Saturday, June 15, 2013


New Jersey's really been getting dumped on in the past week.  These storms have made it hard to ride.  But, I have been getting rides in, here and there.  My consistency has not been good, though, and it probably was the reason for my recent un-horsing.....

If you're going to ride, you're going to fall.

That's something I've always told myself.  Mostly because I've fallen a lot.  I've rarely had the good fortune to ride really nice, well trained horses.  And when you ride the misfits, you're going to get dumped a few times.

But, the last time I got dumped was about six years ago.  It was a nasty little Oldenburg, and he was the last horse I rode for pay.   After he dumped me, I was done with riding other people's horses.  I only rode my own horses, and I didn't get dumped.  But I was always wondering when it was going to happen... because if you're going to ride, you're going to fall.

It was my own damn fault.  I've ridden Spider so long that I've become used to a trained horse.  Jack is so quiet that I forget that he is only 3 years old, just a baby.  And, while he's broken to saddle, he has no clue about ideas like "forward" and "leg".  Racehorses are led everywhere until it's time to run, and the jockeys can't use their leg.

Jack all saddled up.  Yes, I know the bit is too big.  Spider and Vinny have giant heads, and I haven't got around to getting Jack his own bits, yet.  

So, we were working on that.  I was asking Jack to walk from my leg, then halt from my seat.  He was doing very well, and I should have stopped there.  But, I got greedy.  I tried for trot, Jack didn't understand, and he got frustrated.  He tucked his head under and started crow-hopping.  Because he doesn't understand leg and forward, I couldn't get him to stop.  I wasn't carrying a whip (a mistake I won't make again!).  The only thing I could do was try to pull his head up.  When I did that, he reared. Straight up.  I stayed on, though, until he dropped back down and started crow-hopping again.  I popped off, right onto my butt.  But I never lost my reins!

I ended up with a scraped elbow, a bruised butt and broken reins.  Jack was more upset than I was, but he wasn't upset with me.  The reins were broken at the buckle, so I got back on with my split reins and we went back to the walk-halt exercise.  We did that for a bit, because I knew it was something he could do well, then I got off and he had a nice bath and rub down.

Since my dumping, I'm concentrating more on in-hand work.  Jack needs to learn how to go forward from pressure, and I'd prefer him to have his meltdowns without me on him.  I have ridden him, but just kept it to simple things that he can do and feel good about.  I keep our sessions short, and I try not to get greedy.  In spite of all his experience, I have to remember that he really is just a baby.


  1. Glad you didn't get more seriously hurt. Quiet babies are sometimes the most dangerous, you forget that they will still have their scary moments because they take everything normally so maturely. He's adorable.

  2. Glad you're OK. The in hand/ground work approach to things he doesn't get sounds like a good plan.

  3. Sorry to hear you got dumped. Glad you didn't get seriously hurt.. I'm sure he will benefit from the ground work. He's so sweet and adorable I'm sure he was just confused and didn't know how to deal with his confusion.

  4. A very cute baby too. Glad you are ok. :)

  5. Glad you are okay. Sounds like you've got a good plan of action.

    I can relate to this post hehe. My recent dumping was totally due to rider error though... as well as glossing over that even nice quiet ottbs will have their moments when danger is imminent.

  6. Glad you are ok!!! He is cauute btw :)

    Hope you aren't too sore!!

  7. Ouch! Glad you weren't hurt any worse.

  8. He'll get it! Just a baby. Glad you are ok.

  9. Ouchers. Once again, been there, done that. I started both Toby and Tucker in the long lines before riding them. At that point, they both understood the concept of steering and going forward. (Not that Tucker always obliged--but the ulcers interfered more than I knew at the time.)

    You can also walk alongside Jack and use your hand as leg aid to teach him a little lateral work, bending, etc.

    Glad the rear landed instead of going over....*shudder*

  10. i have a couple bits if you wanna try some. full check. french link loose ring snaffle. mullen mouth. i have a couple kk's. and a german silver eggbutt (i bought it for city but i'm not riding him anymore; that one will definitely fit jack, 85% sure).

    1. also, if you need a ground person, i'm usually around thursdays or saturdays :)

  11. I hear you. I have only fallen off once since freshman year in high school and it was from a very green four-year-old. Little bugger started bucking as I was mounting. I rode five or so bucks even though I never got my seat or my right stirrup. Unfortunately, when you have been riding a long time, the ones that dump you are going to be nasty escapades.

    Glad you are okay.

  12. Silly baby! Glad you're okay.
    I'm kind of a lurker on your blog; I've been following for a year now and love your posts. I nominated you for the Liebster Blog award :)

  13. I too nominated you for the Liebster Award on my blog.


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