Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SHN 2009 - Wednesday

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


Horseypants said...

Dressage Mom, I've been watching your videos for a while. When I try to improve myself, the image of you pops into my head to help me. But that is beside the point. Before you get depressed, remember you said it yourself..."a better rider." Today you ARE a better rider because of this experience. You are not the best. Few can ever say that. But you were good enough to get to Nationals in the first place, good enough to place 3rd on Albert the day before, and good enough to get on him again after being dumped by a horse that we all know has issues. As for not riding said horse, that has nothing to do with being a better rider--that's just common sense.

haffiegirl said...

OMG, I am so sorry you got bucked off today. That was a really nasty bucking fit, and I wouldn't have stayed on half as long as you. In fact, my dear sweet Nico bucked me off from a gallop last month and it just took one big buck for me to hit the dirt. Ouch. I feel your physical pain. Fortunately I only had two witnesses to my disaster, so there wasn't much embarrassment to deal with. But, really, I think you did a nice job of doing what you could with a naughty horse. I think even if you could have held on for a few more bucks he wouldn't have stopped until you came off. From the video it looks as if the bucking is escalating with each stride.

I can understand that you don't want to ride Skyy anymore. I sold my young horse as a teenager because he bolted on me just one too many times and riding him was no longer fun - intead it gave me constant anxiety and fear. Riding should be fun. And when you don't feel safe, it's not really fun anymore.

Hang in there, and don't forget to take some ibuprofen tonight to see if you can stay ahead of the muscle soreness. It's amazing how much more it hurts to fall off as an adult!

Heather said...

When we get bucked off, we all doubt our abilities. We all know that, yes, a better rider could have stayed on (maybe, those were some pretty broncy bucks!). However, we are not perfect riders. We all have a long way to go. That does not mean that you should doubt your riding. Think about how well your other rides went. 10th and 11th out of 40-50 riders should say something great to you.

Nothing with horses is ever easy.

Leah said...

That sucks!

But still 11/53 is pretty freak'in good!

I hope you feel better tomorrow :)

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear Skyy turned on you. Let me tell you, and I know your trainer will say the same, that you rode him EXTREEMLY well. You dd everything you could to keep him going and not getting tense when he was being a pig. He decided that under no circumstances were you going to win that battle and he was going to do everything in his power to get you off. You didn't come off the first time, so he got dirty on you.

I applaud you for not getting back on. This is a horse that has gotten it in his mind that you are not going to make him do anything he doesn't want to do, no matter what. I'm glad you are not getting back on. You're lucky he didn't hurt you. I'm so glad your ok.

I hope you aren't too sore tomorrow and have great rides on Bert. 11th is still pretty awesome and I can see how you would still be a little shaken up and apprehensive. Congratulations on your two good rides with him!!

Suzie (Echo) said...

You have done so much with Skyy - look back at the videos when you first started riding him, in comparison to now - you've done an amazing job!
But you shouldn't feel bad about deciding not to ride him - he isn't your horse, so ultimately you don't have to - and you have a family who need you, so you can't afford to risk being thrown about like that. Anybody else in your position would do the same thing - it wouldn't be fair to yourself or to your girls if you tried to be a hero and 'ride it out'. I know you know all this anyway, but put your mind at rest - our instincts are what keep us safe when riding horses and your instinct was to not ride him anymore.

Beth said...

Wow. That was nasty, but way to stick it. The first buck at the beginning of the test was pretty wicked too.

I wouldnt blame you about not wanting to get back on.

Lisa P said...

Don't be hard on yourself. You rode great and he got really nasty at the end. Remember all the hard work that you had put into him in a good way. You have a lot of dedication that is to be admired. I don't think that you should feel bad about not riding him anymore. I think that is a wise decision. The video shows his determination to get you off his back!

Anonymous said...

I obviously don't know the horse and I wasn't there but I think that you have to realize that sometimes a horse has a bad day. Sure he warmed up great and he looked good in parts of the ride as well- you could tell that he was feeling a little full of himself but he's a horse- he's going to do crazy stuff every once in a while- not because he's suddenly turned on you. I agree with the first post- even awesome riders get dumped every once in a while. You shouldn't beat yourself up over that, or think that Skyy has gone mental. I will say this though, when a horse does buck someone off and then gets taken back to the stalls with no repercussion (whether it's lunging, hoping back on and schooling, or even just some ground work of "that's incredibly rude now back up and move around a bit") That was my only thought of what I would do differently. And it's true- ultimately its not your horse and you can decide whether or not to ride. I admire your hard work and dedication to both of these horses that you saw potential in and worked towards a goal with- you made it to Nationals while being a working mom. You not only made it, you are doing well. You are an inspiration to me as well as many others, I am sure.

FlyingHorse2 said...

I know it's already been said, but remember and reassure yourself that you are a better rider today. If nothing else you can believe that old adage that you aren't a rider until you've had dirt for dessert! Chin up, you look great! Better day tomorrow and all those cliches! Forward into tomorrow, focus today and learn from yesterdays!

Fran said...

Wow, I got to say that I thought it was an awesome ride, buck or no buck. Maybe I was impressed how well you continued even if he's having his hissy fit. I was impressed and think you ARE a better rider because of what I saw.

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