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Your most humbling experience-DO TELL!

This is a discussion on Your most humbling experience-DO TELL! within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        02-01-2013, 03:34 PM
      #51
    Weanling
    Thanks to everyone for adding their hysterically funny "÷opsies" to this thread!

    I remember another, from back when I was 16. I was showing at a big 3-day hunter/jumper show on a schoolhorse named Charcoal (guess what color he was??) in a class called "Teams of Three Hunters" on the outside course. You had 3 people riding one after the other over fences, and were judged on how well you were spaced, etc.

    The course was very hilly and it was early May - lots of mud. My team did great until we were coming down the steep hill towards the last fence. Dear ol' Charcoal slipped as we cantered down this hill, and I pitched right over his shoulder. Landed facedown, face-skiing in the mud. I had mud in my nose, mouth, and ears and worst of all, I did this directly in front of my boyfriend - my first boyfriend, a bunch of his buddies, AND a mess of witchy girls.

    I was as mortified as only a 16 year old girl could be I still shudder when I think of that day!
         
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        02-04-2013, 10:47 AM
      #52
    Foal
    Oh my, my first time vaulting was very humbling. They had me do an around the world at a walk, basically just turning around on the horse. When I did the first turn (so I was facing the inside of the circle) I got all wierded out because the movement was so different all I could do was squeek "I'M MOOVING!!!" I'm pretty sure everyone was peeing their pants from laughing so hard.
         
        02-04-2013, 03:36 PM
      #53
    Super Moderator
    Oh, so many incidents!

    When I was first riding competitively there were few children who had their own ponies, most rode at a riding school, as I did.

    It was my first One day Event and the pony I was riding, Molly was far wiser than me.

    Back then no one dod dressage except at an event! The Pony Club test consisted of turns on the forehand, turns on the haunches, extended trot and counter canter.

    We practised in the arena and then our instructress set up an arena in the field. This was two poles at right angles in each corner and a couple of poles down the long sides.

    Molly thought that this fancy footwork was a waste of energy and, because you were not allowed to carry a stick jogged through the complete test.
    I was told that I should concentrate on accuracy and make sure each movement was done at the correct marker.

    On the day of the event I warmed Molly up and it was nit so bad.
    As I went to enter the arena my instructress told me "Remember to ride to the markers."

    The arena was set out just as it had been for practice - poles at the corners and two down each long side and the markers set a few feet away.

    I entered at a jog trot, halted and saluted. Moved off a a jog and at C turned left. As I rode down the long side so the hooter was blown. I didn't know why because I hadn't gone wrong. I ignored it and carried on blithely. At each marker I tried the next movement all I got was the same jog and the turns on the forehand and haunches were nothing but tight circles.
    By the time I got halfway through the test the judge gave up hooting.
    I finished, at a jog, halted and saluted, so the judge got out of the car and walked towards me.
    "I am terribly sorry," she said kindly, "but you have gone terribly wrong."
    "I haven't." I retorted as I burst into tears.

    Turns out that by riding to the markers I had done most of the test outside of the arena!

    My younger sisters first dressage test was waaaaaaaaay better! She was riding a cracking pony from the riding school. Tests had been made a lot easier, simple walk trot and canter but dressage was still 'new.'

    She was the last to compete and did a very good test, rhythmic throughout and the pony held itself well and was a pretty mover.
    They won and when they collected the dressage sheet she had scored several 11 and 12s (out of 10)
    The judge had been encouraging to all entries so when little sis did do a nice test the only way she could ensure she won was to give extra marks!
    Weezilla likes this.
         
        02-04-2013, 04:01 PM
      #54
    Weanling
    Alright, I'll play along too... One time when I was around 10, a few friends and I decided to pretend to be jockeys. We rolled and rolled our stirrups leathers until we could barely squat in the saddle and then galloped around the indoor as fast a we could. I was feeling so proud of myself! I was the fastest one! Then when we were taking a break laughing a friend unhooked my clip-on reins from the ground without me noticing... I took off at a gallop and went to pull back to stop my horse and never made contact..just went right off the back of my horse.. I thought I died! Not only was it painful for my body but also my pride.. My friend felt pretty bad, not knowing that I would fall off but it definitely took my pride down a peg!
    Another time, when I was 12 or so, my Thoroughbred took a wicked dirty stop in front of a jump at a horse show and I went flying over his head, crashing into the vertical, sending to poles flying. Everyone cam rushing into the ring!..and I was just hoping no one noticed! So embarassing! I did get back on and the judges allowed me to finish the course even though I was DQ.
    Weezilla likes this.
         
