Monday, January 12, 2009

1/10/09 Hey Hay Hey!

Les and I drove a bit up the highway in the morning, seeking some mix-blend round bales of hay, two for him, and one for me. The guy we bought from gave one city in his newspaper listing, and thankfully we called before we reached that city, because he honestly lived about 20 minutes closer to us. Hay bales of moderate quality loaded, we scrambled back to my house, and unloaded one into Ransom's pasture. I turned both guys out on it for a while, and they both seeemed pretty satisfied. (Of course, three days later, it's no longer round, but instead a pile courtesy of them pulling it all over the place searching for the best niblits in the whole bale.)

Then I saddled Romeo up again. I chose to only ride Romeo Saturday, because Les was anxious to get back to his place and ride his horses. It was incredibly windy all day, and I wasn't in the mood to haul both horses down the open road with the wind flipping my truck & trailer all over the place.

Romeo was, well, mostly good. We worked on walk, trot, canter, and trot over crossrails.

Then, by accident, due to a little too much leg before the rail, Romeo broke to canter two strides before the jump. Stride, stride, JUMP, stride, stride, back to trot. It felt almost natural, though I probably wasn't in the best posture for a canter fence. It was our first, definitely the first for me, and definitely the first intentionally for Romeo, and I think the first he's ever done. It felt pretty...

So, with a little bit of ill-placed confidence, and some canter around on the flat again, I aimed at the fence, with about seven strides of canter to the crossrail. Romeo hesitated before the fence, tried to swing around it, and at the last minute, jumped over the high side of the cross rail. He landed pretty hard on his front end, tipped me out of the tack, and the badness started.

My left foot got a little hung in my iron, I was almost laying on his neck, trying to find an easy way to get off. In the distance I heard Les hollering, "Let him go!", apparently thinking I was hanging by the reins. I found a way to the ground, thankful for the freshly disced sand beneath me.

It wasn't a hard fall, it wasn't a bucked-off fall, it wasn't even a "geez I suck" kind of fall. It was just a bad loss of balance for both of us. I landed somewhere between my shoulders and head, again thankful I had on my helmet.

Not really scared or shook up about the fall, I stood up, gathered my horse, knocked off all the dust and sand I could, and got back on.

Finished up the ride walk, trot, canter, with a new focus on "whoa". Romeo got a little butt-chewing back-ups a few times, since "whoa" didn't seem to mean much, nor did my bit contact a few times. I should have sailed over the rails again at trot, forcing him to end on a good jump, but I didn't. I was a little sore, and at that point, not entirely sure how bad I'd been hurt, if at all.

About a 45 minute ride, splat included. Unintentional flying lesson... that sounds much better.

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