I've been riding our BM's halflinger mare -- she's sweet and clever, but very ornery. As she's gotten to know me, she's settled down a bit -- she pushes until she sees she can't bully you -- but she seemed a bit irritated today; before I even mounted, she'd made a pretty serious attempt to bite me. I probably should have known then that something was up with her, although I'm not sure it would have made a difference -- my trainers probably wouldn't have agreed to me not riding her just because of a "feeling"!
Anyway, the whole lesson was a battle of wills, although she finally got to where she was listening better to me (and I was probably giving her better cues as to what I wanted from her).
I'm not used to arena riding -- never rode inside until starting lessons -- so I'm horrible at getting the right diagonal and even worse at switching. My trainer told me to switch diagonals and off this mare went, breaking into a canter (no big deal, she does that often and is easy to handle), then bucking MUCH higher than I would have expected her stocky body to manage!
She threw me forward on the first buck and I managed to hold on through the second, but I'm having a problem with tendonitis so I wasn't having any success using my right arm to either hold on OR push myself up off her neck -- I had a brief moment where I thought, you can stick with this or just let yourself fall and get it over with . . .
I'm the kind of person who has to do the thing that scares me more -- NOT brave, probably just dumb -- so I went ahead and let the next buck throw me off. Ended up pretty much fine, just stiff and sore, with that deep bruise on my heel that put me on crutches.
So what SHOULD I have done?
I'm open to advice -- I definitely need it!
First of all, I think I should have been more aware of her mood, yeah? She was definitely fighting me today, which isn't normal in that she will usually settle down after testing me a bit.
When I tried to switch diagonals, I think I must have done something that pushed her buttons, but I'm really not sure what -- maybe I pushed my heels into her? Or pulled on her mouth? I honestly don't know, because I was focused too much on what I was trying to do, rather than paying attention to her.
Obviously I should have raised her head when she was dropping it to buck -- another issue with not paying attention to her while I was focusing on my riding "technique" . . .
And I guess I should have stuck with her, rather than bail. I'm not sure I absolutely COULD have stayed on, but I'll never know now, because I chose to fall rather than keep fighting to stay on.
Would you have made the same choice I did? Or would you have stuck with her?
After assessing the damage, I did get back on and ride another 10 or 15 minutes -- funny thing is, the heel doesn't bother me at all unless I put weight on it, I keep thinking it's perfectly fine (then I get a BIG reminder when I step on it!).
Okay, that's my story -- I don't have any real horsey friends IRL, and I wanted to share with somebody!