        02-08-2013, 01:04 PM
      #55
    Foal
    Since I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone else's stories, I figured I would share a few of my more memorable 'oopsies'

    Some background first..
    I was always the little girl who wanted a pony for her birthday, christmas, easter...you know how it is. My mom (bless her heart) decided that if I took some riding lessons I would "grow out of it." (non-horsey fam) So when I was 6 years old I started riding. At 10 years old my mom leased a horse that I had been taking jumping lessons on. And when my trainer moved to Florida, and took the lease horse with her, she finally caved an bought me my first horse, for my 12th birthday. A 7 year old OTTB gelding. I had gone to try him out twice and I loved him from the first time I rode him. When eveyone at the barn found out she had bought him for her 12 year old daughter, they said "he's going to kill your kid"
    Now I thought that I was the sh** because I had been jumping 3ft with the horse we had been leasing and I was quite confident in my riding abilities. Ah to be young and naive.
    Anyways, there was this woman who always rode the trails around the barn with her super sweet quarter horse, and she invited me out with her. I was so excited that an adult thought I was experienced enough to go out alone with her. So here we are, about a mile into the woods and we are walking along the banks of a creek. I was behind the unflappable QH and just enjoying the scenery when we walked through some dense brush. Well there was a small branch that was being pushed forward by the horses body and when we got through it, the branch swung back and forward and smacked my horse square on the bum. He took off like a shot bucking to beat hell. I was trying with all my might to get his head up, slow him down, stay on and not get decapitated by the tree branches swinging past my head. He runs right up to the bank of the creek and slams on the brakes. Somehow I managed to not make the plunge down into the creek, turned him around and walked him back to the other horse. I was shaking like a leaf and was scared half to death, but was secretly patting myself on the back for not falling off and making a fool of myself. We finished our ride and when we got back to the barn my mom asked how the trail ride was. Of coure I told her it was good, and said no more about it. Many years later my mom told me how Chris (the woman with the QH) would tell her all of these horror stories about the crazy things that my horse would do and how she didn't even know how I stayed on.

    A year after being with my TB, mom signed us up for pony club. Since we didn't have a horse trailer at this point we arranged to have one of the fellow pony clubbers pick us up and take us to the week long summer camp. I was so excited and hand been practicing loading on a trailer with one of the trailers at the barn we were boarding at. This guy shows up with his trailer and parks about 1/4 mile away down the street in a fire hall parking lot. We put on our shipping boots and walked down through the field to where he was waiting (with no events). He put down the ramp, opened the doors and put down the butt bar. I walked my horse up to it and as soon as he put his front feet on the ramp the other horse in the trailer started screaming and kicking the wall. Magic decided that getting on the trailer was a poor decision and he backed up and planted his feet. I spent almost an hour trying every trick in the book to coax him on to no avail. Finally the man with the trailer lost his patience and said here let me do it. He puts the lead chain over his nose and makes him back up a good bit before leading him forward. When he stopped at the bottom of the ramp the man turned around and started yanking on his face and trying to drag him forward. (Imagine being a 13 year old girl watching your beloved best friend be bullied by some ogre) My horse rears up and strikes out with his front legs, hits this guy in his arm who promptly drops his lead, turns and runs down the road to the barn and into his stall. Now I'm crying and I'm adamant that my horse is going to hate me from now on. We finally got him loaded (after we unloaded the other horse) and did eventually make it to camp. I took me almost a year to convince my horse that the trailer was not a horse eating cave, and now (for many many years) he loads with out so much as a blink.

    Ten years down the road-
    I had a 2 year old friesian colt that I just had gelded. Now he was a cool character and was normally super level headed and laid back. He had been on stall rest for a few days because he was gelded in late fall and it was pretty sloppy out in the field so the vet said keep him in for about a week then start with turn out in the arena. I took for granted the calmness of this boy and I pulled him out of his stall and was walking him down to the outdoor arena for some exercise. As we are walking down the hill towards the arean he decides that he's feeling pretty darn good about himself and starts crow hopping and spinning around. Well I just didn't get out of his way fast enough and as he was spinning his butt towards me his back leg shot out and kicked me right in the calf. It was an instant pain and I couldn't put any weight on it and would've sworn it was broken. So here's me, standing in the middle of a field trying to hold onto this horse while I'm standing on one leg. By the grace of god I managed to get him to the arena by hanging on to is neck and doing this ridiculous hop on my good leg. I had to call my then bf to come and put him back in his stall, and take me to the hospital. Nothing broken thankfully, just my muscle. I had an awesome purple/green/black bruise to show for it and was on crutches for two weeks.

