Had a great lesson today. Our coach could see that we were all riding speedy horses today so we spent the lesson working on slowing down. We were to do a lot of whoa and back up, also did posting trot on the long side and sit jog on the short with circles in the corners. We learned to stay on a circle and keep our horses head and shoulders in between the reins. I was also working on getting Cooper to lower his head more and to give him more rein, to trust him more. By the end of the lesson things were coming together so good. 

We decided to tag along with one of the trail rides that were going out, it was a beautiful day out. We got through one field and were just heading off to the trails when I felt Cooper tense. I tried to keep his head down and to get him to pay attention to where we were going but it didn't work. Kaboom!!! I was on the ground! I remember seeing my leg coming up off his side and then all I was thinking about was getting my feet out of the stirrups since I wasn't staying on. I landed on my back in the mud. Luckily there were no rocks, it was like landing in a soft pillow. Cooper started to take off back to the barn and the girl who was behind me and our instructor caught him. I got back on but decided not to go with the trail ride after all. 

My husband took the lead rope and held it while we walked around the pond for a bit. He spooked again but I was able to control him this time. We then went to the outdoor arena where I rode around at a walk without a leader for about 15 minutes then got off.

I am a tired now, just a little sore (nothing hurt when I fell), getting stiffer by the moment. Off to take a bath and lay down.

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Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on November 2, 2011 at 8:41am

I went out both days on the weekend to see Cooper. We practiced a bit of everything, just pressure free rides mostly. The brain forgets so much of what I am told, so just played around and enjoyed being with Cooper.

On Saturday he was giving me a hard time bridling and bopped me in the nose, but nothing broken. It's still sore but the little bit of swelling is gone.

I went to see him last night, Tuesday. We did ground work only, a little circling with the 22' rope and rope halter. Then we did some giving to the bit, hip shoulder, shoulder and clock work. He is having a hard time getting the hip over to stop, as in for the emergency stop. I really have to pull hard on the bit and don't like doing that, so I think we need to spend a session really softening and giving to the bit. Myself also, have to get softer with my hands. Next lesson is Thursday and we have to set a day for a makeup lesson as there wasn't one last week.

Comment by Coopersmom_1958 on October 24, 2011 at 12:10pm

I thought I was relaxed and don't recall tensing up, maybe I was tense all along as he was a bit skittish even before we left. My husband was even commenting on how much he was acting up and said it was the dogs running around. But I felt he was good with the dogs. When coming out of the round pen where everyone mounts he did a really nice slow stepping out of the gate door and over the hump. At the end when I took his boots off there was a lot of sand in the left rear one. He was kicking out a lot with that foot and others thought it was flies because they were irritating all the horses, it was quite warm out. The boot looked like it had slid down also, I must remember to check his boots often for this. There was only sand inside this boot also, so that could have been what was BUGGING him LOL

I did laugh when I fell off, I was full of mud down my right side, of course the side with the bad shoulder but I wasn't hurt physically. It happened so fast!!

I was bathed and asleep by 9:30 p.m. Unusual for me as I am a night hawk and usually can't get to sleep before 1 a.m.

Feel refreshed today but a little stiff. I won't get out until Thursday now to play, it's going to be a long week :(

Comment by Jackie Cochran on October 23, 2011 at 5:54pm

The last time my first horse disappeared under me I also fell into a mud puddle, fortunately because most of the trail had lots of rocks.

I read something recently in a horse behavior book.  When the horse tenses up he sees something "dangerous" and the rider then immediately tenses up and then relaxes the horse often feels like his rider has noted the perceived danger and decided that it is safe so the horse can relax.  If the rider does not tense up then the horse feels like the rider has not noticed the danger and it is up to the horse to save himself.  I have not had a chance to test this out yet but my riding teacher said it made a lot of sense!

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