Well, after four and a half years and over 400 rides on Elle, my lease horse... I fell off her for the very first time.
I was just thinking the other day how remarkable and statistically unlikely it was that I hadn't yet fallen off of her. Any other horse I'd ridden for any significant length of time -- and they've all been a fraction of how long I've been riding her -- I have fallen off of at least once. Well, one should never EVER think those sorts of thoughts -- and I know this from experience -- because they will always, always jinx you.
Anyhow, today I was feeling a little funny and realized it was because I had missed lunch. As I rode around in the ring a little to warm up, I suddenly realized that I also hadn't changed out of my rubber boots and into my riding boots. They're not unsafe to ride in, but they are uncomfortable. Oh well, whatever, I thought. I just won't do a schooling ride. Instead, I'll do a relaxed walk around the property. It's what I had done on Monday, and it was nice, so why not do it again today? Nice relaxed walk in the sunshine? What could go wrong?
Well, everything was going great until I decided we should go explore a different section of the property. It was unremarkable, except that the footing was somewhat thick, tangled, damp, squishy grass. I could tell Elle wasn't crazy about it but made her walk on a little ways. She hates crossing water but will usually put up with it if you're firm. Aaaaaaaaaaaand... sudden DUCK, 180 SPIN, BOLT and I had that moment where you feel the horse has gone on without you and your body is staying in place and mentally screamed "YOU SUUUUUUUUUUUUCK" as I hit the -- thankfully, soft -- ground with my right hip and rolled up into what I would like to imagine looked like one of those cool superhero stances (see below). Elle stopped about one stride after I had hit the turf, and stood perfectly relaxed with her eyelids and lip drooping, looking at me like, "What?" I'm convinced that not even the best rider would have stuck that spook. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.
I walked her back to the arena, had a commiseration call with my coach who has never, in six years of owning this horse, had ANYONE fall off of her. Then I got back on Elle and cantered her into a good sweat and finished with some relaxed sitting trot for both out sakes. Nary an ear twitch nor a look askance. Sigh!
Anyhow. That was my day!! If I was going to fall off her eventually -- and let's face it, it was bound to happen -- at least I landed on soft ground. Soft ground that probably, you know, caused the fall... So it cancels itself out, right??