To cut a not particularly long story even shorter, I took a spill yesterday when Drifter and I had a misunderstanding over a jump. I understood he was going to jump it; he didn’t.
More detail than that about the direct cause of the separation of horse and rider I cannot offer. I assume that it was mostly my fault, but also suspect if he’d been on his A game he’d have got me out of trouble anyway.
We’re both fine, by the way.
It was a series of 3 crosspoles in a straight line with a stride between each jump. Somewhere between jumping the first and taking off for the second the misunderstanding became apparent as I suddenly found myself in close proximity to the surface of the school and the demolished middle jump while watching my horse take himself over to stand with the other horses and riders on the other side of the school.
My vanity would have prefered him to stand over me with a surprised expression, but I like the way his brain worked – “What do we do after a jump? We go and stand out of the way with the others so the next one can jump.” That was much better than galloping off like a mad thing (in the previous lesson time was wasted trying to recapture a pony whose rider had fallen.)
The ground crew led Drifter and I separately to the mounting block and we were reunited. And pointed at the same jumps again but told to do it in trot. This was no doubt supposed to make me more confident but I don’t like jumping from trot because you can’t as easily judge when they’ll take-off. This time we ran out to the left at the second but left everything standing and remained together for a third attempt. On the third attempt he went around the right of the second jump but I hauled him back to jump the third (tiny) jump of the set from a walk!
It was time to move on and the lesson ended with everyone jumping a single jump positioned where the third of the three had been, with the wings of the others still up so we had to come between them. D had a little wobble on the approach but then jumped very big (I assume because he didn’t want to risk knocking this one down!)
While I did not ride that big jump anything like well I remained on and enjoyed it rather more. We cooled down and we were done.
Throughout the lesson and for a couple of rides beforehand I’d been struggling with steering. Checking the dates I saw that it’s on the early side for the physio to want to see him again, but not by that much. The signs are there that he’s not balanced, either in a straight line or round corners. He struggled with the canter lead that he’d made so much improvement with and the usually easy left canter was laboured and unbalanced.
Today we had a gentle little potter around the school. He was very “tuned in” to me. There was at least one transition that happened as I thought about it, before I went to give the aids. He was cooperative and trying to please with everything I asked for. But he was not balanced.
So I’ve booked the physio – he should be seen a week from tomorrow.
I was the first time I’ve had a proper fall off my own horse. I don’t count the time the saddle slipped so I fell off from a walk. So that’s a milestone of sorts. It seems likely that I fell off the right side of the horse, and if so it was also the first time I’ve ever come off to the right. This is a triumph of chiropractic medicine – every time I’ve fallen before I’ve fallen off the left of the horse because I was twisted/leaning that way. Now my posture has altered I can fall off the other side too 😉
I have been taking it easy. It was, as the instructor pointed out, quite a nice fall. Hmm. I’ve had better. But aside from a bit of ankle swelling (which has been fine today as I iced it yesterday), I’ve had more pain lots of times after weights workouts, so I’m really only inconvenienced by the exhaustion from the shock of falling. Drifter seems to be himself – certainly all the legs are in good working order (or as good as they were beforehand) and the processing of hay is progressing at the usual rate, so all seems well with him.