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StormCloud 03-17-2013 10:01 PM

My horse just panicked - AND I STAYED ON!
I'm a pretty new rider - I've had maybe six or seven months of more-or-less weekly riding lessons. Both I and my horse are starting to relax and trust each other, but I'm still a little bit nervous about some things... what will I do if my horse spooks badly? Will he bolt? Will I fall off?

Well, this morning I found out! I took him out for a dawn ride, and we encountered a Terrifying Enormous Horse-Eating Plastic Bag. Dubbin didn't just startle; he did a full-on panicky-leap-backward-and-skip-round-in-circles-away thing. There may have even been a little half-rear or two in there, I'm not sure.

And here's the amazing bit: I didn't fall off!

...Well, not entirely, anyway. :-) One foot stayed more-or-less in the stirrup; the other one came out, and I spent a fair proportion of the panic-and-skip-backward-in-circles thing hanging half off one side, gripping the reins for dear life with one hand and heaven-only-knows-what with the other, trying to yell "WHOA!" soothingly while thinking OMG I'm gonna die! and thinking that the sand of the arena looked a lot further away right then than it had a moment before. The whole process felt like it lasted for an eternity, but in reality it was probably only ten seconds or less of Dubbin being all Eeek! Getitawayfromme! while bouncing backward in circles.

When it all settled down, Dubbin was calm and my adrenaline levels had returned to normal, my main thought was My god! I actually stayed on the horse through that! I'm sure it'd all be very ho-hum and day-to-day for a more experienced rider, but me? I'm feeling darned proud of myself. :D

Tracer 03-17-2013 10:15 PM

Go you!

Believe me, I know the feeling and understand your success. I'm a chronic faller-offerer, and the times that I manage to stay on make me feel awesome. It does wonders for the confidence, because hey, if you can stay on during that, everything else will be a breeze!

DancingArabian 03-17-2013 10:18 PM

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Gotta watch those plastic bags. They're tricksy.

Good for you for staying on!

GallopingGuitarist 03-17-2013 10:18 PM

Good for you! Any time a horse spooks, bucks, bolts, or all three together, and I stick it! Well I'm pretty proud of myself! LOL! And I've been riding for 10 years.

BTW, welcome to the forum!

StormCloud 03-17-2013 11:08 PM


Originally Posted by GallopingGuitarist (Post 1942540)
Good for you! Any time a horse spooks, bucks, bolts, or all three together, and I stick it! Well I'm pretty proud of myself! LOL! And I've been riding for 10 years.

BTW, welcome to the forum!


Another reason why I'm feeling so pleased with myself (that I didn't mention in the OP) is that in December, Dubbin spooked in much the same way while my partner was riding him, which led to my guy receiving a couple of cracked ribs and epic bruising all down one side. Poor guy! I attribute my staying-on in this case to (a) additional balance/stability from a few months' more riding lessons; and (b) the fact that we've been doing a lot of work on trust issues with Dubbin and he's really starting to relax with us now. I think that is probably why in this case the spook-panic reaction manifested as leaping backward in circles more-or-less on the spot, as opposed to his previous effort, which wound up with him bolting hell-for-leather across the arena and then doing a "handbrake turn" when he encountered the fence. (And that was when my partner M fell off.) I'm guessing that in this case, Dubbin trusted me enough to be willing to not bolt at a million miles an hour, even though he was obviously scared spitless of the Horrible Plastic Bag.

iRide Ponies 03-18-2013 02:47 AM

Good job!

cebee 03-18-2013 07:09 AM

I know the feeling... my boy spun and bolted for home last year after my daughters horse spooked at a horse eating wiener dog... lost both stirrups, ( sprained one ankle pretty bad too!) but stayed on... thru a wild lope thru a huge field... finally stopped him and thought "hey! no stirrups,, didnt grab the horn.. didnt fall off... yayyyy me!" Not that I want to repeat it, but I did feel pretty good about myself! =)

MillieSantana 03-18-2013 08:01 PM

Yeah...... Millie spooked at this latest jump I've put in front of her and I was bareback(wwasn't going over it, just studying it) and I went over her head, landed, rolld, and jumped up in time to snag her reins. I love being young and bendy.

Horsecrazy4 03-18-2013 08:30 PM

Good job :) we always tell r daughter grab the O s$&t bar and act like you r on the best roller coaster lol and try to stay relaxed :)
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