Monday, 9 March 2015

Worst Case?

Today's lesson was...interesting, and I think my 'worst case' scenario for the lovely Ms Ginger. I don't know if I mentioned the circumstances behind the last bad fall I had, but essentially someone ran their horse (at a gallop) right up Ginger's butt - she bolted and kind of dove in sideways at the same time and I met the ground hard enough to get a concussion (yes I had my helmet on) and a very sore tailbone. This isn't going to be a rant pointing fingers - I really think when you're sharing a public arena, stuff like that is bound to happen eventually (and one day it might be me inadvertently causing someone else an issue). We've spent a bit of time since getting Ginger less reactive to the other horses around her. Still, she's Ginger, and pretty sensitive and aware of her surroundings and I was in no way confident she'd keep a lid on things if the same situation presented itself. I'll admit to really enjoying my quiet little ring partly for that very reason!
Ginger gives us a dramatic reenactment of the results of other ponies getting too close to her bum

Thank goodness S got on Ginger first, because we had company today, and long story short, the same exact scenario played out again. This time, S was in the saddle and handled it very quietly and efficently. The other rider fell off after her horse ran into Ginger and there was a bit of commotion. Ginger was immediately back to being really intimidated and panicky by having another horse in the ring - even Bridget :( S wisely opted to keep Ginger in the center and watch the other horse and rider (who got back on and was oblivious - I guess we could have said something, but as S said, it's also an issue with Ginger we need to work through anyways, might as well turn it into training opportunity!) Over the next 15 minutes or so, she was able to get Ginger closer and closer to the rider cantering around, and just let her stand and chill out when she was relaxed enough. I rode Bridget around her too until she visibly relaxed. I'll call it a win. Although she's back to not being overly trusting of other riders in the ring, it was good for me to see someone work her through it quietly and safely. More tools in the belt, right? I didn't ride because Ginger was mentally just done by the time S got off, but surprisingly I didn't feel overly worried or intimidated by the inadvertent 'worst ride' flashback.

Happy girls from a couple of days ago
On the plus side, I had a decent ride on Bridget. Also, because S is the best, I get another lesson this week with Ginger to make up for the non ride I had today and to get us more confident for the clinic. She's getting paid regardless - I can't even describe how much I appreciate her and other riders in a public arena aren't her problem!  S also got a job riding the 'scary' horse from today - so she's single handedly making our local riding scene a little bit better all the time lol

18 comments:

  1. That sounds like a very scary fall (for both you and Ginger!). That would definitely take some time to get over. S sounds like a wonderful coach :)

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    1. I think what really messed with me was the realization that no matter how hard you work or safe you try to be, there is always something you haven't thought of or that['s out of your control. It would have never occurred to me that someone's horse would be herdbound enough to literally run into mine from behind...twice!

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  2. I really admire your positive attitude regarding the other rider's obliviousness and Ginger's re-training. I have SCREAMED at several people at my barn before when they've done things that set Murray off -- like running/yelling/clapping in the barn aisle to perk their horses up while I'm trying to tack up, or been making a commotion around the arena (cracking sticks together etc.) while I'm trying to ride. Our assistant trainer said she can always tell when Murray is having "a day" because I get a certain tone of voice on me.

    ANYWAY. Sounds productive and I'm glad you're being positive about it. :)

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    1. I'm frustrated that this happened literally only a few weeks after we were able to reintroduce other horses to our lessons, but it is an issue we both need to deal with anyways and I'm feeling positive about how S handled it!

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  3. Wow. People can be so rude! I can't believe that has happened to you twice.

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    1. I know, right? Ginger is such a rock star I guess everyone wants to get as close as possible? :)

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  4. Great that S was there to work through it with Ginger and keep things positive for both of you. Nothing worse than having to share an arena with oblivious riders.
    I am also super glad to hear that your lesson went well with Bridget - sounds like a positive weekend & S sounds like an absolute legend

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  5. yea i'd definitely have a hard time containing my temper in that kind of situation... but your point that Ginger needs to work through this is super valid and it sounds like you all made the best of it and she came away realizing that it wasn't the end of the world, even if it was a little scary. hopefully her 'recovery' time, as it were, will get shorter and shorter every time another horse sets her off! good luck :)

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    1. It's funny, a day later and I'm a bit more upset about it, but still...I guess 'stuff' happens and you can't control everything. Onwards and upwards! :)

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  6. I had similar things happen with me and Vegas at a few horse shows, including being pinned up against the wall and kicked at (and the rider on the other horse didn't even say anything). So, I kind of know how you feel! Fortunately, I had a trainer help me through it too, and what Vegas needed was to feel like she was moving and "pushing" his horse around the arena. It seemed to do wonders for her confidence. By the way, your girls look wonderful!

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    1. Thank you, and that's excellent advice that I think will help. Sorry you've had to deal with similar situations - it's sad that so many people that show/share arenas/warm ups have similar stories.

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  7. Scary! I'm glad no one got hurt.Hopefully you can work through this!

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    1. I think we'll be fine, although I'm not holding my breath for any open showing or group lessons in our immediate future. Good thing the pony likes dressage ;)

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  8. I'm so sorry that's happened to you. People can get inconsiderate of others safety. Sounds like you've got a good attitude about it which is half the battle!

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    1. I feel like maybe people just don't know better, or realize how quickly a horse can react.

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  9. You do have such a positive attitude. What a scary thing to have happen especially on a pony.

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    1. Thank you! Ginger is actually my big 'pony' so if she only held her ground everything would likely just bounce off her lol

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