03-07-2012, 10:21 PM
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We had gone camping at the ocean and were riding down the driveway to the property owner's house to pay. Riding bareback, as I usually did at that time. Lots of people were camped along the driveway and my horse was getting really nervous.... The orange 5 gallon bucket sitting next to the driveway was the final straw and she spooked and tried to bolt. I turned her (of course) and got her stopped, but now we're facing a travel trailer with umbrellas and awnings flapping in the wind, and about 15 people sitting there laughing and visiting. My mare started backing up, she couldn't see the (at least) 6 foot deep ditch behind us because it was covered in sticker bushes, but I knew it was there. I'm desperately trying to urge her forward away from it, but to no avail. She started to slide down into it and when she realized she was going to fall, she turned and jumped straight down in. We landed at the bottom ok, except since I wasn't prepared for the jump, my upper body came down on her withers when we landed, fracturing two ribs. Took a moment to compose myself, grabbed a fistful of mane, wrapped my legs around her and pointed her back at the driveway (which I couldn't see anymore) and asked her to jump straight back up, which she did. We made it in one MASSIVE jump and as soon as all four hooves were back on the gravel I jumped off and hid behind her because everyone had come running and I was so humiliated, in pain, and couldn't breathe. Everyone was really freaked out, they said one moment we were there and the next, we were just gone. They couldn't see us at all..... I'm not quite sure why I was so embarrassed, but it was totally humiliating!