I fell off!

Discussion in 'Confidence Club' started by Mary Poppins, May 25, 2011.

  1. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins Well-Known Member

    This evening I agreed with my instructor that we would have a 'confidence giving' ride around the cross country course. I rode my old favourite semi-retired cob who used to be very safe and sane! He hasn't done cross country for a couple of years and was very excited. When he gets excited he likes to buck and spin, which he did a couple of times but I coped ok.

    About 45 mins into the lesson (after we had done the water, and a few other fantastic jumps), we went into the woods. We jumped this ditch and then had 3 strides until we jumped a small log. My horse jumped the ditch and then refused the log. We were then stuck between the two jumps. I tried to get him to jump the log, he refused again and with a buck, a spin and a drop of the shoulder, he dumped me on the floor and galloped off! My instructor made me get on from the ground (not a pretty sight) and we tried again. He refused, bucked and span again but this time I stayed on. He carted me back to the other horses and stood and pawed the ground and was generally very wound up. Someone else fell off at the same jump and my instructor called it quits and we walked back.

    So, where do I go from here? I feel a failure because the horse who I trusted most in the world threw me off and I feel like I have lost my trust in him. He used to do this lots in his younger days and he is so quick, you don't realise what is happening until it has happened. I don't want to get hurt and I don't want to be scared, but at the same time I do want to suceed and I do want to ride outdoors. He was just excited but I couldn't control him and I should have.

    Should I give up this cross country lark and stay in the arena, or should I try again and risk the spinning and bucking? Why are horses so difficult?
  2. nat17

    nat17 Minnie, Sam and Dolly

    First of all MP, I am very proud of you for getting back on:happy: well done:biggrin: think I would have played dead:giggle:

    Don't be disheartened by this one fall, maybe it will allow you more freedom of what horse to ride ? By that I mean if you cant always ride the confidence giving cob you used to because he acts like a fool.... Then you can ride any other horse that acts like a fool? Does that make sense?

    I don't think this will really knock your confidence, it's just making you question your safety blanket, you are doing so well and I would love to be at the stage you are at the moment, think of your amazing lessons over the past few weeks, not the one where you fell off...

    You are definitely not staying in the arena:happy:
  3. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins Well-Known Member

    Thank you for your support, it is much appreciated. I do agree with what you are saying. I actually told my riding instructor that I would rather ride the horse I previously rode (who just goes fast), rather than this horse who dumped me.

    I don't really think that my confidence is dented too badly, I just feel dissapointed in myself and think that I should have ridden him better. And, I am frustrated and a little embarrassed that some tears came out! I just can't help it, when I need to cry I HAVE to cry.

    It's nice to see him so excited and I'm pleased that he was enjoying himself. I just feel that my illusion of him as the perfect confidence giving horse has been dashed. As you say, if he can be this naughty, I may as well ride the rest of the RS horses on the cross country course!
  4. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!

    Hang on a minute! He bucked, bucked, spun, dropped his shoulder and did his best to shift you, and he did this three times, and you only came off once???

    Respect woman! As someone said to me after Ziggy had a bucking fit, to stay on that you would have to be a rodeo rider.

    You were incredibly brave to get back on and try again, and there is NO SHAME AT ALL in having hit the ground, so there.
  5. tiga

    tiga New Member

    Don't be disappointed. Think of what you have learned and be proud of yourself that you managed to stay on when he did it a couple of times and you got back on.

    X country is exciting for most horses and if he hasn't done it for a while he probably just got so excited he didn't know what to do with himself.

    Did the horse have a neck strap? I find a neck strap very helpful when Izzy is bucking and broncing. If you have a neck strap you can hold it with one hand as you jump then if there is any extra excitement you are prepared. It really helps to pull yourself into the saddle to sit the buck.

    I think falling off is one of those things that will happen if you push yourself and the horse from time to time. Do you have a body protector? Mine gives me a bit more confidence.

    I have fallen off two days straight this week so I know how you feel!
  6. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins Well-Known Member

    He was so excited, more excited than I have ever seen him in the 4 years that I have been riding him. He is 23 years old and was acting like a 4 year old who had never been out before.

    He did have a neck strap but I wasn't holding onto it. I agree that it's a good thing to grab if you feel yourself falling, but he spins so quickly and drops his shoulder at the same time as bucking, I really didn't stand a chance. He used to do this alot when he was younger but had calmed down (until last night!).

    I do always wear a body protector but this time I landed on my rather padded bum. I'm a little bit sore today but nothing too bad. I felt really bad for the lady who fell off after me. This was her 'scarey' fence after she broke her pelvis jumping it last year and unfortunately she was unlucky enough to end up head first in the actual ditch.

    I know that in some ways I am very lucky to have found a riding school and an instructor who lets us ride like this and thinks that falling off is a good thing (my instructors first words to me were 'put your stirrup down, get back on from the ground and do it properly'), but on the other hand part of my thinks that it is just too dangerous. Riding is risky and it's all about minimsing the risks. I have 2 little kids that I look after all day on my own and I have no-one to help me if I were to get injured. I'm not sure that I enjoy cross country riding enough to take these risks.
  7. crinklesb

    crinklesb New Member

    It also sounds like having not done cross country for a few years the situation just proved to be way too much for him! Poor thing, he was probably so excoited that he didn't have a clue what to do with himself! This doesn't sound like anything you did just a super excited horse.

    I do agree though that you need to choose your activities carefully, as you get older you realise how dangerous it could be and I think I would only do cross country now on a proper old schoolmaster.

    When I got my boy my husband insisted I got an air jacket and I have to say the two times I've come off its been very good. there is a little flap too that falls down to protect your bum even more!
  8. Pencilbeckett

    Pencilbeckett New Member

    Im way too novice to be commenting on cross country riding but i do know what its like when a horse spins and drops their shoulder. You are so brave to have got back and well done for staying on the second time there is no way i could have sat that Im out the side door every time :frown:

    Sounds like your horse was doing fab until that log, expecially if he hasnt done cross country for a long time. He prob just needs time and practice even the best horse has their moments.:wink:
  9. MistyGal

    MistyGal New Member

    My RS Haff dropped his shoulder/span like a washer on full cycle and dumped me the other week.
    Got straight back on from ground, with no assistance which is a first ha ha.

    Then this week he decided to bronc 3 x in different area's of school and boy he meant it! .. i stayed on so then.. he then behaved... but they really dont help people with confidence issues do they!... however I am now looking at this as a challenge... go on Haff do your worst!! (although i shall most probably have brown jod's")

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