So, um. Today marks the first day that I fell off of Chic.
I was trying to teach her to slow down her canter on the right lead, because it isn’t a canter, it’s pretty much a hand gallop/gallop. It’s extremely difficult for me to sit, probably because my legs are so long and the easiest thiNg to do is to grip with my knees, which I absolutely REFUSE to get into the habit of doing. On Winchester, he has enough of a barrel so that I can easily grip with my calves, and really sink into my butt and my heels. With Chic, it’s like riding a hyper sawhorse. She is pretty much vertical, while Winchester is more rounded. So, as a consequence, I am either rocking back and forth like a drunken cowboy, or flopping around like an ape. To be honest, it’s probably a combination of the two.
Chic is filling out super well, but she still doesn’t had much in the way of her girth area. She’s even grown almost a hand since I’ve started her. But it seems she is hell bent on keeping her “girlish figure”. I’ll have to have Sherwin help me learn how to sit her canter. It’s just so weird. Like I said earlier, two of her feet hit the ground at the same time. She’s not gaited or anything. Both of her parents are Quarter Horses. I think it’s just one of her quirks that I am going to have to deal with.
Anyway, so I am pretty sure I went overkill while I was working her tonight. Both of us were thoroughly pissed off at each other. I did a much better job at keeping my cool, but I felt like I had to wrench on her mouth the whole time to get to realize that she needs to CHILL AND SLOW DOWN. She was trying to canter the whole time. I got her to trot nicely first, as a warm up, and as soon as I asked her to canter….PEW! She was like a freaking bullet. I was able to get her to go nice and relaxed on the left lead, so I ended that side on a good note, and was determined to get the same results on the other side. Chic, however, was determined not to. We probably spent twenty minutes total, just cantering around the arena, or attempting to canter, rather. She was getting hot, and so was I, but I didn’t want to break until she did at least five decent strides. It got to the point where she was actively trying to catch me off guard and throw me off. But she wasn’t bucking. Oh no, she is much smarter than that. I can sit a buck six ways to Sunday. No, she could feel that, when she did certain things, I would get thrown off balance a little bit. She spent the duration of me trying to get her to slow down attempting to catch me when I was wobbly. The first few times were a failure. Then, she almost got me. She went to the left, I started going to the right, but RAILING TO THE RESCUE! I grabbed onto the rail and pushed myself back into position before she could take off and leave me hanging, literally. A few minutes later, she does it again. And this time, she hits the sweet spot. She waited for the perfect moment, when my body was partially in the air from trying to sit her awkward canter. She spun to the left, and this time, she was quick about it, and far enough from the railing that I had no chance of using it a second time. I was flung to the right, and I landed pretty hard on my right hip. Of course, I didn’t let go of the reins, which is an awful habit because it can screw with your horse’s mouth. But it’s also not very fun to practice, given the circumstances leading up to that moment. I did let go once I realized what just happened, and I stood up, brushed myself off, and got back on. No big deal, you know?
The second time, it was different. She didn’t mean for me to come flying over her side. I was walking her outside of the arena to cool her down, and I spotted a jump with both rails on the ground. I thought it would be nice to have her walk over them. I walked her up, and she stopped. Obviously, these poles were too high. A whopping five centimeters! Also, they were about two feet apart from each other. There was plenty of room for her to place her feet in between, by Chic didn’t seem to agree. So, before I could collect myself and get into two point (because come on, who would expect a horse to jump THAT), she leapt into the air, and I with her. The only problem: I didn’t land back into the saddle. I landed on the ground. On the same hip I landed on earlier, in fact. I was completely winded. I could breathe in or out for a good ten seconds or so, but of course it felt like ten minutes. I then was able to exhale, but only by yelling. It was the only way. So I just sat there on my hands and knees, yelling. Not because of the pain. I’ve had worse falls as far as pain goes. But just so that I could begin the breathing process again. I probably sounded like I was rehearsing for a song-off against Idena Menzel. Head voice aside, I was able to breathe normally again after a minute of yelling, and I, being the bullheaded rider that I am, mounted Chic once more and rode her all the way to the barn. No WAY am I not getting back on after a fall, unless I physically can’t.
So yeah. Um. Ouch.