Sunday, April 13, 2008

My second time falling off my horse

Yesterday my friend Cindy and I went to the stables to visit my horse. We groomed Panama, and then I lunged him. He was behaving himself, so I decided to ride him.

I rode bareback again. I haven't been trotting him much, but again, he was behaving himself, so I decided to try a little more trotting than usual.

Unfortunately, Panama has a much narrower back than my trainer's horse, who I was riding bareback in my lessons. This means that there is much less room for error — I can't slip very far to the side before I'm falling off.

Predictably, I started slipping while Panama was trotting. This happened a few times, but the last time was the worst: I was literally falling off. I grabbed the handle on the bareback pad to try to haul myself back up. I think I also said, "Panama, Mommy's falling!"

Unfortunately, something about the way I said that or grabbed on caused Panama to panic. I felt him start to canter, and next thing I knew I was standing on the ground, watching the mud flying from my horse's feet as he ran off.

I honestly don't know how I managed to land on my feet, but it probably has something to do with the fact that my horse is short (about 14 hands), and that I was riding bareback: Because I was slipping down one side (without a saddle and stirrup to keep me square on his back), my foot wasn't far from the ground by the time I "fell."

What I'm still not sure about, though, is how my other leg followed me over without knocking me on my butt. In any case, Cindy and I were both laughing pretty hard.

Panama ran right over to the other horses in the pasture, and tried to hide behind his girlfriend (a mare in heat whom he has been hanging out with a lot lately). I think the other horses must have been giving him crap about it, because one of them bit his rump to chase him off, and his girlfriend kept moving off.

Panama looked rather harassed when I caught up to him, but he let me catch him without too much trouble. I mounted right back up, though I didn't try trotting again — I wanted to be sure I finished the ride off on a more positive note. He was well behaved for the rest of the ride, and it was almost like the incident had never happened.

I'm still laughing about the entire thing, though — I can't believe I fell off and landed on my feet!

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