Plodding away - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 126 Old 03-15-2018, 03:26 PM
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^^As someone who had a horse fall with me after hitting an ice patch under several inches of snow- just walking- this winter, I totally agree @tinyliny . I walked my horse home and was literally shaking, hopped up on adrenaline and fear. Fortunately, both of us were fine. But I'd be lying if I said I'd ridden through that spot again this winter.
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post #12 of 126 Old 03-15-2018, 03:33 PM
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the fall that I experienced (well, one of them) , horse went to his knees at a canter, going up a hill, chucked me over his shoulder and I landed looking up at his belly, to see him basically jump over me to avoid actually stepping on top of me. I was shaken, because I thought that that fall was going to be "The" fall that put me in the hospital or worse.
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post #13 of 126 Old 03-15-2018, 04:16 PM
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@tinyliny @redbadger and @egrogan – I’ve a similar fear of them tripping and going down.

I went over my Toby’s shoulder and hit the ground really hard and, to this day, I don’t remember the before part. However, I can still see the image of the ground coming up and putting my hand out to save myself. It makes me shiver just thinking about it.

We were walking across short grass in our local park, when suddenly everything disappeared from in front of me. He’d put his front hoof into a shallow hole and went down on his knee, nose, side of his face and then his belly. I had to roll to get out of the way.

I was helped up by some workmen, who couldn’t understand why I wanted to check Toby when I was an absolute mess. Luckily, we were okay but I walked the three miles home.
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post #14 of 126 Old 03-16-2018, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
^^As someone who had a horse fall with me after hitting an ice patch under several inches of snow- just walking- this winter, I totally agree @tinyliny . I walked my horse home and was literally shaking, hopped up on adrenaline and fear. Fortunately, both of us were fine. But I'd be lying if I said I'd ridden through that spot again this winter.
Toby had a slip earlier, when we'd had a cold snap, and the tiniest patch of ice in the ring was hidden by the lightest little cover of snow. He didn't fall, thankfully, but we, uh, took it carefully and went toward the inside on that side of the ring.

The weather has been rotten for ice, with the warm days and melting and then more snow cover. If it was just flat cold, that'd be fine, you could just trod along over the dirt. Mud I can live with, even the damp sand footing in the round pen is ok. At least if I could go have a lunge lesson! Alas.
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post #15 of 126 Old 03-20-2018, 11:42 AM
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You don't need ice to get a spooky/go-ey horse. Mine have lost their brains these last few weeks and cost my son and I an ungraceful ticket to the ground.

With your anxiety, because that's what it seems like it is, I'll tell you what I was telling my kid right before Nova bucked us off, "being a little scared is ok, it keeps you from doing something too crazy." And then a herd of deer spooked Nova and it all went south, lol. Horses are wonderfully unpredictable sometimes :)

I have been riding for almost 25 years--2/3 of my life--and I still get a little anxious now and then. I am an anxious person to begin with, so I feel your struggle. Stretch before you get on. Don't push yourself to the point that you get nervous; deciding to trot stirrupless after not being on for a while was probably a bit much for you. Roll your shoulders back, check your position and sink your heels often, even if you aren't feeling anxious; it's a good habit to get into. Your horse will appreciate it, too.
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post #16 of 126 Old 03-23-2018, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I hadn't gone stirrupless since Toby being a butthead, I just wanted to since I felt all potato shaped. When the most recent lesson was done I felt better but then weather (heavy snow) happened last week and this week my trainer is out sick. It's hard to be off and on, vs. consistent. It was like when I was learning hockey, being off a week or two put me back to square one. Then as I got better, a week off was actually good for the muscle memory to solidify. But I am not there yet with riding. Maybe on the weekend or Tuesday I can at least go for a trail ride.
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post #17 of 126 Old 03-23-2018, 02:12 PM
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My biggest fear isn't falling off. It is having my horse fall on top of me. Living in southern Arizona, I think ice is something you add to a drink and mud means wait a few days before going out riding. But I spend some time of pavement almost every ride, and the thought of my horse slipping on asphalt...

For a variety of reasons, I've only ridden my horse Bandit 4-5 times since the end of December. Finally took him out in the desert today. First trail ride in a Dr Cook's, first trail ride in my new Abetta and his first time passing by 2 strange horses who now live at a house we pass going to the desert. I've spent the last few years riding a slick leather saddle, although with sheepskin added the last couple of years. He was nervous about the strange horses, but he behaved well bitless (!!) and the cordura nylon helped me to feel I was going to go anywhere my horse did. I've become a fan of grippy saddles! Don't know if they make any English saddles out of cordura nylon.

I tried the whole "Sing when you are nervous" thing when learning to ride on a very spooky Arabian mare. Unfortunately, she quickly realized I sang when nervous, so my singing meant she needed to start worrying. Either that, or I just sing really bad.
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post #18 of 126 Old 03-31-2018, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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At last! The weather and my trainer's health cooperated, and we could ride on Friday! So happy.

We did some lunging first - it's hard work! It takes some time to find the proper angles, but we (Toby and I) had some good moments where I was being clear to him and he understood what I wanted. I led him through walk, jog, trot, canter, halts and reverses. I love watching him, and then when I'm leading him right and he goes - it's so much fun.

I was a lot less anxious this time, but we did stick to a walk and jog while I was in the saddle. It helped to talk to him a lot, sort of leading myself into when I wanted to move to a jog. The footing (sand, in the round pen) was a lot better than I expected given the wild weather, and didn't feel quite so lumpy.

We (my trainer and I) learned something new about Toby. So, I wanted him to move toward the rail, as in, we are walking in a circle and I didn't want him drifting in so my intent was: move forward toward the rail and keep going in a circle. This - was not what happened. Here I am astride, and he's going toward the rail, but not ... forward? Just smoothly sideways.

Turns out, Toby knows how to side-pass. Trainer had no idea. I have no idea what I did to cue that (clearly, I was not cueing him the way I wanted to), although I am curious because I might like to do it again sometime, on purpose. Maybe he can even do it in the other direction. So that was very interesting.
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post #19 of 126 Old 04-02-2018, 10:33 AM
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Lift rein X (side) and hold lifting the shoulder of the horse on that side while you are using leg Y (side opposite) to put pressure behind the girth and toward the flank. X (side) leg should be off the horse (no pressure) to encourage him to move his hips over. You can substitute right and left for X and Y. Glad you have gotten some ride time and are finding joy in discovering new things with Toby.
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post #20 of 126 Old 04-02-2018, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Hm, that does seem like what I was doing. At least enough of it for him to recognize it. It's so funny, I wonder where he learned it! Not at this barn, apparently. I've had rescue dogs before and it's like that, sometimes. You don't always know what they knew before until you stumble on it by accident. I love getting to know him. At some point I'm going to get my friend out with me (he physically is unable to ride, but he likes learning new things and I pay him in food and visits to places he can't get to via transit) to video Toby lunging... I'd love to share what he looks like in motion.
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