We All Fall

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!

9 thoughts on “We All Fall

  1. Kelsey March 12, 2014 / 11:18 pm

    I rode Harlan on Sunday, and as soon as my butt got in the saddle and I asked him to move forward, he gave a little kick…so I knew he was going to be wound up, but hoo boy. I rode a bucking bronco and held back a fire breathing dragon. I caught myself feeling like “Oh no, we haven't connected like I thought we did, I'm doing everything wrong, why didn't I just stick with my slowpoke quarterhorse.” I had to remind myself MULTIPLE times that one (or three) bad rides, especially on bad footing with spring sort of in the air, doesn't mean we're a bad partnership, or I'm not doing the right things, or Harlan hates me…

    So long story short, I feel ya sister.


  2. Hannah March 12, 2014 / 11:55 pm

    Ugh, those should've-known-better days are the worst — so much sulking/stewing to follow! Happens to the best of us, though. Glad you're both okay.


  3. Amanda March 12, 2014 / 11:55 pm

    I've heard multiple stories along these lines about this past weekend, and oddly enough, it does make me feel better. I'm more and more convinced it was just spring stupids and we'll get through it, but damn…he was a punk!

    Glad you didn't hit the ground (or Casey…is she even supposed to be riding?!)


  4. Amanda March 12, 2014 / 11:56 pm

    MUCH stewing here. I'm very good at stewing 😉

    As soon as the weather cooperates and Simba's spring stupids are under control…rail trail ride, y/y?


  5. Madeline C. March 13, 2014 / 1:45 am

    We live, we fall, we learn, and we just get back on and do it again! Can't wait to trail ride with you this year. It's going to happen… no arguments… Seriously… I will hunt you down ❤


  6. SheMovedtoTexas March 13, 2014 / 3:51 am

    He's a beautiful dingbat! My last fall was exactly how you described, a bunch of silly decisions and me not sitting a spook properly. It happens!


  7. Aoife March 13, 2014 / 11:10 am

    Sorry to hear you parted ways, but glad neither of you were hurt. We are all prone to poor decisions at times and sadly hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20.
    Hope warmer weather & more saddle time is on its way.
    He is a cute bugga ain't he?!


  8. tailsfromprovence.com March 13, 2014 / 12:05 pm

    Nasty. It's hard not to take these things personally (MY HORSE DOESN'T LOOOOOOVE ME) but you are doing a great job of being philosophical about it.
    He'll settle, as you say, when the days get longer and the weather gets better.


  9. Kelsey March 13, 2014 / 5:08 pm

    She was supposed to wait two more weeks to ride, but…you know us horse girls. I had a hard enough time keeping her off of Daisy for that long!


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