Reading Grey horse matters post today about horse people. We are a strange lot. How many people can find falling off at high speeds, breaking bones, bruising butts, knees, arms, legs, ribs and just about every other part of your body, funny? Only horse people.
It seems that horse people, unlike any other people need to find humor day to day. It's what fuels our need to keep on keeping on in the barn.
For the amount of time I have owned and ridden Indigo and for the amount of random spooks, temper tantrums and general goofiness she throws my way I have fallen off her the least out of any horse I have ridden as long. I guess my butt is just bound to be on her back, but the two times I fell off of her.
Both times I was riding bareback. Both times she did a spook and teleport. Both times she spooked at something that normally would not spook her.
The first time I had just got a new style Nurtural bridle Zoe wanted me to test. I put it on Indigo and headed out down the lane bareback. I could see this thing moving in the neighbors field and I couldn't quite tell what it was. As I got closer I realized it was two foil helium balloons that were partially deflated and attached at the center with a piece of ribbon. Indigo could have cared less until we got a foot from it. Without warning she teleported 5 feet to the side and I landed as slick as snot....On both my feet standing upright.
Now I had to stop for a moment and assess how on earth that just happened. If I know physics (which I really don't) I should have been on my head or back rolling around in the dirt as my horse galloped back home but here I was, two feet firmly planted on the ground holding both reins. Indigo was making this face at me as if she never spooked at the balloon and I was some sort of lunatic for randomly ejecting myself off her back. I picked up the balloons, rubbed her all over with them, draped them over her withers and rode home with them to go
See when I fall off my first instinct is to grab the reins. It's saved me, and got me into trouble more than once.
See I was taking jumping lessons on my friends awesome thoroughbred mare. This little mare was so great I enjoyed riding her so much.
This happened a few winters ago in an indoor arena. I was jumping a grid and this mare DID NOT want to take her left lead off the grid one way down the arena. The person instructing me turned her back for a second. I took the last jump in the grid, set the mare up for the left lead and she took it. Only to do a flying lead change and split in the other direction. The instructors fiancée seen this and assured me it was the coolest thing he had ever seen anyone do on a horse.
The horse took the right lead, I was thinking left. When this happens generally you can assume the horse and rider are going to part ways. Somehow I did a complete 360 in the air, spinning gracefully like a figure skater doing a salchow and landing buttcheeks first in the only patch of snow on the arena. The instructor turned around after seeing her fiancées horrified face to see me standing upright, holding the mares reins and dusting snow off myself.
Of course heres the part where I neglect to mention I hit two and broke one board on the way down, bruising three ribs (which is possibly one of the most painful things to bruise) and leaving a big square goose egg on my left buttcheek.
This one I remember quite vividly as it happened twice in the same week and then never again. I was riding Suzy, galloping down the recently harvested rows of corn. Theres these weeds that grow about chest height in the fields that the combines miss. We were trucking along at a good clip, suzy spots a weed and without warning slams on the breaks. Of course when one is not expecting this one generally gets launched over the horses head. I landed butt first on the remains of corn stalks (note to self: 1/2 foot corn stubs DO NOT make a suitable place to land, EVER) facing Suzy, holding the reins. Shes sitting there with a smug look on her face, eating said weed. Oh I could have killed her. If that wasn't bad enough she did it again a week later!
Then theres the time I last fell off. It was a little over a year ago. I agreed to ride my friends little sisters (a few screws too loose) mare in a team penning competition. I had ridden this mare once but little did I know she had never seen cows. She was TERRIFIED! We relucantly got her through all the team stuff when it came to our solo round.
Here is where I mention my friends little sister is a "it's gotta look cute, who cares if it's functional" attitude. She bought this weaver western saddle in pink. If me riding in pink isn't bad enough this was the most uncomfortable, ugly, worst made, cheap saddle I have ever set my buns in. It didn't fit the mare, made her miserable in fact before our solo I run into the tack room and find another saddle for the mare. It was a big horn, almost as uncomfortable but it wasn't as bad a fit.
One thing I always drill into my 4-H kids heads is when riding western ALWAYS have stirrup hobbles. Stirrup hobbles are little leather (or maybe baling twine) ties that keep your stirrups from twisting and entrapping your feet in the event of a fall.
