It’s OK! I’m fine! Really!

Now I am a real horsewoman because I have fallen off THREE times.  The first time was in 1971 when I was 11, the second was in 2005 when I was 45, and the third was this week at age 46. 

According to barn custom, I owe to the barn in general, so I hope to get out there tomorrow and/or Sunday with cookies.

We had an evening lesson and Gabby spooked at Bob-Bob, the cat who is missing most of his tail and most of one ear.  Bob-Bob was doing his panther imitation (he’s really, really good at it, by the way) by sitting on fense posts and runing back and forth in the arena.  It finally got to be too much for Gabby who spooked. Naturally. A 10 pound black cat could, technically, eat you.

So one minute I was riding, the next moment I was flailing and knew I couldn’t stay on, and the moment after that I tried to break my fall with my left arm and my chin and the moment after that I was yelling “I”m alive! I’m alive!”  And I was, otherwise I wouldn’t be here rattling on about it.

I stood up too fast for safety’s sake (one needs to remain prone to ensure that one has not broken anything or is in peril of being paralyzed) but nothing bad happened.  Gabby was standing there, looking at me.  Leah had the post-fall talk with me, I got back on, and Gabby tried to hide by shoving her big horse head under Leah’s arm.  She was a little jittery but we did some more trotting.  Not much. Mostly I wanted to walk and since we were both walking on eggs, she started to canter at some point which I Did Not Want but settled down.  Obviously, she wasn’t punished, yelled at, or anything else negative.  She saw a predator.  what could she do?

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9 Comments

Filed under Riding Skills, The Rider's Body

9 responses to “It’s OK! I’m fine! Really!

  1. Are you sore? I’m so impressed you got back on!!! Do you have a great big impressive bruise??

  2. Nope! No bruises! And ya gotta get back on. Gotta gotta. Falling is part of the deal, unfortunately. But people fall off all the time and live to tell about it.

  3. LavenderMenace

    Gee– you’re lucky you only have to bring cookies after you fall off! At my barn you have to bring a six pack. For some of us, this gets expensive. 😉

  4. Great attitude! 🙂 I was in a jumping lesson once and watched in horror as one of the barn cats darted in front of a horse just as it was approaching a fence. The rider went over it alone. 😉 It was only a little ‘un, though, and she bounced right back up.

  5. Ann

    Hello, I’m writting from Portugal.
    I’ve been ridding for about 15 years and have fallen many times, been thrown off, bitten and even trampled on…

    Just a note to say that here we “have to” fall seven times to be considered a horseperson.

  6. Dear Ann from the land of Dom Duarte:

    Thanks for your post and welcome! Seven times? Oh well. Wouldn’t you know it would be another prime number. Maybe that’s the trick — after you’ve fallen off 3, 7, 11, 17, 19. . .um . . .27 (Is 27 prime?), THEN you are a horseperson.

    Trampled? Really? I thought they weren’t supposed to do that.

  7. I too came off a horse because of a cat. In 2005, on my birthday, the cat darted out from a hole underneath the arena wall. I was doing haunches in (for the first time). I was leaning so much (she wasn’t too responsive at the time) when she turned 45 degrees in her spook, I fell over sideways. I don’t care how slow you are going, how short your horse is or how deep the footing, it still hurts (both your body and your ego).

  8. Glad you weren’t hurt. And mucho kudos for getting back on.

    Coming off at a flat out gallop from a 17 h critter on cold, rocky, New England ground is not picnic. We still don’t know what set our boy off (he’s normally bombproof: though a woman from another barn once gave prophecy “Because he’s bombproof, the one time he does spook, will be the time you really get hurt” – she was right), all I know is that it was one of the most terrifying things I’d ever witnessed. My husband was the rider and there’s nothing more terrifying than seeing it happen and knowing there’s nothing you can do to prevent it.

    I received an up close and personal view, since our horse dumped my husband right in front of my mare’s paddock. It was a spectacular reining skid from about 25 – 30 mph to zero; over the shoulder, and then the horse turned on a leg, hopped over my husband and was off at a full gallop again. The resulting bruises on my husband’s ankle and knee were equally spectacular. That was in November and he’s still hobbling around. He got back on, but we almost had to cut his boot off afterwards.

    I’ve come off twice, once was a dismount where I knew I was coming off, got my other foot out of the stirrup, and stuck the landing. The second time I cratered, was the first time I rode my mare bareback. She’s like a slinky, incredibly flexible at the shoulder and along her back, and I just 180’d right off her back. From 16.1h, and soft footing, it hurts when you hit the ground. All I remember thinking was, “uh oh” and “my the sky is a lovely blue today”. The bruise took 3 days to manifest to all it’s purple glory.

    I’ve also heard that it’s 7 times on the ground before you’re considered a real horseperson. However, I think Duarte would disagree, and I’ve always been of the opinion that the goal is NOT to come off. 😉

    Cheers!

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