Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Of all of the stupid things to do...

I did them all...

I rode alone, without telling anyone I was going out to ride
I didn't have a cell phone with me
I didn't wear a helmet
I rode bareback with only a bitless bridle
I expected a green horse to canter politely on command
I KNEW that last time I asked him to canter bareback in the roundpen, he wanted to buck
I did it anyway...

We were out in the big field trotting. He took one good canter stride and then started bucking. Every stride was a buck. It took a few strides for me to realize what was happening and then I started hauling on his face and saying 'woah', which only seemed to encourage him to break into a gallop. The thrill of galloping full speed bareback was quickly cut short by my realization that I needed to decide if I was going to bail off or not. We were headed back to the barn with the only options being to go along the gravel road (ouch) or between a metal hay barn and a stripper well (double ouch). He swerved to the left and headed straight for the gravel road, still bucking. I came off over his right shoulder and landed on my hip and face. I laid there a few minutes listening to the horse run off snorting. I mentally noted where he was and then started making sure I still had teeth and that my neck wasn't broken. I got up, found my keys and glasses and caught the horse. I think I stayed on for about 150-200 feet, I never felt insecure or like I was going to fall. I bailed because I knew I couldn't stop him and that he had a greater chance of stopping himself as most horses do when they lose a rider. After I caught him I walked him back to the truck, got back on and walked him around. He was fine. I was fine. I got off of him and noticed that I was seeing spots out of my right eye. I was generally pretty shaken up and felt hazy. I fed the horse, remembered to latch all of the gates and drove home. God, that drive took forever. I slept for about three hours and I am feeling better. I have 'road rash' on my hip and right cheek. My body aches, but I can't tell if that is from the fall or lifting weights yesterday. My head is surprisingly not that sore.

All I can think about is getting back out there with a saddle and cantering him in an enclosed space-with a saddle, and bit, and helmet, and supervision. The longer I wait, the more difficult it will be to motivate myself.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I'm glad to hear that you aren't broken after that ride. Sounds like you have a good safe plan for your next ride.
Have a safe, healthy New Year.

Kim said...

Yes, it sounds like you need to do that asap. Mine would do that little bucking trying to get me off, I believe because of the snow compacted in his hooves, because he never acted that way prior. And now the snows gone and we can happily trot and canter just fine with just the bridle. But whenever he acted that way, I'd tighten the reins and hold onto the mane til he stopped or I'd say "WOAH Dandy" and he'd stop. But he's also 20 and theres certainly a difference between a green 5 year old with a couple months training, and not yet mastered the canter. And a 20 year old with many more hours and miles on him who is misbehaving because of snow. I've amazed myself by staying on, cause sometimes I have that 1 second thought,
I'm going to fall!" but then I don't. Recently what I've gone to doing, is feeding him in the back pasture done by the barn and where I feed, then use a bale twine and tied it on, then go to a tree stump and mount, then I had him walk a little, and then go to trotting and sometimes cantering, and then I lift my legs and feet up, and then he stops. I like how well he listened today when I rode, and how easy he was. And I just liked the fact he got me to where I needed to go faster than I can in the snow :).