Monday, April 23, 2012

Falling off SUCKS

Just when you think that things are going well and everything is going to be fine, they change. Bastian and I ended up not going to the hunter schooling show on Saturday. :(

Here's how it all went down. I got to the barn for my lesson on Friday night at 6:00. Bastian felt GREAT. He warmed up nicely, I had him in front of my leg and we were getting the energy and forwardness we needed but keeping it contained (aka PACE). So we started jumping, everything was going great, x-rails, then verticals, we were doing it and it was going well. Then we came over an oxer (for the second time) and Bastian kinda popped over it, it wasn't even that big of a jump (and believe me he can throw in some BIG ones). I lost my left stirrup and my balance shifted left. According to Kristin I then kicked him with my right leg which made him scoot and I threw my body right to compensate for the left-ness. I might have managed to stay on had my left stirrup not then whipped back and cracked him causing him to say WTF and take off bucking and galloping. I hit the dirt hard on my right side (I have to get a new helmet....) and twisted my right ankle in the process.

I was pissed. At myself, yes it would have been nice if Bastian hadn't reacted the way he did and just said oh, my mom's off balance I'm gonna stand still!, but he didn't and I can't really say I blame him for saying "Ow" when the stirrup hit him. It was just such a simple thing, all that happened was I lost my stirrup and then my balance followed. It wasn't like B was being crazy or he had been biding his time waiting to toss me off, it was just pure dumb luck (the story of my life when it comes to falling off horses).

But it rattled me. I got back on, we jumped the offending jump again, A LOT and ended really nicely, but I started to go back to the "whoa whoa whoa whoa" jump method (we jumped the oxer from a practical standstill at one point- good to know that he knows his job is to get from side A to side B of the fence). My ankle really hurt when we were done, which for me is a big thing since I have such limited feeling in my lower legs from my spinal cord injury. I put B on cross ties and limped down the barn aisle to a chair and took off my boot. It was swollen and had some serious fluid build up. Kristin and Cindy convinced me to be on the safe side and go the ER for x-rays to make sure I hadn't broken it. Because I really wouldn't be able to tell if it was a minor hairline break -I'd never feel it. Two years ago I broke my foot, never felt a thing, it was swollen and purple and looked horrible, but did not hurt. This spinal injury thing has benefits sometimes.

I got out of the ER around 9 PM and went home. We decided that the schooling show could wait, it would be better to go when I'm 100% then when I already have a weak ankle, that was just asking for trouble. Saturday was spent hanging out with my mom, who was a great mom and didn't say too much about me and my equine activities that always seem to end in me getting ouchy.

So now I am re-evaluating my show season and training program. I still want to event, but I think I need to slow down. I am not going to try and enter May-Daze and do BN. If things progress the way I want them to, LHPC HT will be our first BN. I'm still doing the Starter event at Winona and will do the dressage shows I have planned. But everything else is going to be schooling schooling schooling. I still want to take him to Erie and do their CT at the beginning of June and hopefully we'll end up at South Farm on May 5th for their schooling CT. (we always seem to do well at South Farm)

Falling off is part of the business. Its not pleasant, but it happens. All I can do is use it to improve my riding and re-adjust my training program. I still have my goal of being able to jump 3' in the ring by the beginning of June, I think that it is possible for me. I know it is possible for me. So onward and upward. I've encountered more traffic on the road of life, but will patiently wait for it to clear instead of trying to force my way down the berm of the road. :)

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