I hadn't fallen off a horse since 2009. I was due for a fall I guess. I fell off Phil today.
Let me say I'm fine. I'm bruised and I'm going to be REALLY sore, but I'm going to be okay. I was wearing my helmet and didn't hit my head. The most annoying thing was getting dirt in my eyes (which really sucks with contacts!).
Here's what happened. We were just warming up at the trot and as we approached the corner, Phil stumbled. At the moment that he was jamming his toe into the dirt, he spooked. Not having his feet firmly planted in the ground, he fell to his knees, and crammed his nose into the dirt just for good measure.
I had no chance to stay on. I went right over his shoulder and off the saddle to the left side, banging my inside right leg on the saddle on my way over and out. I landed on my right hip and back. Kinda hard. Nothing like a full body slam to make your day!
So then Phil was loose, and I had the wind knocked out of me. My friend Cindy was in the arena lunging her horse, and she said "Hey! Are you ok?!" I was making a really bad noise because I was trying to breathe and also tell her that I was fine. I got to my feet and was dreading trying to catch Phil. Then the most amazing thing happened. I called him and he trotted right up to me.
So this is a big deal. I can only assume that Phil has been punished for dumping riders in the past, and he was probably really scared about what would happen next. But, not having anyone else around that he trusted, he came to me. I got back on, and rode for another 30 minutes or so. He was tense, but really pretty good. But I didn't punish him at all. We just worked. Business as usual.
When I was grooming him after the ride he was all over me. Seriously, this horse has never ever been so affectionate to me. Trying to grab my clothes, rubbing my shoulders, neck, and back. I have to wonder if some wall between us was smashed down today. I really do hope so. I would love to continue growing the trust between us.
Yes, I'm very sore and bruised, but I still entered the schooling show on November 6th! Woohoo! I'm planning on doing a bunch of schooling shows this winter. We're making great progress on the connection issue. Maybe now we have made some progress on trust as well.
Right now though... ow!