March 15, 2010

Learning to Land

It's Monday morning, barley awake, and sitting in study hall! So I decided its the perfect time to write about my first ever falling experience last Friday, the 12th.

I had been trying to get a riding lesson in all week, but it just seemed that my schedual was always a tad bit off from my instructor's. We finally were able to meet on Friday of last week. I had suspected that Michelle would be making me ride Zorro, since she had been talking about the posability all week, so I spent all day reading articles, watching videos, and talking to people in order to prepare for the bucking and rearing of the mighty and buttheadish Zorro.

When Michelle arrived at the farm, she decided that the best thing was for me to ride Strawberry, not because she thought I couldn't handle Zorro, but Strawberry needed to be ridden in preperation for lessons that are starting back up. Mind you, Strawberry hadn't been ridden much this winter, I had been giving most of my attention to Ranger.

So I groomed up Strawberry and tacked her and she wasn't acting out of the ordinary, she was actaully really calm. We got into the riding ring and I walked her around to every corner, letting her see that there was no big scary monster that had moved in during the winter and that everything was okay. I hoped on her after some vocal command warm ups and, again, walked her all around and showed her every corner, she seemed pretty convinced at the time that nothing was going to eat her.

Tia was on Oreo, as usual, and I was on Strawberry, Michelle decided that she also needed to get Nannie, a boarder and very herd bound horse, use to riding with more horses. So we all warmed up and stretched and we were off.

We were trotting around the arena, Michelle in the center working with Nannie with stretching and trying to get her to stand still while the other horses were moving, she must have thought that we were going to get the powers to pass through walls and leave her there all by her lonesome.

As we were trotting and getting our forms near to perfect, Michelle started to talk about how we will be starting more canter work soon. Not thinking, Michelle said the word "canter" 2 to 3 times. All of a sudden I feel Strawberry picking up her pace, me thinking "OH YAY! She isn't as lazy anymore and finally has some forward energy!" Then she just kept going faster and faster until I feel this *buck buck*! More out of instinct, rather than remembering the information I gathered today, I kept a lot of weight in the stirups and just tried to go with the flow. Luckily, I stayed on! I had Strawberry stop, not for her but for me, I was a tad shaken and had to catch my breath, but I found out that it was a really cool feeling and it wasn't terrbily scary after-the-fact. Michelle congratulated me on staying on and gave me a few more pointers on what to do if this ever happened again.

Being on Strawberry, I knew what a lazy horse she was and IS, so I never thought she would buck twice in the same lesson. Oh boy was I wrong! We were walking around, and didn't even get to the other side of the short end of the ring when I feel Strawberry buck twice again, but then she did something unexpected, she also reared and threw in another buck! So over hear big head I went, onto the ground, landing just right for me to roll away and popped back up on my feet. Since my four surgeries on my feet, I have been super obsessed with NOT hurting them, and to make sure my feet were okay, I jumped up and down a few times. After seeing that my feet were fine I went to investigate the rest of my body parts. In the mean time Michelle and Tia were, not really freaking out but asking in a very worried manner, "ARE YOU OKAY?!" I looked at them and laughed and said I was fine.

Even though I was fine and laughed about the incident, I was worried to get back on Strawberry. But knowing what I had to do, I got my worried butt back on that horse! Michelle in the mean time brought Nannie back into her stall so she could keep a more watchful eye on Strawberry and myself. Michelle had me start out on a walk just using half of the arena and stayed right be Strawberry to watch for anymore signs of bucking. After about 5 minutes she put Strawberry on the lunge line so I could get back into trotting. Believe it or not this was very scary for me and I felt like such a beginner! Strawberry stayed on the lunge line for about 10 minutes, within that 10 minutes my mom showed up and was watching in the viewing room. I bet she was wondering why in the world was I on a lunge line!

I finally did get to trot without the lunge line, even though with every non-Strawberry movement that she made I, not terribly hard, yanked up on one rein to make sure she wasn't going to try any more fancy movements. At the end I was feeling pretty comfortable but still warry, but I know this was an experience that HAD to happen, and I have been saying this all along, might as well fall of the BIG horses then when I fall off the smaller ones it won't seem so bad :D

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