A few weeks ago, I had my first jumping involved fall. Hats off to me, I’m now an official equestrian. It wasn’t bad at all and was unquestionably rider error. We were doing a line with a pole in, not a jump in, making the striding strongly resemble a 5 ½. I either had to choose to move it up to a five or slow it down for a six stride. I interpreted a five, while Leo knew that we always add. I jumped ahead. He added a tiny last stride and I was popped out of the saddle a bit. Which was okay and I almost fell forward, but I was almost fully back in the saddle and sitting up when MY FUCKING STIRRUP LEATHER CAME OFF. And then my butt quickly said hello to the ground.
So maybe I can attribute the fall to 95% rider error and 5% tack malfunction. I would say this is going in my future Millbrook Leathers review, but it very well could have been they were moved up and around by my awesome leg grip… but I do check their placement before I get on now.
That night I thought my back was messed up. Next day, was fine, barely sore. Day after next, I felt like I had been in a car crash, but overall was just a bit sore. I got back to riding (hello, confidence building) and developed ridiculous, I-must-be-an-old-lady hip pain. It wasn’t even on the side that I fell on! Honestly, might not even be related to riding but last weekend I gave up precious barn time to fully recover. By Wednesday I felt well enough to see if I how/when reinjure myself.
And it went surprisingly well. Honestly, I think I messed it up while trying to put on a girth. Weak with a sore back and a tall horse that puffs out while putting on the girth do not mix. I had someone put on the girth for me when I rode Wednesday and I really think it helped.
Wednesday night’s lesson also went super well. It didn’t feel like I’d lost too much muscle. We did the usual trot-canter warm up and then trotted a small vertical three times. After that we cantered the small vertical and did a rollback to a line where I decided not to focus on correct striding. First time around I made the same mistake I always do and anticipated leaving one out when Leo decided that wouldn’t be safe, and he was right. I jumped ahead and got popped out of the saddle a bit but my stirrup leather stayed on so I did, too. Almost bailed out of the line but stuck it out and the second jump was much better. The second time around was so much better, but I’ve decided I literally have to chant in my head, “wait, wait, wait, wait” with every stride.
The only negative thing about my lesson was the sun setting noticeably earlier. When I had my first lesson there this summer, I left pretty late, like close to 9:00 p.m. and it was still bright out! Now, leave at 7:15, which is only because I got to my lesson early, and it’s pitch black outside. Come November 5, the sun will set at 5:00 p.m. I get off work at five. What in the ever-loving fuck? How has this not been FIXED California government!? End rant. I just hope my trainer doesn’t mind starting our winter lessons after the sun sets…
By the way, please be my witness as I fail at my attempt to not get attached to any and all lesson horses. This is the most handsome Leo. He is a wonderful eq horse that didn't like the show life so he just hangs out at home. He has a huge trot that is next to impossible to sit but a lovely canter and jump. But he's perfect. He loves animals too, which I feel like is super rare, like he'll see goats or dogs or cats and just put his head down and wants them to come say hello. It's so cute. I would lease him in a heartbeat, and actually plan to once my husband graduates.