Know how you have one of those moments, right before something really bad is about to happen and you think "gee I should have done ____" but it's already too late, well this was one of them.
We headed down the wall after this heifer, we just about had the big jackpot secured. The little mare suddenly decided to abandon ship. She wanted nothing to do with those horse eating demons who moo'ed and oozed from every orifice. She took off for the gate. We were too close for me to stop her so I thought "bail!" That is what I did, only my right foot got caught in the stirrup on my way down when it twisted from no hobble. The whole result in this was my foot suddenly becoming un-stuck and me being pretty flexible KICKING MYSELF IN THE CROTCH WITH MY BOOT HEEL!!
At this moment my friends little sister is video taping this whole thing (thank god!) and you can hear my friends step dad in the background "Hehehehehhe, hahahahhah Syd almost sucked fence!" Thanks. I am glad someone can laugh at my pain, I can assure you kicking yourself in the crotch, even for a girl is the single most painful time I have ever been kicked (even if I did kick myself). I'll save you all the graphic details but I also managed to pull several tendons in the top of my foot and as the friends step dad said, "Almost sucked fence".
Or like last year when I got head butted by a horse, and lost. New horses at one of my barns. The owner used to just open the stall doors in the morning and let them race out to the paddock. I opened the stall door WHAMMO! Horse cocobutt right to the sniffer. My nose was on the left side of my face, I was seeing stars (which funny enough is the horses name) blood came promptly spilling out of my nose. I grabbed my face and felt my nose. Oh gosh, this was not good.
Most rational people I have come to realize would have gone to the hospital at this point. I put both hands on my nose and cracked it back into place before running to a mirror. It was 10 am I had 4 more barns to do!
Everyone hears the commotion and comes running. I am standing there followed by a trail of blood in the mirror. One boarder shreiks with horror. The barn owners husband breaks into a fit of laughter. I turn around and snap "It's not funny!" He makes some comments about his wife (the BO) breaking her nose by her one nasty gelding and one of the boarders breaking her nose by her stall confined injured gelding and then me getting head butted and then cracks up.
The boarder was frantic, runs to the fridge and hands me a packet of frozen mares milk to put on my nose -heres the point where you know, normal people put peas or corn on their injuries-.
Everyone was seriously convinced I was not capable of finishing my stalls but I had FOUR MORE BARNS! Like I didn't break an arm. For some reason every person I told the story to after that laughed. See it's hilarious when people (Sydney) gets hurt.
Some stories do not involve pain at all, but mildly amusing mishaps that involve undergarments and miscalculated driving (or riding)
Then theres funny stories like the laundry race at a horse show where you (the driver) and a friend (passenger) have to drive up and take several articles of clothing off a clothesline in a timely manner. We got everything (I mention everything was also sopping wet) when we go to this bra. It was huge and I had in an attempt to cut it as close as possible to the line, run over the end cone that was holding the line tight. As we rolled off it and my friend reached for the last article on the line, the bra the line un-tightened, sending the bra and clothespins airborn.
About 15-10 cowboys on horses were standing about 10 feet away at the fence watching this amusing event. The large bra hit the ground with a resounding THWACK! Heres me screaming "GET THE BRA! GET THE BRA" and practically shoving my friend out of the carriage wile holding a particularly disturbed Suzy by the reins with one hand because a large white boulder holder just when rocketing past her face.
When I snapped back to reality I had realized most of the guys watching on their horses by the fence were off them, rolling around with laughter.
I won't even get into the time Ryan (Murdo's son) and I had to go on a pleasure drive and got elected the carriage to drive the two aunts (who are both loud and love their wine). See on this 6 mile drive we stop half way to have sandwiches, wine and other finger foods. Both aunts had quite the bit of wine between the two of them and started to tell embarrassing neiece(me) and nephew(Ryan) stories.
We were so disgusted when we got back, hitting potholes and hearing them yell we exclaimed "next year someone ELSE takes the drunken aunts!"
So horse people, I want to hear your embarassing, hilarious, painful stories. God knows if you've been riding horses for any time you can tell one, or two, or three (or more like me) Lets hear em.