Licking My Wounds - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 09-01-2011, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Licking My Wounds

I've hobbled downstairs this afternoon to post this message and it took me some time to get to my computer. Sitting down was something else!

I came off my horse yesterday before I was to set out on a trail ride with friends, and I hit the ground so hard it felt as if at meteorite had crashed to earth. Fortunately those few extra pounds I've been sporting this summer kept me from doing further damage than I did. But today I have severe bruising and I'm so stiff I can barely walk.

I purchased my first horse in 10+ years last summer, and for the most part "Ty" is a wonderful QH gelding, quiet and dead-broke. He is an ex show horse so his life experiences have been minimal as far as what I wanted him for - trail/pleasure riding with the occasional fun show. I've been sacking out Ty since the spring, exposing him to as many 'scary objects' as possible ie. balloons, kites, garbage bags (these are very scary monsters) rattling cans, etc. Ty has handled all of this with style and aploomb, but there is a side of my horse that is unpredictable, and yesterday was one of those times.

I had put my hat on one of the posts in the round pen, and when I was ready to leave with my friends, I rode over to fetch my hat. As I leaned over to pick up my hat, Ty freaked and I ended up on the ground, but I was quite proud that my hat was lying beside me. And Ty was on the other side, looking down as if to say, "what the hell are you doing down there."

I haven't fallen off a horse in years, and I found that my time away from horses has given me a renewed respect for what can happen and that we don't bounce the same when we're 60 years old, even with the extra padding.

Once I realized I was still alive and I could move all my body parts, I leaped up, got right back in the saddle, and did a 2 1/2 hr. trail ride which was most enjoyable. However, when we got back and I dismounted, I could barely walk, and I had an hrs. drive home. By then, I couldn't even lift my leg to get into the bathtub for a soak, so I crawled into bed and called it a day.

I find today that my confidence is shaken and I am disappointed in my horse. I love Ty to bits but sometimes his emotional response to a scary situation is less than safe, as when he spooks, it's big. And I have spent so much time with my horse...building up trust and presenting him with as much adverse stimulus as possible, so that I reduce the risks of getting hurt. Having said this, I realize that this can happen to anyone, anytime, and on any horse. But my husband has been ill for the last 6 months and it may well be another 6 months before his is well again. I have been my husband's 24/7 care-giver for this time, and my horse has become my much needed therapy.

My husband is not a horse person and he is worried now that I will get hurt again and not be able to look after him, which I completely understand. I guess I'm just wondering what more I can do to help my horse through those really scary times when he doesn't think, but reacts in a very unacceptable way. He is an amazing horse and I want to help him through this.

Sorry for the novella, and thanks for listening.
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-01-2011, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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Well have you reached for things ontop of him before?? Maybe he was in lala land and noticed this dark long fuzzy thing coming towards him and got nervous.

Your horse is just being a horse. If you were reaching... and he was about to spook you'd notice his body stiffen or his head raise or his eye looking back at you.. so I think you thought he would just stand there and when he didn't, you weren't prepared for him to bolt and so you ended hurt :/

Don't be disappointed in him, or yourself. It happens.. just next time you get on him, play a game. Hang hats and coats and all sorts of stuff on fences, and then on the ground, walk him over, pick them up and lay them on his back... walk over to a barrel and set them on the barrel. When he's confident on the ground, do it under saddle, making sure you prepare yourself (don't anticipate.. breathe!) if he gets scared.. and see how he does :)
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-02-2011, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Licking My Wounds

Thanks for your response Sky. As I indicated previously, I have sacked my horse out with all kinds of scary stuff, and have put buckets, hats etc. on posts in the round pen and practiced picking them up, with me on top. And with the incident on Wednesday, there was absolutely no warning. No body tenseness, no elevated head. In the past, when Ty has spooked over something, I've had plenty of notice and was able to get myself prepared.

I realize that Ty is a horse and anything can happen. But it is his extreme reaction to certain things that is a problem, and yes, I was disappointed because I've been working on all this stuff with my horse for months. I would really like to know if anyone as any ideas on how to teach a horse not to react in such an extreme manner.

I'm pretty banged up today, and I'm 60 years old.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-02-2011, 11:38 PM
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My horse was that way and I would just stop him in his tracks if he spooked on me, and if I could , soothe him before something potentially scary and he has learned to not spook on me anymore.
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post #5 of 5 Old 09-03-2011, 12:04 AM
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I feel for you! I am 53 and I , too, found falling to feel like hitting a brick wall! However, it is miraculous how our bodies hold up, isn't it? I hope you feel better soon. Keep yourself in the best shape you can, eat vitamins and good calcium bearing foods, do load bearing excersize , like walking, and go forward and do the best you can. What else can you do? YOu aren't going to give up riding , are you?
I have come off three times in the last year! I do worry about it, though, so am not minimizing your feelings of concern at all. You have every reason to be worried. I shall send any stray guardian angels I see your way (if I can spare them!)
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