Today Freedom and I parted company and I found that the ground is hard. Very hard.
I’m lucky in that the last time I fell off one of my horses was back in May, 2008 (When did the Ground get so much harder) — I can report the ground did not get any softer and this time I was going a lot slower. In fact, we were walking. Until we weren’t.
Here’s what happened. I took Freedom to ride one of our hunting territories this morning to jump a few fences and see if the trails were damaged by Irene. As we were walking from the trailer, there was a very scary landscaping truck with equally scary workers moving brush.
We got by that in one piece and I relaxed. Big mistake. 100 yards further down the trail, someone closed a car door off in the distance. Freedom jumped six feet to the left and then replicated for me what it’s like to leave the starting gate. Unfortunately, he left without me.
I landed unceremoniously on my butt, which is, at least, well padded, still holding onto the reins. I did have to let go and he turned and looked at me with mild surprise on his face. A “how did you get down there?” expression in his eyes. I climbed back on, not feeling too badly and proceeded to ride for the next hour and a half.
Freedom remained spooky. In fact, he spooked at EVERY SINGLE pile of brush and every strange sound in the woods. It made for an interesting ride, to say the least. The extra animation did come through in his jumping efforts too.
For some reason the jumps weren’t scary but he made sure not to come anywhere close to touching them.
The spookiness is a remnant from Irene and it’s been plaguing us all week. Anything that is out of place has been an excuse for snorting, wide-eyed terror. Even a toppled over jump standard sent him into a tizzy earlier in the week!
The ache in my butt (and down the back of my leg) started about an hour into the ride. The last half hour hurt and when I limped into the house I was feeling quite sorry for myself. It was time for ice, Arnica and Aleve.
I think I will take tomorrow off.
For all of those people who do not wear helmets when they ride, please reconsider. This happened at a walk! I wear mine every time I get on my horse.