I am sorry this is so long.
This is something I am right smack in the midst of dealing with.
I have been riding for around 20 years and 3 weeks ago I had my first bad fall. Now I have had some spectacular falls in the past, but this is the first time I actually got hurt. I no longer bounce as I did in my younger days.
As many of you have said, I too was once a FEARLESS rider. I started many young horses and spent many hours on very green horses and "problem" horses. I not only was unafraid, but fealt I was MEANT for the back of horse, born for it.
When I got married several years ago my husband bought us a tiny house on 5 acres, knowing it had aways been my dream to have my horse at home. At the time I had my once-in-a-lifetime horse, a TB mare I had gotten as a yearling and trained myself. She became the most "bombproof" easy going horse I have had the privlidge to know.
When we moved to our house I no longer had other horses to ride and between wanting to spend every waking moment with my husband, working in town and then eventually having a baby, I didn't get to ride much. When I finally started being able to ride regularly again I lost my mare at the age of 13 to liver failure. That was a year and a half ago and I still struggle with her loss every day.
By that time I been spoiled with riding only an angel of a horse for the past 5 or 6 years.
Then I got Lenore, my 5 1/2 year old TB mare. She came from a rescue that bought her out of the kill pen at a local auction. Her history is unknown other than the previous owner stated she had not been started under saddle. So Lenore came to me either unhandled or mistreated. I am still not sure wich.
Lenore is a somewhat sterotypical TB. She is easily spooked, always wary and very sensitive. I started her under saddle a little over a year ago, but her training has been somewhat spotty due to various circumstances.
A few weeks ago I was riding her in our field. She had been doing so well lately I had asked my husband if he would take pictures. I made several mistakes during the ride. I was excited about the pictures. I rushed through our normal routine, payed little attention to signs she was showing of being a little off and had perhaps not spent enough time on certain aspects of her training.
While warming her up I mentioned to my husband, who was working in the garage, that Lenore was very nervous/antsy, but continued about my business without a lot of thought to it.
While riding in the field I noticed my neighbor right behind us was out. I was near the corner of fence we shared and raised my hand up to wave. Lenore spooked a bit at my hand raising near her head, but I told her to knock it off and thought I had her under control....but her little spook began to turn into a big one. She spun around, danced a bit and then headed across the field. I really just do not remember if she was bucking. At some point I realised I would not be able to stay on her and began calling for my husband so that when I did come off, he would be able to divert Lenore out into the field and keep her from going towards the road. A section of our fence is down awaiting new fencing, and I really fear her getting into traffic.
Next thing I remember I am lying on my side in the dirt in quite a bit of pain and Lenore is just gone.
After my husband managed to get me in the house he went after Lenore. Turns out our neighbors across the way bought a stud horse and turned him loose with their herd. Lenore was over racing the fence line with him.
I rode her again a week or more after the fall, as soon as I was healed up enough to get back on (though still quite quite sore). I have had a few rides on her now, one of them pretty good, but I am still nervous of her.
While I can see the mistakes I made and that the situation was aggrivated by a new stud horse in the area and Lenore quite probably being in heat, I have now developed a good healthy fear. Lenore has always been slightly unpredictable and this unpredictableness had made me wary of her even before the fall. Now I am having serious doubts, not just in her, but in myself. I am no longer the "stay on anything" rider I used to be, and I am unsure where exactly to go from here. My confidence is definitely shaken.
Last edited by ElizabethM; 03-03-2010 at 02:33 AM.