My first emergency dismount, from Mia...while at a full stop! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 10:49 AM
Green Broke
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"What Would Clinton Anderson Do?", I asked. Then I decided CA could go copulate. I picked up a rock about half again bigger than my fist, and chucked it at Mia. Caught her on her rump, and she took off again. I met her back at the point we had parted ways after I tried to shove the saddle upright, and she stopped next to me and hung her head. At least THAT was better! I would have asked, "What Would Parelli Do?", but I didn't have a carrot stick to shove up her nether regions.
I'm sick, at work while the sun shines and the weather is FINALLY(after over 4 months) decently warm, and feeling very sorry for myself. This post, and particularly the above quote, made my morning
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post #12 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post

.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.
Your first post had me laughing out loud. Love the way you described the details. Especially appreciate the above quote.

Glad neither your or Mia are seriously injured. You handled the situation great !
Just wondering if a pre-ride groundwork session would maybe have shown you that she woke up on the wrong side of the pasture ?? or that something was bothering her tack-wise... (you said you cleaned her up, saddled her and mounted,,,no mention of any warm-up/checking her out...) Might not have made a hill-of-beans difference....but I always,always move Sonny around after being saddled to make sure ....

Hope you can figure out what made her blow up.
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post #13 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 11:06 AM
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So, BSMS, I totally feel your pain. I recently had the strange experience of having a brand spanking new cinch come apart as I was gently doing a gentle flat walk with my TWH mare. Needless to say, I gently slid to the ground, saddle and all! How embarrassing! Not much harm done, though. But, to add insult to injury, when I returned said cinch to our local tack shop, they said, "Oh,yes, those cinches have been recalled. They're not safe." I gently thanked them for not letting me know sooner!
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post #14 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for the sympathy. I ache today in parts I didn't know my body had!

Not warming Mia up didn't cause her spook. Mia...spooks. She used to habitually spook and bolt. A few years ago, it was so bad that after 2 hours of repeated bolting, I tied the rein tight on one side around the horn and dismounted before she could get straightened out. After that experience, she spent 8 months without riding until I was able to hire a pro to train her from the beginning.

So in some ways, yesterday showed she is getting better. She spooked, spun hard, and then stopped. And she then stood still for 20-30 seconds, with the saddle way over on her side and me trying to move it back into place...but I had no leverage and the saddle was tight enough in retrospect that I had no hope of straightening it. I couldn't think of any way to correct things without bailing, and I knew bailing would scare I bailed and rolled.

What caused it? Well, I looked the saddle over this morning. The latigo is about 3 months old, but I've swapped back and forth between it and a nylon latigo, so it might have about 6-8 weeks of gentle use on it. This morning, the smooth surface has a bunch of cracks running across it and the leather above the cinch hole looks very different from the leather after the cinch hole. My guess is that the violence of the spin, combined with my trying to stay on, stretched the leather enough to let it slide over her withers. The surface breaks are minor, so maybe I now have a properly broken in latigo. Or maybe I'll go back to nylon...

Another possibility - and maybe some tack people can say - is that the mohair cinch stretched some too.

And maybe the hole I punched left the latigo a little too long, although I don't believe in pulling until the horse passes out. Or perhaps the latigo WAS stretching all along, so the 'normal hole' was no longer the 'right hole'!

The other good news is that Mia looks fine. She has a nasty looking scrape and a cut on one hip, but nothing that won't heal. No limping, no sign of soreness, etc. When I went out this morning, she strolled over and stood next to me, yawning and nuzzling my I guess popping her in the butt with the rock didn't traumatize her too much!

I was feeling like quite the failure yesterday, but like jaydee said, I "survived to tell the tale. What more do you want!!!!" And apparently I'm not the only rider who has discovered his saddle has done something it wasn't supposed to do, and I didn't come off her back until I decided to come off her back. So maybe...maybe horses sometimes make most of us feel foolish or incompetent, and maybe that is why a person can spend more years than I have left in my life riding horses and still learn something new.

