A ride along with "Old Faitful" (longer post)

Tatooed Lady

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Dec 3, 2007
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Wisconsin, USA
Yesterday I had another chance at a ride with the yard owner and her Old Faitful Arab (NOT normally an oxymoron when describing him), and another boarder with her 3 year old Saddlebred filly. We've hit the trails together before and had a great time, so this shouldn't be any different. After all, OF is a 19 year old, slightly lame gelding who's been there, done that, seen it all and couldn't care less......UNTIL yesterday, of course. :rolleyes:
He was as "up" as I've ever seen him, after the first mile of a warm-up walk. He actually needed correction on the trails. Not just a touch of the reins (as per usual), but he got to trotting AND cantering where the YO had to pull him to a stop or circle him. WOW! :eek: Queen, in the meantime, was a blessing to me. She did the "funeral procession march" as we call it, just a nice, sedate pace, head down, very relaxed even when the Saddlebred spooked at a horse eating chipmunk (VERY scary creature, I'm sure!). We met lots of other horse/rider groups on the trail, as it's one of the last nice weekends to ride, and we were all doing great, other than OF trying to catch up and PASS the group riding just ahead of us. When we turned back, everything was just fantastic. All 3 horses were up but not unmanageable. OF did, however, canter one of the hills (unheard of with him!!), and I kept Queen to a trot. Next hill he trucked up, however, Queen lost it completely. She started to gallop to catch him, and (of course) in the process left me laying in the middle of the trail. On the way out the side door, I'd yelled "Oh, s**t! Here I go!!" The YO had heard Queen's hooves pounding and tried to stop, but by the time she had, I was well off.
So, there I am. Laying in the middle of a nice, flat, wide stretch of trail, wondering what the HE*L happened! I rolled to my belly, realized I must've landed about flat on my lower back and the back of my (HELMETED) head...I removed the helmet, and found a nice crack up the back extending a few inches....my visor was a few feet away (velcros to the helmet), so when I got up I had to retrieve it as well. The YO helped me to REmount Queen (she offered the services of OF, but he was so goofy yesterday and I'm about twice her weight I couldn't take her up on it if I'd wanted to) from a bit of a hill alongside the trail...and I warned Queen that if she so much as THOUGHT "Trot!", I was going to pull her face off, because I was lucky to be able to remount....my back is stiff, sore, and this morning I couldn't even go to work due to nausea caused from the pain. She tried to jig ONCE.....I pulled back, said "NO!!!" and she settled in for the slow walk the rest of the ride (about 2 miles or so).
I know that horses are herd animals, and that they take their flight cues from other horses, but this was SO unexpected that OF would be such a freak, that it caught all of us off guard! I don't blame the YO at all. But this is one of the times where I left thinking what a beautiful day for a ride with good people and good horses, and wound up biting dirt. Without my helmet, I'd have at least required an ambulance. I've hit the dirt enough to get to thinking, and yesterday's thrill ride cemented it. I will NOT ride without a helmet. It's just not worth it. It's not a law around here, but it's MY law for myself. I limped away and was able to remount with no more than a VERY sore back and a slight headache. Definitely worth being some of the few "uncool" riders out there....

May all your rides be safe, and may you return to the barn without grass stains on your back!
 

conkers

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Jan 24, 2007
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Wow. Sounds like an eventful ride!
It is good to see the oldies showing that bit of spark, but not when you are on your youngster and relying on them to behave!

Good to hear you got back on and Queen behaved herself after the event. Its not always the easiest thing to do when you have come off with a bang!

Have a nice hot bath and take some arnica. Hopefully those aches and pains will ease quickly.
 

Skippys Mum

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Nov 25, 2007
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I'll bet it takes a loong time to land if you've just fallen off Queen - judging by previous photos showing the size of her:D

glad you are okay though!
 

Tatooed Lady

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Dec 3, 2007
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Thanks, conkers...
I've taken a hot shower and am dosing myself with ibuprofen to get thru the day. I can't believe that I'm coming up on 40 years, and NOW I've decided that I want to do this so badly that I don't drop this like a bad habit. ;)
In any case....I thought I'd share my experience, as it seems pretty common (and "safe") for us to depend on an Easy Eddie type horse to keep our mounts sane, and it's simply not 100% foolproof.
 

conkers

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Jan 24, 2007
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I'm a similar age to you and have found that I just don't bounce like I used to as a kid.

Can't imagine not riding though. I find that I am only really happy when I am with my horses. It just feels right. So I put up the odd little tumble because nothing else really compares.
 

Shire Monster

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Sep 4, 2007
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Wirral,
might sounmd daft but you can tell from your toine you really enjoyed yourself anyways.
Well done for managing to get back up there sore your girl is not exactly small. Hope the aches n pains ease of soon, gentle hugs.
 
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