “I have only fallen off 6 times in my life counting yesterday”

    What’s the old saying? Seven falls make a rider?
    You’re almost there! 🙂

    (Heck..I fall off a horse when it farts… I love all your stories about sticking in the saddle through tantrums and bucking. 🙂 )

  4. Accidents happen. That said, I gotta tell you that that’s not my idea of a schoolmaster. To me, a schoolmaster is a safe horse to learn on, a horse that lets the rider concentrate on their riding, without having to worry about behavioral issues. A been there, done that kind of horse who may or may not respond to your aids unless you get them just right.

  5. Hi,
    I’ve fallen off a lot over my riding life and usually over something silly and thankfully on my flank. I am 61 and I rarely fall off my horse because of something he does, and when I do fall, he stays around.
    I really hope you find a horse that deserves your kindness, love and excellent care. I would agree that the Schoolmaster does not sound like a school master. Every “School master” I’ve met over the years is the “bomb-proof” horse or the most dependable and well-trained horse in the barn.This type of horse is priceless and treated like gold.
    I have a quarter horse and I know that not all quarter horses are sensible, but what about looking for a quarter horse with an excellent temperment. I went on line looking for the best temperment and quarter horse came up first. I’ve heard other breeds such as: Morgans, Haflingers and the Canadian horse have good reputations.
    Visualize the perfect horse for you. See yourself riding it. Feel the joy of being perfectly matched and send it out to the universe. Return to the picture in your mind and expect the horse to turn up. It will.

  6. Awww! That sucks. At least you are OK! I hate falling off. I went for almost 13 years without a fall…..until this past spring when I fell off AT A SHOW because Dreamy tripped in the (very rocky and poor footing) riding ring at the canter. I sprained my ankle and it was no fun.

    Yeah, we won’t show there again. Not because I fell off, but because their ring is unsafe IMO.

  7. Pingback: Maybe my new helmet is going to be my new lucky helmet… « A Horse and a Half

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s