Here is the truth about our jumping fall. I’ve told the truth but never the full story. I call this a book.
It happened quickly, but I know I will never forget it. We were jumping, three simple, low jumps. We’d done it a million times before. He had been behaving brilliantly the whole time.
We approached our first jump everything was going well, properly our straightest approach ever. I went with him over the jump. For us it was perfect. Then I fell, I tried to roll something was stopping me. My foot was stuck in my stirrup. How had this happened to me? My instructor had basically said two weeks before that I never put my feet all the way threw my stirrups because that way if I fell my feet would come out. But they didn’t. Then came our second jump, it was a simple little cross again nothing hard. I thought he would of ran out, like he usually does if no ones “steering” him. He didn’t though he decided today was the day to be a good boy and not run out on jumps. Well he jumped it. My head hitting both poles and the polls falling to the ground, my foot still in the stirrup. Our final and third jump was the biggest of all, the only one that would involve some actual work, I’ve always been taught think what you want a horse to do while giving them the aids. Giving the aids seemed a slight bit hard for me, as I was being dragged along the ground. So I though “Stop stop please stop” and “Run out please just run out” but my thoughts were not travelling up to Chinga, who was just thinking about either finishing the course and getting lots of cuddles or getting away from this scary thing that was “chasing” him. He approached the third jump, determination in his step. He went over tucking his legs and bang, I got a hoof with a pretty silver shoe on it smack bang in the chest.
Now that the jumps were over and he was being given no directions, I hoped he would stop. He kept cantering, heading to the place that he knew was the way home, I didn’t blame him he knew home was safe instead of being in the “riding paddock” with this scary thing.
He ran, I tried to get my foot out but still I was having no luck. Finally I felt it starting to slip out, I wanted to scream with happiness but I knew this would only make him go faster. I knew I wasn’t out of the woods yet. My foot was still stuck in the stirrup.
Finally, thump. I hit the ground landing on my neck. I lay there, everything hurt. I was worried the most about my neck and where my horse was. I was really starting to panic he hadn’t come back. Then I heard hoofs coming towards me, I wasn’t sure what pace it was as my head hurt to much to think. But all I know was it was fast. He stopped centre meters in front of me. I let out a sigh, at least he didn’t run over me.
I looked him over as best as I could from where I was on the ground, he seemed fine. I didn’t want to move I was really worried about my neck. I lay on the ground for what felt like hours, hoping some one would come, but I guess it was more like ten minutes. Chinga stood above me shaking, I felt sorry for the poor boy. Whenever someone falls they have to get straight back up and give him a hug. That’s just the way things work.
I reached up to pat him, I felt this pain go through my ankle as I went to sit up. My ankle it had been stuck in the stirrup I had completely forgotten about it. I ignored my pain, I knew what I had to do. I had to get back on. For his sake and mine, the pain would just have to wait.
I slowly stood up and limped over to my milk create pile, I felt slack using them to mount. But the pain was to much. I put my foot into my stirrup, luckily it had been the other foot that had been caught. I half mounted, half flopped onto his back. But he stood quietly waiting for me to be ready. I took both feet out of my stirrups hoping he would behave, I had decided my ankle had been through enough. I nudged him on, he stood there. Nervous. He could feel me being nervous, I had to be strong for the both of us. I asked again, this time trying to hide my nerves.
He still didn’t move, he knew I was scared. I lay on his neck and whispered “Walk on…. For me boy”. He took a few steps trying to keep himself as steady as possible. He knew I was hurt. I used my saddle and pushed myself back up. I was proud of us. We had accomplished something. I knew it would be awhile before we were jumping, but it was a start.
I asked for a halt, we’d done enough. I’d gotten back on and walked him around and he’d taken care of me. I pushed myself out of my saddle and landed on the ground. My ankle collapsing under me, I ended up on the ground beside him. In a place I’d been many times. He turned round and looked at me. Sadness in his eyes.
We slowly walked back to his paddock, I took his saddle and bridle off. I sat down, I needed a break. I watched him. He walked up his paddock, had a drink and then stood beside me. I started to cry so he rested his head on my knee. I looked up at his sad eyes, I’d never cried when I’d fallen. I’d had some pretty bad falls but I’d always bounced back up.
Chinga is a special horse to me. He means the world to me. He inspired me, to keep riding, to keep jumping. His also inspired me to aim to win, and pull myself together.
Chinga and I recovered quite quickly from our fall, but it was our bond that helped me recover. The day after our accident, I had a gymkhana. I got on and road, I did flat work fine. I thought there would be no jumping. I was wrong. There was a jump. One single jump. Final course. The one I was best at. I got out. Because I had my mind on that one stupid jump. I thought my jumping passion was over, I was wrong. Chinga got me back there.
We did basic flat work for a few days, I was happy at least I was on him. But I always had that fear and the feeling of something missing. I knew what was missing, jumping. Finally I found the courage and passion to jump. We tried a tiny jump that was just off the ground. Slowly, we found our love, passion, skill and addiction to jumping.
Now we are jumping higher and better then ever. I think what got us to where we are now is our passion for jumping and our trust for each other.
Feel free to ask questions about our fall as I am happy to answer them.