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post #21 of 28 Old 02-11-2012, 09:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Paoli, In
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I am new here but I know exactly how you felt. I had almost the exact same thing happen to me this summer with my mule. Merle was acting up that morning when we were saddleing up for a trail ride ( been riding and camping for a week and it was the last day.) and he was just not acting right. Well about 4 miles into the ride out of the blue he threw a "mule fit" next thing ya know I was off center in the saddle trying to straighten up at a dead run down the trail passing 4 other horses. Needless to say I unfortunately, stayed in the saddle untill we passed everyone so that they all got great view of me bouncing along the trail. That was the first disaster, the second one of the day, happened 2 miles later in almost the same way. I was really lucky though... I only ended up with a few broken bones and some really wicked bruises.

Two days later is when I found Harley and switched from mules to horses. He is awesome and is "moody" every once in a while too but I wouldnt trade him for the world. Harley threw a fit once out on the trail and I stayed in the saddle that time thanks to the lessons I learned from Merle.

Everytime I think about it I cant help but remember what my cousin and best friend told me the next morning when I couldnt hardly move.

"There ain't a horse that can't be rode, and a rider that can't be throwed."

I am really glad that you werent hurt badly and had the courage to get right back on and ride again.
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post #22 of 28 Old 02-12-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
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Originally Posted by HarleyD View Post
I am new here but I know exactly how you felt. I had almost the exact same thing happen to me this summer with my mule. . .


I've always wanted to try riding a mule, but I'm not sure now, LOL. I'll bet they're fine if you're used to them?

It sounds like you made out a LOT worse than I did -- I'm off riding for several weeks, but it looks like nothing was broken.

How in the world did you get back off the trails after the second time Merle acted up?? It sounds like it ended up being pretty bad -- were you able to ride back out?

I love your cousin's quote, and I would definitely agree with it!
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post #23 of 28 Old 02-12-2012, 10:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Paoli, In
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I love Merle to death but as a begining rider he is too much for me. I love to ride him he is soo smooth and smart but I cant trust him anymore.

I guess I really was pretty lucky cause we were about 3 miles from camp and about 1/4 mile from a road when he threw his second fit. I wanted to get back on and ride out cause I wasnt going to let him win but my friends wouldn't let me. I ended up with 3 broken ribs, a broken bone in my left hand and right foot, and bruises from pretty much my bra down. They wouldnt let me get back on and ride cause I was hurt alot worse than I was letting on and they all knew it. I couldnt hardly stand up straight and was trying to hobble over to Merle when they grabbed the reigns and ponied the two mules back to camp. My friend Shelby stayed with me and we walked out to the road and waited for them to come back and get us.

That is the number one reason I wont ride alone at all. The idea of getting on a horse and going out just you and him and spending time together is a great idea. But there are too many things that can happen or go wrong and without my buddies that day I would have been screwed.

Riding a mule is just like riding a horse other than.... They are SUPER smart, not stubborn. Merle is ALWAYS thinking and trying you. He will try something and if you correct him he will stop but you can see him thinking as to what to try next. They get the stubborn label because they wont do ANYTHING that they THINK will get them hurt. They are super sure footed and pic and choose where to put their feet. W e brush pop alot and when we get into ruogh places I just let him have his head and pick his path. I decided earlier this summer that he is alot better mule than I am rider and I had all of the faith in the world in him.
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post #24 of 28 Old 02-12-2012, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
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Originally Posted by HarleyD View Post
I love Merle to death but as a begining rider he is too much for me...

Thank goodness for your friends being there (and knowing you better than you know yourself, LOL).

I actually did break a rib out riding alone, and it was no fun at all getting back up on that horse and riding home -- well, the horse did all the work, I just held on and waited for her to get us there. VERY STUPID, but you know how it is when you're young -- you think nothing can hurt you.

It sounds like you still have Merle, then?

I really like the sound of mules, from your description -- very smart and cautious -- although having to always watch you're not being outsmarted would be tiring.

This halflinger mare isn't mine, but she's a lot like that -- testing constantly. She'll listen if you make her listen, but she tests you every single time, and it's not just a one-time thing -- she pushes until you get to the point of having to reprimand her more than I'm used to (or comfortable with). I've never used a crop before, but I haven't met anyone yet who can ride her without one -- they usually use those dull spurs on her, too, although I don't feel my leg control is good enough yet that I would consider wearing them.

I'm glad you found a horse you like -- hopefully it's a more comfortable partnership!
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post #25 of 28 Old 02-13-2012, 11:19 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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I am such a prideful little gal.. I had a near fall-call the other day when my horse got me so off balance by spooking/running sideways and ignored my slowing aids that I didn't want to fall off and ruin my "I haven't fallen in over 8 months!" record.. so I clung on his neck like a little octopus and refused to fall off as he proceeded to gallop, still prompting him to trot by tugging on the inside rein.

But I have been in your position, you did everything right and I'm glad you're okay! I hope your foot heals well and you can get back to it full swing :)

I love the thought process tinyliny, haha! "What... am I going to fall? Oh yep... falling... gotta make sure my foot isn't stuck in the stirrup! Oh hey.. reins in my hands.. how prepared am I!"
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post #26 of 28 Old 02-13-2012, 02:34 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18
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According to my trainer/instructor YOU did everything right! Now I know better, and I, too, will be clinging like a little octopus (OMG, that makes me laugh!) next time I'm off balance!
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post #27 of 28 Old 02-13-2012, 03:31 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: southern Mississippi
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Originally Posted by FlyGap View Post
How did the ride go after you fell off? Was she better behaved or still a handful? Is she a regular lesson horse?
Could have been you and nerves to make her act this way or she may have been hurt from a previous ride. Congrats on getting it out of the way and not having too much damage!

First I've learned to detect the the signals before a fit! Sidestepping, stiff tense back, tensing of their shoulders and neck, speeding up, balking etc. I then try and divert their attention back to me. Do a slow turn, ask for a half halt, switch leads, maybe stop slowly and then back. No reason to escalate a frustrating situation, do something they do well.

Now I haven't fallen in 20 years (knock on wood!) but if a situation gets out of hand I make sure I become JELLO! I think to myself "rubber legs, cushion butt, wiggle arms, ride it out!!" Nothing worse than taking a tense fall. I also remind myself to drop and roll, not stop. Get out from under them! There is no shame in bailing safely if it's a last resort, but try and stick with it! Glad you are ok!
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oh yeah drop and roll.... i find if you have the plan in your head BEFORE the incident it's easier to fall and roll it off plus get out of the way of the horse. it's like you have programmed your mind what to do in that split second. I broke my arm really bad once as a kid due to putting out my arm instead of tucking and rolling off the energy of the fall.
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post #28 of 28 Old 02-24-2012, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 18
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And to follow up ...

I was lunging my daughter's horse on Wednesday, and the rubber stopper flipped over the top of my hand -- he stepped on the gas and the stopper hit my hand and twisted it! I've got a full arm sprain and have to go to a specialist on Tuesday to do more X-rays to check for fractures (just an aside -- I always thought X-rays were pretty much able to tell whether or not there were breaks? But this is the second time now that I've gotten X-rays that were deemed "inconclusive"...)

Still in the walking boot for my previous injury (for another 2 weeks at least) and now I'm in a cast and sling, LOL.

Hubby is mocking me mercilessly, and I'm off riding for even longer! I figure I'll be back right when the heat here in Dallas is about ready to get unbearable!

I'm sure there's a lesson here somewhere. Possibly along the lines of quitting while you're behind ...

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