Today I decided to work Skyy in the warm-up arena first thing in the morning, then give him some time to relax before his class at 11:36. He was fantastic for his morning workout so I was pretty confident that he would be ready for his test.
We got to the warm up in plenty of time, and he worked nicely. Then we were called up to the arena, where we waited for a few minutes. The gal in front of me finished her test and we made our way up to the show arena.
I'll let the video explain what happened next. (Mom, you might not want to watch this. Dad either.)
Yes, he bucked me off. You can see that earlier in the test he was getting disobedient and resistant. The first canter was kind of a mess with the bucking and kicking, but I was able to hold it together and get back on track.
Here is the thing. I did not want to come off of this horse. I mean, nobody likes to get bucked off, but I didn't want him thinking he could unload me and get out of working. I told his owner that if he (or any horse, for that matter) really wanted to buck me off he'd be able to do it. I also told her that at this show I wasn't going down without a fight. Sometimes it's better to just jump off when things get hairy, but I was determined to hang in there. Since I told the owner that she kept filming, thinking that I was going to be able to stay on. She was wrong.
Well, he got the better of me and I ate dirt. I was sore and shaken, but otherwise okay. I had the owner take him back to the stalls and I rode the golf cart back (we only had it for one day). I had one ride on Albert still to go, so I cleaned up my boots, brushed off my breeches and braided his mane. Fortunately the footing is new and very clean so it didn't stain my breeches or get them dirty so I wore them for Albert's ride.
Albert didn't have as nice of a ride as yesterday either. He was a bit tense and actually spooked at the photographer. He got a 63.6% and (we think) placed 11 out of 53. Coming in 11th does not get you Top Ten, so no awards for today. Bummer.
I had to tell Skyy's owner that I could not ride him anymore. This makes me sad because we have come such a long way, but Skyy has broken my trust in him. The fact is that he didn't spook, and nothing was going on that could explain why he acted that way after warming up fine and trotting around the arena before his test without a problem. He just decided he didn't want to do it anymore, and the best way he could figure out how to make it stop was to buck me off. And by god, he was right. Unfortunately, it was a dirty move. The judge at B even said that to me, after he asked me if I was okay.
So, today I have utterly failed at what I set out to do. I am not feeling very good about my riding and am doubting my abilities. Now I know that at least a few of you will call "Hogwash!" on that, but let me explain. A better rider could have stayed on Skyy, or diffused the situation altogether. A better rider could have had a better ride on Albert today, despite the tenseness. And a better rider wouldn't be afraid to get back on Skyy again.
Tomorrow neither horse has a class. I will lunge both horses and will wait for Susan and my trainer to arrive at the show. Then we'll talk about what's going to happen on Friday and Saturday. For right now I'm going to try and have a decent night's sleep and try not to get too depressed about today. If I don't think about it then I won't get too upset. So that's just what I'll have to do.
SHN 2009 - Thursday Morning
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