This weekend my cousin Jenn called and asked if I wanted to go riding with her, of course I jumped at the chance! But what surprised me was how scared I was. I had a bad throw last summer and haven’t ridden since and I couldn’t believe how I lost all my confidence. Years of riding and now I am like a beginner starting all over again. I refused to let my horse go faster than a walk and when I got off the horse my jeans were damp from sweat. Jenn and I vowed to start riding together at least once a week so I can get my confidence back.
I have always loved horses. My grandparents had a farm and I grew up riding an ornery pony and at 12 I got my first horse Dunny. Dunny was a gorgeous old half Arab/ Quarter horse with nerves of steel. He was mellow, obedient and quiet, the perfect horse for every kid in my extended family to learn to ride on. My cousin Jenny learned to barrel race on old Dunny. Good old Dunny died of old age when I was in university and I have missed riding ever since.
Yesterday, my cousin and I went out to ride Chandler Bing, the only horse left from my grandparents place whom she and I raised as a colt and she paid for his upkeep.
Chandler is very green broke and Jenny has been working with him at the agri dome in an enclosed pen. But after weeks of work, she thought I (an experienced rider) could handle him. I guess I took for granted how mellow and obedient my Dunny was because Chandler gave me not one, but two major scares.
I rode him the 200 metres to the pens and he was mellow and relaxed as we headed down the gravel road. As soon as we turned off the road and hit grass, he took off! He galloped toward a barbed wire fence only to turn at the last minute. I was yelling, trying to get him to stop as he veered around and headed in the opposite direction heading for yet another barbed wire fence. When he turned to avoid that fence is when I went flying off, narrowly escaping the fence (I only have two little scrapes on my arm from the barbed wire). Once I was off, he ran all the way home with my cousin Jenny yelling at him. I laid there for a few seconds composing myself and making sure I was ok before hopping in Jenny’s car and driving back to Chandler.
There is a saying about once you fall off the horse, always get right back on so I hopped back on him and tried again, thinking there was no way he could do this again. Jenny gave me a few tips for handling him if he didn’t listen so off I went. We got about half way to the pens when he panicked and took off galloping down the road. I thought I was scared in the field, but that doesn’t compare to hauling down a gravel road with no control. If he had thrown me, I could have been very seriously hurt! He veered off the road by the pens into the ditch only to come to a barbed wire fence, as he slowed down to turn I bailed out and once more hit the grass hard. After Jenny yelled at him, she had me walk him to the round pen so she could work with him. When she was done, I got back on and walked him around the pen, WAY to scared to even attempt a trot.
After we were done, I had a chance to calm down and assess my injuries. A scraped and bruised hip, a scraped up elbow, bump on the forehead, scratched up boob and a bruised rib where the underwire of my bra jabbed up and in making it hurt to breathe or lie on. And of course this morning my whole upper body aches like no ones business.
But I am going to get on him again! In an enclosed pen mind you, but I can’t let this scare me away from a hobby that I have loved my whole life. Like everything in life, you don’t quit because there are some obstacles, you brush yourself off and hop back in the saddle.
Found this great guide on FitSugar.
All stats are based on a 130-pound woman.