I shouldn’t have ridden on Saturday.
You’d think I’d learn this particular lesson, but with new saddle + new pony + spring fever…well, I rode anyway.
I shouldn’t have ridden without round penning on Saturday.
You’d think I’d learn this particular lesson too, because Simba’s Monday Morning Syndrome is strong on a good day, and downright ridiculous on a bad day.
I shouldn’t have ridden with a snaffle and tried to go down the road on Saturday.
You’d think I would have learned this particular lesson a long time ago — especially with a new horse — but I guess I’m just goddamn brain dead.
I really set us both up to fail on Saturday, and we both failed spectacularly. Simba, in his amped up state, was looking for things to spook at…and spook he did. At nothing. Multiple times. The finale was super special: a sit and spin, paired with a bolt, and then with a few added bucks. Yeah, I Superman-ed off the side of him and faceplanted in the mud (dirt road).
I was super unseated by the sit and spin (which I’m a bit embarrassed about; I can’t remember the last time I got thrown so off balance by a horse doing something like that!) and ended up sprawled on his neck and missing my right stirrup. Of course, he took this as a cue to go “wheeee!” and he took off. Five or so strides in, he threw in a few bucks, and off I went. I landed as softly as one can on a muddy dirty road, and Simba’s feet quit moving the second my butt left the saddle (points for him there, to be honest — I still had the reins when I went off and he didn’t even hit the end of them). I backed his butt up the second I got back on my feet, and the dingbat didn’t even look sorry. At that point, I was mad at him for being a fruit loop and mad at myself for even attempting a ride. I hauled my butt back into the saddle (thank God for snowbanks; ground mounting in a Bob Marshall that hasn’t formed to a horse’s back is kind of impossible) and we walked back and forth in front of the spot that “spooked” him. The only thing I could see was maybe a dirty snowbank? He had been peeking at them on the ride down the road. Other than that, there was absolutely nothing out of place. Maybe I should give him the benefit of the doubt, but everything was pointing to “bullshit spook”. If it had been legitimate, there wouldn’t have been any question…but it was a bullshit spook and then he was a frazzled mess the entire rest of the ride. We walked (okay, ping ponged back and forth across the road) back home, and I jumped off to walk him up the driveway because he was just not paying attention at that point at all.
It was a shitty ride, but shitty rides happen and you’re going to fall off. I wasn’t hurt in any way, and we both lived to tell the tale. So, onward and upward we go. Next time I ride, I will be round penning him and sticking the short shank back in his mouth. D made a good point: snaffle for “arena” work (I need to suck up to someone nearby who has a ring because we NEED to do some ringwork in an area where I”m not worried about footing), curb for off property. I am anxiously (like everyone else!) awaiting warmer weather and no snow to start working him consecutive days in a row. Regular work will make or break all of this.
And his cute face. Goddamn that cute face. He’s such a dingbat!