Got dumped last night. Yep. Second time in four years I’ve come off that horse, and it wasn’t a really hard fall, and it wasn’t a really difficult jump I was attempting. But I was too far forward, didn’t have my leg on, he was surprised at the look of it and had an impossible spot – and off I went. Fortunately over the jump and landed on soft grass. No harm, no foul. Not even really very dirty. Got up, pulled the jump apart to make it smaller and more inviting, got back on, and jumped it back and forth six or seven more times more for my confidence than his.
All of a sudden, the fall made me rich. I was more relaxed for some reason and a bit more in the tack; my leg stuck on, I was smarter about where and how much energy I was directing up there. I focused. I rode. Where I was before I tumbled off his shoulder, I don’t know. But after, I know what I needed to do.
My horse wasn’t so sure he wasn’t in big trouble – but I ignored his nerves and just rode him forward a bit. I ended actually pretty good. I was proud that I learned what I did wrong all by myself and fixed it afterwards all by myself.
Falls at my age are nothing to disregard. We are no longer rubber bands and it does leave a mark when you come off no matter how softly. But there was no damage and little pain, and most of that had to do with pride which always fixes itself with a little self-talking.
So the take-away is every ride you have to be right – leg on, balance/energy/forward even if it’s just a couple of little foot-and-a-half barrels. And once it does happen, take a deep breath, if you’re not hurt get back on, and keep trying.