Friday, May 15, 2009


It's been an interesting week at the barn. On Sunday the weather was great, and I went out to see Steen with the intention of finally riding in one of the pastures. The herd is now free of the mud lot, and I found Steen and his buddies grazing in the field I had intended to ride in. No big deal, thought I, we'll ride in the middle pasture, around the pond. When I arrived at the pasture gate the whole herd galloped over. Spring fever, I guess. I extracted Steen, took him inside to tack him up, and then took him back outside.

Our ride around the pasture was mostly a success. The biggest difficultly was the terrain is uneven and the grass is high right now, so it was hard to trust the footing. Also, there were horses in the pasture on each side and Steen was curious about these herds. Add this to the fact that there is no path in the pasture and I didn't have a particular route in mind, and our course around the field was rather a zig-zaggy one. Mostly, I was pleased that Steen, while excited and curious about the new environment, never stopped listening to my instructions. We walked around the pond a few times and then we went indoors, where I decided to continue the ride in the indoor arena.

This went well, until I asked for a lope. I am still not sure what happened. Steen definitely lost his footing a few strides after picking up the gait, and then I think he sort of crow-hopped to get all his feet back under him and followed that with a huge acceleration the way horses sometimes will when they are feeling unbalanced. I came off in a way I've never come off before (which is saying something). I fell to the back and Steen's right side, and landed hard, mostly square on my upper-back.

Yeah, it hurt a lot. Still does, actually. Anyway, I got back on and we loped some more and it went better after that initial false start. Then I left and came home and felt sorry for myself for a few days.

I returned to the barn yesterday, still stiff but thinking an easy ride would be good for both Steen and me. When I arrived at the large pasture, I saw the herd in the distance, hanging out in the green grass. Steen was lying down among them. I called to him, and waited by the gate. He rolled, stood up, meandered his way out of the herd and then trotted up the hill to where I stood.

I must say, if lying on the ground after falling on Sunday was one of the most upleasant moments I've ever shared with a horse, yesterday morning was one of the greatest. To see one horse detach himself from a cluster of his buddies way off in the middle of a green field and not only come to me, but trot so he could get there faster, was more than a little heart-warming. Though I know Steen and I still have a long way to go, at least I have good evidence that we've come a long way, too.


  1. Ouch, that fall doesn't sound fun. Although, I guess it's nice that it was a stumble and not a spook or an actual attempt to throw you.

    Hope you feel better soon.

  2. Yes, I have been consoling myself with that very same fact. I guess when one rides horses, one sometimes falls off horses, and at least it doesn't happen very often...

    Thanks, I am feeling better though I think it's going to be another week or so before I'm fully back to normal.


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