Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dumped

Well, it happens to all of us from time to time. Yesterday, due to a string of fairly unintelligent choices on my part, I fell off my horse.

It was my first fall indoors, and I must say plopping off into the deep sand of an indoor arena is not bad at all. Also, as ever, falling off bareback is a consistently less painful experience than falling out of a saddle. Perhaps it is because the whole thing happens faster, without clinging and disentangling from stirrups, etc.

Anyway, I blame the whole thing on the spring. Had I not gotten hot, decided to take my jacket off, decided I'd rather not dismount to hang the jacket up on the rail at the edge of the arena and so attempted the maneuver bareback, I'd have never been reaching forward towards Steen's front end, my balance way off to the side and my other hand merely resting on, not even gripping, his mane when he decided he actually is scared of jackets, and bolted.

I suppose it is good to have these little tumbles take place now and then, as they remind me that I shouldn't be taking unnecessary chances when I'm out on my greenish horse, all alone, many miles from town.

But in spite of the fall, yesterday's ride was grand. I've been sticking with my plan of mostly "cruising" at the walk, which I believe is having a good effect on Steen's overall stress level during rides. He is stopping better, standing longer and made increasingly less nervous by changes in his environment. Yesterday the wind was howling through the cracks in the indoor arena, and he never once so much as shied at the noises, even when the large door shook and creaked while we walked right by.

So, as long as I take my jacket off before mounting on these warm spring days, I think I'll have some nice rides.

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