Henry's Blog - Falling off a horse is never fun! July 22, 2015 07:17
So my boy is home, and I'm feeling nervous, and almost novice like. It's like bringing a newborn baby back home for the first time, when you know what to do, but actually its all a bit to worrying and new, and what if you do something wrong, or you hurt them by accident! Oh boy!
The first couple of days went to plan, I asked Victoria (who broke Henry in) to pop over and ride him in the manege for me, so that he would settle down, which she did, and after a few bucks and general youngster fun, I ventured onto him after her, with the bottomless pit of panic in my stomach, but the security of knowing I was still safe!
We have a lesson each time, with plenty of changing of direction, a few poles to trot over, and generally making sure that Henry didn't get bored with the same exercise, which may give him chance to misbehave. His wobbling from immaturity gives me the wobbles, and we don't manage nice round corners, but more a zigzag, when I try to correct him, and his back legs get all mixed up.
After these first couple of days with help from Victoria and my bill beginning to grow, and my bank balance deminishing, I have been offered help from a local friend, who I can hack out with. Still booking in a few lessons a week, as well to make sure I keep on track, I take up the offer.
Luckily we have been friends for a long time and she offered to hack out with me early mornings before work, so with the ever feeling of regret, that Tuesday morning at 6.30am I get out of bed, and drive up to the stables to collect my horse and tack him up.
As he is still new to all this, I bring my old chap in to the stables as well, for company as a nanny figure!
I feel so nervous tacking Henry up, and I can tell he knows! Although he is a chilled sort of horse, he is also a very scared baby, who needs confidence from me, so I pretend I am confident, talking to him and trying to give my self confidence, all the time knowing that I am going to have to get on in a minute and really test my nerves again. My chest gets tighter and tighter, and I have to actually bend over and take some deep breathes to get over this fear, thats eating me.
My friend and her horse arrives to collect me, and I somehow manage to get on, I really can't explain how scared at this point I am, so I cling on with my legs and we start our hack down the village.
OMG! half a mile down the road, and I realise, with horror, that my body protector, which I have been using since riding Henry, is sat safely back at home, panic flows even fast through me, what if ..... what if....... but its to late, I can't go back! We hit the fields where we can move up a gear, and we trot around the tracks for about 15 minutes, again Henry is a bit wobbly at times, but does nothing wrong.
I try and enjoy the rest of the ride, ha ! but what if.........s keep coming to haunt me! Eventually we get back to the stables and I jump off, relieved, and happy that I made it all in one piece, and we are both back unharmed!
I arrange to hack again tomorrow, and take the horses back up the field! I made it, I made it!!
Tomorrow comes and its been raining a bit, the horses have damp backs but nothing major. I bring the boys down to the stable and tack Henry up again. All is good! I put on my body protector this time, and my nanny arrives to escort me on our hack!
I lead Henry to the mounting block and put my foot in the stirrup to get on, and as I swing my leg over he leaps forward, head down, back up, unseating me! I try and sit still in the saddle, and try desperately to pull his head up, with a very big FAIL! while he broncs! We bronc a few feet, and I am trying to get off but its so difficult while trying to pull his head up and also sit the broncs! He is a big horse, and standing nearly 17 hands, I am well aware that I could easily hurt myself! Just dismounting is difficult enough, while he stands still! He broncs once to often, I have probably made it to number 6, and I fall! luckily I fall on my hip but continue holding onto the reins, as taught at pony club!! Probably not ideal with a youngster, as it scares him more and so I drop them quick, and he stops dead with the whites of his eyes showing.
I am not happy that I have fell, but I am happy that I fell on my hip, as usually I fall head first, and of course then the arm comes out, and I have broken my arm, wrist and shoulder bones falling this way. Interestingly, I decide to research falling off, and find the more you can keep your body upright rather than leaning forward, the more chance of falling onto your side or bottom you have, definitely the safer option, if you can call falling off safe!!
I catch him with ease, and give him a cuddle, but my confidence has been knocked for six, I am not getting back on!
My friend after watching in horror, and then checking I am ok, asks if I want her to hold him, I stand on the mounting block for five minutes, but I cant seem to get the courage to get on now!
She goes off on a hack on her own! I wander dejectedly back up the field with my two boys, and let them out, and get straight back on the phone to Victoria my mentor! We discuss that Henry probably bronc'd because his back was damp, and felt strange. This was news to me, all my horses have always been ok with this, but lesson learnt!
I maybe a whimp, and a nervous wreck, but I am also determined, and I am going to beat my fear! It may not be today, but it will be this year!
And with that I go to work............