Saturday, October 9, 2010

taking a tumble

This post isn't about wild horses but i thought id put it in anyway.

It happens to the best of us. At some time in every horse riders career, we find ourselves no longer riding a horse, but parting company, and quickly forming a new relationship, with mother earth instead. Basically, every now and again we fall off our horse.. There is in an old saying "you got to fall off 100 time,s to call yourselves a rider". I think there is some truth to this saying. Because, if your smart, you look back and can figure out, what exactly led to the parting of company, from the horses back. if you can figure out why, then you can deal with fixing the problem. Because the next old, and wise saying is "you always have to get back on the horse".

yesterday went bad. too much to do, and too little time. It seems the more you rush, the more things fall to pieces. by 5 o'clock yesterday evening i still had two horses to ride,calves to feed, horse to put away, horses to bring in, and a truck to pack for the show in the morning. To make it worse i wasn't even home from picking up a horse that had been out on lease to a Friend for the past year.

so it went like this. Get home unload horse. Rush to make up calf milk. Place buckets of milk on back of farm truck. Realise farm truck (which has tires that are so bald they could be a slide) is stuck on wet ground. Try for ten minutes to free truck. Fail. Carry buckets up long hill to calves.Spill 1 bucket, so have to make second trip. Feed calves, which are bellowing protest of starvation, at being fed so late. Back to the barn, to saddle up 1 horse. jump on horse. trot down to jump paddock.

This is where it all goes horribly wrong. You can never rush things with horses. It never works. I know this, and yet last nigh,t its exactly what i did. I had a jumping show today, so just wanted to quickly pop over a few jumps in preparation. Being in a rush, i ddnt spend enough time warming up. He ( my 17hh black warm blood, my version of owning a sports car) was going around nice and relaxed, but if i was paying attention, and not daydreaming about what i needed to pack for the show. I would have noticed that he like me was just going around in his own Little world, day dreaming as well. Not sharp, and listening and aware of whats going on, like we both needed to be for jumping.

So around the paddock we went , down the line of 5 jumps that i had set up as a gymnastic exercise. That went fine, horse just cantering down the line of jumps. After doing this a couple of times. I hopped off put the jumps right up. Thinking that I'd jump him over the bigger ones just once, before calling it a night. Should of known, horse in a day dream +rider not as switched on as she should be = bad news. Down the line of 5 jumps. one jump. two jump. three jump. four and crash. Coming to the fifth and final jump my horse finally woke up, saw that it had changed size. hesitated, went to jump and then ducked out to the side. The problem with big powerful horses, is that they have a lot of momentum. For riders like myself (not very tall) it a bit of a balancing act to stay on top, not having the leg length to wrap around his chest. So when the horse changed direction, i didn't, the forward momentum carrying me straight into the jump.

Its good, i don't hit the deck often, so when i do it good to go all out, make it impressive, destroying the whole jump out with me. Bonus the jump poles broke my fall and the metal stand broke my knee. Not really but it sure felt like it. So as i crashed to the ground, my horse getting the fright of his life, that his rider had suddenly parted company. Galloped off up the hill, circled a couple of times, then headed to the barn. Excellent. I dragged myself to my feet, happy to find i was till in one piece. Then made the trek to the barn to fetch my horse. Walking off the pain in my knee in the process.

So everyone falls. It really is the best thing to do, to get back on the horse. Both for you and your horse. So after catching up with my horse. i hoped back on, back we went down the hill. This time we were both awake and paying attention. After spending five minutes, getting our confidence back, jumping some other jumps. Down we came through the line of five jumps. Him wide awake, me paying attention, keeping him straight. Bit awkward at the last jump, but this time we made it. I jumped the line a few more times until he was jumping it perfectly and was relaxed about it all. You always want to finish any ride with you horse relaxed. Never finish with him tense or nervous.

Unfortunately waking up this morning, i was a bit worse for wear. With a knee the that was bit black and blue. I Pulled my horse out of the paddock ,while it was still dark. With every intention of still competing at the show, even though just walking was proving to be somewhat painful already. No luck, horse had overreached in the night. Both him and me were out of action. So instead, i climbed back into bed, got an extra hour or two sleep. Then spent the day catching up on paperwork, feeling irritable and restless. I think feeling physical with drawl symptoms, from not being at a horse show on such a lovely day.

Lesson learned from all of this. Wake up and pay attention. Nicely rolling along in a day dream, while jumping your horse, does not always equal succes. Take the time, to warm up your horse properly, or dont do anything at all.