Sunday, November 23, 2014

Fall Down, Go Boom

Or *splat,* rather.  I fell off Arya today, for the first time, and likely not the last, but hopefully the last for a long time.  Here's the saga:

Since we'd had such a nice ride yesterday, and since the round pen was so sloppy, I decided not to lunge Arya first.  I got her out, tacked her up, and made her do a few circles around me at the end of the rein, then hopped on.  Shar and I headed out to meet up with K somewhere between their two houses.

She was a little looky at the gate, like she always is.  She hasn't learned it's not going to eat her yet, apparently.  And then on the road, her back felt tense and her tail was swishing.  I commented on it to Shar, but didn't know why, and figured she'd settle in eventually.  In retrospect, it's possible the back cinch was too tight--there's a hole that seems too loose, and one that seems a little tight, and I chose the tighter one.

Then we caught site of K on her mare.  Arya's head went straight up in the air, and she started walking faster.  I tried to hold her back, and she tossed her head a bit.  K came up near us, and we all stood.  Flash was between Arya and the other mare, and she was on high alert but doing okay.  K went around behind the little group of Flash and Arya to come up to her other side for introductions, and kind of side-stepped her, so out of the corner of my eye, it looked like the other mare's butt was heading for us.  If I thought that, it's possible Arya did, too.  In any case, she took a hard sideways step and I lost my balance a bit, but then regained it.

At that point, she started bucking.  It could have been because I was off-balance (her former owner is much lighter than me and a much better rider), it could have been the cinch, it could have been the new saddle, bridle, and bit.  It could have been the footing (we left the road and went onto softer dirt with snow on top).  I stayed on for one buck, maybe two, but it was inevitable...I fell off over her left shoulder.  Luckily, I missed the rocks in the area, so I quickly realized I wasn't hurt, at least as long as she didn't kick or step on me.  Luckily (again), she was bucking off away from me.  She stopped a few yards away, which is good--glad to know she didn't plan to run off, even though home was RIGHT there.  I stood up, and realized nothing really hurt except a couple of fingers--one from rope burn (though a couple more are also a little abraded) and one from getting tweaked.  That one is NOT happy this evening:

I walked over to her, easily "caught" her (she didn't move), and we all traipsed back to the round pen to do what I apparently should have done before getting on.  She was a perfect angel, even with the other mare standing right next to the round pen.  So I took a deep breath, got on, took a few more deep breaths, rode her in a circle while taking more deep breaths, then rode her out the gate of the round pen and Shar and I followed behind K and her mare a ways, while I kept taking deep breaths.

She was definitely more relaxed and not swishing her tail.  She did put her head up in the air when we passed a mini donkey (on K's property, coincidentally), which made me nervous, but Shar helped talk me off the ledge, and we both got past it.  The rest of the ride went totally uneventfully, with trotting, road crossing/riding, and more horses to looky-loo at.  Even some llamas, which she was very interested in keeping an eye on, but didn't misbehave at all..

She's a good girl, we just had a freak set of circumstances that resulted in me on the ground with a couple of sore fingers afterward.  Luckily, the rest of me seems completely unhurt, even hours later.  got off pretty unscathed, considering how tall she is!

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