Now came the question of what to do next. They say you're supposed to mount up after a fall, but this was a strange one. Besides, my family is out of town. If things went bad, my neighbors probably wouldn't notice anything and I didn't want to take a chance on spending the night on the ground in our little arena.
The saddle lost one saddle string, but otherwise showed no damage. I put all my stuff back to where I normally tack her up, then fetched her from the corral. She acted OK with the saddle pad going on her back. She was a little tense about the saddle going on, but not bad. Tightening the saddle was obviously harder on her nerves, so I tightened it one hole at a time and let her nibble on grass between times. When I got to the normal hole, I managed to tighten it one hole further...but that was all it was going unless I made a sacrifice to Thor to give me extra strength.
Since I thought it unsafe to try riding her alone, I led her for a walk around the block and then some...about a mile total. She was surprisingly calm at that point. She did a prancing trot a couple of times, but only momentarily...and Mia prancing every 5-10 minutes for a few steps is utter unremarkable. I think it goes with her AHA registration. They'll pull her papers if she doesn't.
When I took the saddle off, she stood there nonchalantly, a cigarette hanging from one corner of her mouth, doing her Bogart impersonation. I asked her if she knew how to whistle. She snorted instead. Betty Bacall she is not. I put her back in the corral. Betty Bacall probably didn't have a corral, so I guess it is all fair.
No riding tomorrow, and maybe the next day. She had a pretty hard fall at a gallop and has lots of hair removed, and some superficial cuts. Nothing bad, less than what happens when the horses kick at each other...but I saw her slam into the ground. She walked fine, no sign of pain. but if her back feels like mine...no riding for a day or two. I'd also like to find someone who can hang around when I do ride again, just in case something bad happens. I plan on walking her in her saddle and bit during the next couple of days.
I don't really think there will be a problem. The good news is that she DID stop, and stood still with the saddle completely on her right side. I actually tried to move it back into position while still on her, and she stayed still for that. For a horse with Mia's history, that is darn good.
It had nothing to do with the snaffle. Maybe with a curb I'd have tried to stop her in a straight line. I don't know. There was no time for conscious thought. There was an explosion. She may have started the left turn on her own. I don't remember. Looking at the tracks in the arena, the concrete has deep gouges where her hooves were powering us around. It isn't actually concrete, but those are the deepest hoof prints I've seen there in the 2 years since we built it.
Seriously, this is where I get discouraged with riding. I cannot think of ANYTHING that would have set her off. The neighborhood was quiet. No animals. No motorcycles, bicyclists or dogs. Nothing. This is why I don't dare to ride her in the desert by herself. If I needed to bail off to one side, I might well need to bail off into some really nasty cactus.
If the saddle hadn't slipped, I wouldn't think much about it. My left foot may have been at the level of her back, but my rump was still mostly over her back even with the saddle off the side. Totally off the side. So for a recreational, just for fun kind of rider, I think I did OK. But at 55, I don't need very many days like today...
...guess that mare needs some desensitizing to things around her tummy. glad you were not really hurt
The lady who broke Lilly from a start and worked with Mia normally teaches the horse what to do when the saddle goes sideways. I may give her a call and ask for advice...she's a hopelessly nice woman who loves horses and has saved my family's collective butt more than once as we learned about horses.
In a way, I've very proud that Mia did
stop and stand still. Until I bailed, she didn't move a foot while I was on her with the sideways saddle. There was a time in her life that she would NOT have stood still, and just run at full speed with diarrhea squirting out the back.
I believe in breaking down training into small steps. So maybe I'll walk her with her tack on for a few days until I can get someone to watch. Then mount her with someone holding her head. Nothing went wrong during the mount, so I don't think it will be a problem. And then, ride her at a walk with someone around.
Given how hard she hit the ground, I don't think it would be fair to ask anything more than a walk out of her for a few days. In fact, given how hard I
hit the ground, it may not be fair to me, either!