December 13, 2010

A flying horse and a flying rider

Well I fell today.  4th time falling from a horse.  Falls are inevitable for every rider. 

Anyways, the day was quiet when I arrived.  I got Willy in his cute blanket and brought him into the indoor arena.  I groomed him up and got his tack on.  I rode him around the yard a little bit and then headed to the drive to set out on a "trail ride" in the neighborhood.  Willy felt pretty spunky and broke into a trot without me asking as we turned onto Eggar Road.  I brought him back to a walk and then later asked him to trot.  He trotted a bit with me working hard trying to keep him at a nice pace.  He always starts out nice and those goes really fast into a short choppy trot that is torture to sit and difficult to post.  I brought him down to a nicer trot and then to a walk.  I decided not to do much else but walk until we came down the second culdesac.  Then I asked him for a trot and then a canter.  We cantered up the hill but Willy didn't respond when I asked for a slower pace, he was galloping.  I could see the shadow of us on the ground, Willy's nose was to the wind and his legs were picking up more and more speed.  I finally slowed him back to a walk.

We walked some more and I decided to ask for the canter again and work harder at keeping the pace nice...big mistake.  Willy took off again, I tried to sit deep, lost my stirrups and kept asking him to stop, verbally and non verbally.  He wanted to run and didn't pay any attention to the bug on his back.  Why I didn't think to pull him to the side with one rein, the one rein stop I don't know.  Finally I leaned forward in an effort to grab his neck...I'm assuming, I have no idea what was going on in my mind.  Off I went plummeting in front of him and rolling on the gravel road about 6 feet ahead.  I barely came to a stop when I jumped back up and towards him to grab ahold of the reins.  He was at a dead stop and looking at me like "Why are you on the ground?".  I stood for a few minutes with him catching my breathe and assessing my injuries.  I knew I'd feel it later since there was still too much adrenaline in my body to sense much pain.  My left knee area hurt and my right ankle but nothing was broken.  I mounted up and walked...rather "jigged" Willy back to the stable.  He sure was feeling his oats today!

I rode him around the yard for a bit once I got back.  I asked for stops, trots, stops etc.  I figure I need to get back to basics with Willy and figure out why he ran off like that.  Why didn't he listen to my whoas and the reins?  I'll do some groundwork and basic ring stuff for a while to gain some understanding and respect where he is concerned.

Willy has had a few issues that need to be fixed, not sure what I can do with riding him only once a week.  He is very hard to stop, even at a walk.  When I get ready to mount, by putting my foot in the stirrup he immediately starts walking forward in a circle with me at the pivot point.  He'll walk on without a cue from me and he doesn't collect.  Keeping him at a nice trot pace is hard, he always wants to go really fast and do short choppy steps.  I have a lot to work on him so I think I'll be staying in the arenas for a while with an occasional walk only trail ride.  If he was my horse he would have been at my trainers long ago so Laurie could help us work this out.  Willy is a good horse and very sweet, I have no idea where his spunky attitude came from today.  As always I want this experience to help me grow as a rider, and I want to learn to ride the canter and gallop better!  My rear hurts!  LOL


Breathe said...

So sorry you fell, but glad yo seem to be ok!

You're right, working with him only once a week is not a great way to get him trained to listen to your instructions. Seems like few horses stay "broke" with that little riding. I think it's a good idea to leave all cantering to the arena for a while.

Christie said...

Yes you are totally right! Arena for now while cantering. He's a lesson horse at this place so I'm sure he gets so much different information that me only leasing him on sundays makes it very difficult. I just need my own horse but that will come soon!