So I had an extremely interesting ride today. It's been a couple weeks since I have gone out to the barn, but with clients coming out tomorrow I really had to get on a couple of the buggers to get them ready.
My first ride was great! The horse is extremely trustworthy and equally good outside as he is inside - a total ammy horse!
The second ride... Well this is where things got fun. The mare is not only chestnut, but Trakehner too. (Not to say that all chestnut mares or all Trakehners are handfuls, but in this particular case, the mare takes all of those bad-reps and puts them in one little package. She's lucky she's cute and can jump! ; ) )
So the ride starts off alright. Turning this horse out
has always been tricky. We know that she tends to be a bit quick and on the stronger side and considering that, she's going rather well at the walk and trot. The canter is a touch stronger than I would like and she's not rocking back quite like I am asking her to, but that's okay too - we can work on that. We pop over a little 'x' and apparently someone caught her in the mouth last time because she deer jumps over the jump and smacks me in the face real good. Hhmm.. starting to get interesting.
Second time over the 'x' she's great! Canters away nicely, does her lead change smoothly, no complaints. Third time same thing, except after I bring her back to a trot she decides to let out one hell of a buck. We're talking the Lippizanner stallions would be jealous of the air she got!! Leap - B U C K! And of course having been out of the saddle for a bit, I was a touch off balance as it was and I ended up right on her neck. My head was inches from her ears, but I hung on. WITH A DEATH GRIP!!
Gallop, gallop, gallop out of the ring, past the fields, buck, buck, buck, past the barns, out to the back fields, down the path towards the old barn which also happens to be near the road.
This is where my survival (aka I DON'T WANT TO DIE) instinct comes in. There were several opportunities for me to bail, but this is what went through my head:
opportunity a) Oh, I could jump off here, but there's gravel everywhere and I kind of like my skin where it is...
So what did I do? I Macgyvered it! I realized how close I was to the horse's head, reached one arm forward while balancing myself on the top of her neck (still very much running here) grabbed her bit with whatever fingers I could reach with and gave a big WOAH!!!
So did I fall off? Nope! Somehow I managed to stay on for this whole ride, but thank goodness I did. I'm a little bruised up and sore even just from that, but it could have been so much worse! I had a surprisingly graceful dismount from the mare's neck and when I turned around I found that a friend had given chase on the pony she was riding. Too funny.
An extremely entertaining beginning to the ride, but we ended off amazingly well. We jump schooled (inside just to be safe - oh yes, there's no fence around the outdoor ring) and after a few 3'9" jumps (scopey mare jumped as if they were 4'6"!! Hoowee!) we were both very happily tired.
And so I am still alive to ride another day. :)