    I still have my OTTB by the way. He's 22 and pretty much a pasture ornament. We go out once in a while and play around. He's my horsey soul mate and I couldn't have asked for a better horse to learn how to ride on.
         
        02-08-2013, 01:23 PM
      #56
    Foal
    To be honest everything I do with my horses is humbling.

    I have been good at every sport I have turned my hand at. Soccer, Squash, Netball, Cricket, Swimming. So when I decided I wanted to buy a horse it never even crossed my mind that I wouldnt be a star at it the moment I got on. Naturally I had images in my head of me galloping through an open pasture, the wind blowing my hair back on my first ride. Never mind that there were no open pastures to gallop through and my helmet would restrict any hair blowing!

    My first horse is a 25 year old stubborn, bombproof StandardbredxThoroughbred. I had previously organised a boarding facility for him and the lady that ran it had asked if I needed her to give me a hand for my first ride on him there. I had scoft at her and did my less than lady like "It's just riding a horse" Well imagine my embarrassment when I got on him and he refused to move. Nothing I did would make him walk on! I had to suck up my pride and turn to her standing there with a smerk on her face (I would have been wearing the same smerk if I was in her shoes) and ask her how to get him to move!

    One thing I realised that day my horses ego far outweight my own!
         
        02-08-2013, 04:03 PM
      #57
    Weanling
    This is humbling in a funny respect... after I graduated college and settled into life as a graduate student in AZ, I started to look for a horse lease. Well, I found a lovely paint mare-Dancer-whose husband & wife owners also loved to ride, so it was a fantastic situation for me to get back into riding. Well, one day after the trails, Nick (the husband) ran up to the house to grab water bottles and I swung over to dismount. The middle of my bra got caught on the saddle horn, and because Dancer is a relatively tall horse, I HUNG there from my bra for a moment of shock before trying to pull myself back up. The effort was in vain and a moment later I heard the dreaded "riiiiip" of my bra being torn in two. I scrambled to pull my bra out of my shirt, tuck it under my arm and cross my arms over my chest just in time for Nick to arrive back with the water bottles. I awkwardly said thank you and have NEVER untacked a horse so quickly (or awkwardly) in my life! Ha!

    Humbling moments abound when it comes to horses, I find. ;)
         
        02-08-2013, 04:29 PM
      #58
    Yearling
    Heres a nice recent one....

    Im restarting an 18hh draft mare over the next 30-60 days. Day one, she's in her halter and lead doing nicely just leading around, halting, backing etc. Im talking to seamus, our wood worker, whos going on about how "im so little, but he's seen me push a mustang around, so why not a draft, etc etc" trying to make me look good for the new boarder cause he's awesome for my career like that :) well, Wonderful ton and a half Abby, decides that THAT patch of grass looks great! So she continues to heave her huge body towards it, completely ignoring that silly piece of nylon over her nose with he 90lbs attached to the other end. I went dirt sledding for about 20 ft on my heels, much to everybodys elses pleasure :)
         
        02-08-2013, 04:33 PM
      #59
    Yearling
    I've got one!!
    I was teaching my SIL how to sit properly on a horse bareback, and give accurate cues. I had to be 19 at the time. So I climbed aboard my old gelding he had to be 17 at the time himself. I was riding him about the pasture nothing, no halter and rope, no bridle, nothing. Mean while my gelding had rubbed off almost all of his mane due to sweet itch. (nice right). I don't know what my problem was that day (i thought I was super woman or something) I was telling her about how I haven't been thrown off in years. Ok great, I ask Old boy to step up his pace to a canter/lope. HA HA YEAH!! He took off like a bullet, and decided to do a bronc demonstration, I held on for the first 3 bucks, and the fourth, he went a little higher. I was like OMG !!!! He threw me about 4-6 feet in front of him, I landed on my neck/shoulders and just lied there wondering if I should move. He walked up and nosed me, as if asking if i'd like to try that again. I will never take that old horse as a slow old plug anymore LOL. Even at the nice age of 20 (going on 21 in may), he still enjoys a good romp through the fields with a rider and with out.
    WildAcreFarms and star16 like this.
         
        02-10-2013, 09:36 AM
      #60
    Foal
    My most humbling experience was probably the first few stages of training my dressage mare. Our battles were fierce- we're both girls, both in our teens, and both very stubborn. I love that mare to death, but wow!! Thank good I have my horses on my property... if I'd been at a boarding facility, Ito would've been very embarrassing... for me at least. Star thought the whole process was hilarious... especially long-lining...
         

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