Sunday, November 14, 2010

Three times is a charm, right?

I'm going to be honest here: I'm feeling more than a bit frustrated right now. I've hit the ground three times in the last week... oh, wait, that would also be the last three times I rode. Granted, one of those times was not falling off a horse, but still, it's getting pretty old. I would be REALLY happy if this trend were to just END now.

Wednesday was really kind of a freak thing. As we were walking back down to the barn after a very good jump school, Sparky spooked at something near the upper barn, and I mean he really spooked. This was not some half-hearted-I'm-feeling-silly thing. And in the process of this spook, he knocked me down and pretty much ran me over. I hit the ground HARD - so hard, in fact, that my head hurt from the force... and I had on my helmet. Thank god I did, otherwise it would have been my bloody head, and not my torn helmet. New helmet and Advil needed? Check.

Saturday rolls around, and Star and Sparky are going to be used as horses at an IEA show. Cool. I knew Star would have/be no problem, so I went to the show before going to work in order to school Sparky. We walk once around the ring tracking left, turn around, walk once around tracking right, and then pick up a trot. Once around to the right, and turn around, rinse, repeat. Tracking left, Sparky spooks at the dog (which IS NOT supposed to be there, by the way), and scoots out from under me. Now this one, I could have saved it and stayed on, but I decided that I really did not have that much pride, and pretty much let myself fall.

Sunday. Riding a horse I'd never ridden before (but had met) for someone else at a show. Just on the flat, should be pretty easy. Sure, until the horse decides to spook, spin, rear a bit, causing the saddle to slip, and thereby dumping you on the ground. All because of scary horse-eating people walking by on the hill. And the show hasn't even started. Sweet.

To rub salt into my wounds (because, by this point, it was more than a bruised ego), I find that Sparky's first IEA rider didn't quite grasp the concept of how to ride him - after I had told her - and after a nearly disastrous round with said rider really pissing him off due to her lack of concept-grasping ability, and his subsequent grudge-holding against subsequent riders (much more tactful though they were), he was pulled from the rest of the show. I was told that 90% of the problem lay with the first kid - hell, I'll even cut her more slack and say 75%-80% - but it's hard to not take personally, thinking that you should have done a better job in terms of training your horse - ESPECIALLY when you know that there are other trainers, coaches, etc out there thinking, "Well, that was a crap horse."

Bah! So that all sucks, and I'm definitely ready for it to end, but it wasn't all bad. The horse I rode on Sunday did pretty well overall, and Sparky had actually done a really nice job with his warm-up on Saturday and had also done well on Wednesday. I am told Star was absolutely wonderful at the show on Saturday - one of Jen's kids drew her and won her class, so you can't complain about that. According to the kid, Star was perfect, got perfect distances, got her leads, everything. You can't ask for better. And Oren did make me feel better with his astonishment that the IEA kid couldn't ride Sparky: "Even I can ride Sparky!"

New helmet - purchased at a great price - should be on the way soon, and I might be coming closer to finding a saddle that is actually wide enough for my horses. Overall, that's life. More shit piled on shit is still just a pile of shit, so since it's all the same, I'd rather get it over and done with. And that seems to be the case, so moving on.

Now if I could just stop falling off horses!