Now I'm just trying to figure out how all those young folks write cheerfully about bailing off a galloping horse, when bailing off a completely immobile horse kicked my butt so hard! I couldn't be getting old, could I?
Sharpie, jaydee and wild old thing like this.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #15 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 12:31 PM
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Great storytelling, bsms - perhaps you might want to consider a side career in publishing. I'm glad you are both reasonably sound after the adventure. Don't you just hate those surprise pop quizzes horses will throw at you? You did well on the quiz, nonetheless, even though you may not be feeling that way right now.
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post #16 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 12:47 PM
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Your first post had me literally laughing out loud! I'm glad you could find some humor in such a traumatic event!
I think that if you spend too much time thinking about what may have caused her to explode you're going to start assuming that she has problems that don't really exist. Horses spook, and Arabs spook A LOT. You mentioned the she was registered which means that she was probably bred to have a little bigger nostrils.. I'm sure that's where her brain slips out sometimes. I'm just kidding but seriously don't stress too much about it. It's good to be aware of how quickly she can move for future references but unless it becomes a common occurrence I wouldn't lose sleep over what could've provoked her to do it. You'll likely never find out. Mia sounds like a lady and ladies have to be a little mysterious to keep the magic alive ;)
Also, if she's like a lot of arabs her round back and lack of withers might have had more to do with her saddle slipping than anything else. Those kinds of horses are just about impossible keep a saddle centered on no matter how good the fit.
It sounds like you have a good plan of attack! Good luck and heal quickly!
Thanks for sharing! It definitely gave me a good laugh!
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post #17 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 12:52 PM
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You said you were trying out a new bit. What did you do on the ground with the bit in her mouth to prepare her for a ride?
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post #18 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 01:15 PM
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BSMS, that was such an entertaining, well-written post - maybe you could write a book about life with horses, or in the country in general. People love that sort of thing! Especially reading about other people's curly situations!

PS: Are you putting her back in her curb?
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post #19 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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The new bit is just a D-ring snaffle with a Billy Allen mouthpiece. The mouthpiece is almost identical to the curb bit she has been using for a while, and I've always sometimes ridden her in a D-ring Waterford bit. I did a few minutes of ground work before the first ride, then rode her for an hour with the new bit doing turns and stops at a walk, then trot, and finally at a canter. She did fine. Yesterday was her second outing. She also did stop in just a few seconds with this bit, which is part of the good news. She has spent most of the last 15 months in a curb to help her with stopping when scared.

I may put her back in the curb for the next ride. My instinct with a curb is to pull straight back when she tries to bolt, and that has always stopped her in a few strides, including when she caught a cactus butt! With a snaffle, my instinct is to spin her around in a bolt, because if she builds up a head of steam on a trail with a snaffle, stopping her is...well, one of those words that get removed by the family friendly HF's software. It is easier to stay on a horse when stopping straight.

About 30 seconds before all hell broke loose, I remember thinking, "She really does neck rein better with a solid mouthpiece...". And she did stop completely with the snaffle - scared, but stopped, and in a snaffle that is essentially a mullen. So I think the training we did with the curb is carrying over to a snaffle. I was feeling pretty down last night, but there is some good news about yesterday's ride.

The bit I was using...if she'll stop in this, then she ought to stop in just about any snaffle:

Perhaps the lesson I needed to learn is not to trust "the right hole" because leather and cinches can stretch, or maybe the saddle isn't sitting quite the same or the pad is adjusted just a little different. I don't believe in saying, "Things happen". They do, but a prudent person tried to anticipate things and adjust his game plan accordingly. When something goes wrong with a ride, we need to think about why and how to make it go right in the future. Particularly at 55...

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #20 of 41 Old 03-11-2014, 02:05 PM
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So, you pulled with the left rein, moving her into a tight circle to the left, and your saddle slipped sideways to the right since your left leg was on her back, right? Hard to imagine how you managed to do that, but without watching it happen I would assume you were not balanced at all and heavily weighted your right side. I am kind of surprised you didn't pull her completely off balance. I doubt it was tack failure alone, but rather a combo of tack and a rider unable to stay balanced during that situation. Either way, I am glad to hear neither of you are worse for wear. Hope you get back in the saddle soon.
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