Well that's very kind, tinyliny, but if you're ever in Minnesota stop in and I will disintegrate any remaining respect you might have for me. Yesterday my horses didn't even come when I called. I was fortunate nobody was there to witness my humiliation.
I've been shanghaied into going to St. Paul next weekend - DH has bank security officer (The guy that works there as an unassuming loan officer but he's the guy that's legally packing heat under that sport jacket) training. He's a tremendous chicken when it comes to traveling and flying alone, so I'm going.
In compensation, I am promised time at the Minnesota Ren Faire. It looks amazing.
OP: My neck bore the brunt of the fall. Its a testimony to all the raw, whole dairy milk I enjoyed as a kid that I didn't break any bones, specifically my neck. (Never have in my entire life, despite falling out of trees, a nasty car accident - not my fault, and numerous alcohol related slip and falls that left me unable to walk for a week - usually because of water that's leaked out of an ice chest full of someone else's beer in the kitchen floor, have I had a broken bone).
Up until last winter, everyone but my husband that had ridden Trigger had ended up afraid of him and said: He's just too fast and runs too long without getting tired. And I've gotten this from two other young men who grew up on a horse, they're rodeo bronc riders, but also in the summer months do nothing but ride other people's horses, and they do it well. Trigger scared even him, simply because he never. stops. running. once you let him get his full stride going. He'd run till he dies of a heat stroke or a heart attack, we're sure of it. In fact, he wore out three young men at a friend's roping arena. He let us use it one evening last autumn to see just how long it would take to tire Trigger out. He and his wife stood there with me and four other people while the other three took turns letting him run all out around the perimeter of the arena.
He wore them out before he got tired, he was lathered up, out of breath, shaking (he has this weird tremors thing he gets going, even when he's fresh if he gets overstimulated) and he was still ready to go.
My husband rode him once - and he grew up riding and working cattle from horseback, and he's ridden some of the most hateful mares (one was named Hellbitch after the horse on Lonesome Dove) - and even he was mystified. He'd watch us try to ride Trigger, and we had to keep a constant tight rein on him, which sucked, because its 'nagging with a bit' and he hated bits anyway and would rear up. DH would say: You're tight reining him... good lord, give him some slack...
Then he rode him himself - and Trigger constantly pulled on the bit, and as we promised, every little bit of slack you gave him, he'd get a little faster, and a little faster... and a little faster... So he'd stop Trigger, make him stand and calm down, and Trigger would just stand there and shake apart like he was absolutely terrified of something. His head would jiggle and shake, he'd chew the bit and want to move around. DH finally calls him a crackhead (LOL) and an adrenaline junkie. He finally looks up at me, and I was on Leroy waiting nearby and he says: This is the craziest thing. I've never seen a horse do this, ever. But I was wrong (he's one of the people that told us to try to run him out and wear him down). Quit trying to run him out - its only making it worse. You're going to have to take him the other direction. He actually then decided I needed to just sell him, and he's right.
Trigger is more horse than I honestly have any business with, but his next stop would be a kill pen. No one here would take the time needed to unravel the mess this horse is. He's not papered, we don't even really know for sure what kind of horse he is, except when he moves, he's absolutely beautiful - he looks like a Hollywood movie horse... but the market is saturated with cheap horses and project horses. Well broke horses cost more, but sell better. Someone made Trigger a mess, we didn't know it, got in over my head with him, and its not his fault.
This is on me to get over being scared of riding him, to be a better rider and to understand him. His last stop is the K-K Ranch - us.
So. For his sake... so he doesn't end up in a can of Alpo, I've sucked it up and started learning late in life how to deal with him. I can understand where you're coming from - once you have that moment when you see all the Horrible Ways This Can End when things go pear shaped, its hard to get back in the saddle again. It took me... I think... 6 months? to even feel comfortable letting Superman trot, and loping left me clutching the horn with a white knuckled, iron grip, which left me rigid and praying to the Lord I didn't get loose in the saddle again... which made me get loose in the saddle again.
I'm glad you're trying once more - just take a lot of deep breaths, and the advice that positive thinking will take you a long way is true. It's a frame of mind that I find myself having to consciously seek out and it's almost starting to feel like ritual to get there. LOL
Pull on the same old pair of faded, worn out, hem bedraggled jeans, a ratty t-shirt, a ball cap... my boots... all the while convincing myself I Can Do This, I can't let him know I get worried or scared, or he gets worried and scared... I can do this. Roll the tack room door open, put on my Country Playlist (Mostly because Trigger seems to enjoy George Strait and Charlie Pride, but also, strangely, Nickleback - there's no accounting for taste, right?), and lastly, after he's saddled up, in the immortal words of Leroy Jenkins I tell myself and Trigger: Let's do this.
I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you keep us updated on how its going.