09.07.12: True Horseman

They say that you're not a true horseman until you've fallen off. So I must be a true horseman now.
I pulled Storm out of the pasture and took him into the barn and groomed him down good. He wasn't too dirty, thankfully. He did well standing nicely for me as I worked around him. He took the bridle nicely, which made me happy.
We headed down to the arena, which I had already set with some letters to mark my figure 8. I got ready to mount, and asked him to step to me, and he came forward willingly, which was a really positive thing.
We headed off on our 8, and he was not very cooperative in the back corner of the arena. I could not see anything in the woods that should have been bothering him, and kept working through the corner when we approached trying to keep his focus on me and continue to work on staying straight on the path that we were following.
He began to settle down and the path improved on that end of the arena as we worked. I was feeling pretty good about how it was going, so I began to work on the trot on the opposite diagonal, since that direction was much more solid than the other side. He did well, and was able to stay on the line pretty well. I continued to work at a walk on the other side to make sure that things were improving before moving forward. He was settling down and able to follow the pattern much better, so I decided that as long as he could follow the pattern steadily and without acting squirrely, I would try to trot across that diagonal on the next pass around.
He did well, so I trotted the "good" diagonal, and then walked the half circle preparing to head across the other diagonal. He came around the circle very nicely, so I asked for the trot once he was straight heading to the opposite letter. He began to swerve a bit, so I attempted to correct him, but he popped a couple of crow hops. At that point, I was pretty well unseated. He was approaching the fence, and had to turn in order to avoid hitting it. He swung very hard to the left, which pitched me over to the right. At this point I was coming off of him. My arm swung out and hit the top of the fence, and I must have realized that I didn't quite want to fall that way. Somehow I managed to fall right over his shoulder. My right foot didn't come out of the stirrup, and so as I rolled off, it twisted me around so I mostly landed on my butt. About the time I hit the sand my shoe slid the rest of the way out of the stirrup, and I scrambled to get up. I was RIGHT against Storm's legs, where he had stopped moving. In my haste to jump up it scared him, so he backed up several steps to get out of my way.
My first thought was "I'm ok! I'm fine!" My arm hurt from flinging it against the fence, and I felt like it was skin scraped. The more noticeable pain was the rope burn in my left hand from hanging on to the rein as I came off. Thankfully, it didn't burn through the skin, but the skin was shiny white already, and was burning as if it was on fire. I brushed myself off, and took stock of other body parts to make sure everything really did seem ok, and I didn't have hidden pain being masked by the adrenaline.
Everything checked out fine as far as I could tell, and so I walked Storm around a bit and asked him for some focus before climbing back up. I finally brought him back to the fence, and asked him to mount again, and he willingly stepped up the first time I asked him forward, stepping in to just the right distance for me to be able to climb up easily.
We walked a couple more laps of the 8, though we paused for a minute when I heard cracking as something fell somewhere in the woods. Storm was a bit worried, and I paused for a moment to make sure that everything was ok before we continued with a few more laps.
My hand was really burning from the rope, and so I climbed down and headed up to the barn to get some ice for my hand. The morning help was still cleaning up, so I brought Storm into the middle of the barn and untacked near the tack room for convenience. He was a bit sweaty, and appeared to have some dry spots again, which is frustrating, but hopefully I can get it straightened out next weekend at my lesson.
I turned him out quickly, and grabbed a frozen bottle of water out of the freezer so that I could get something cool on my hand and arm. I slowly gathered my gear and put it away while holding on to the bottle of ice.
No worse for the wear, I suppose.
Next Page:
09.07.20: Poop and Pink Polka Dots
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