Well, I've been waiting for this day for awhile now. I knew it was only a matter of time and in a weird way, was kind of looking forward to it. I knew it needed to happen for any number of reasons and just hoped I would be laughing after it happened.
I fell off. And while I wasn't laughing afterwards, I wasn't hurt (well, I reserve the right to whine). I haven't fallen off in forever - meaning I haven't fallen off in over 10 years. I hate to fall off; really, really hate to fall off. While I don't really think anybody enjoys it, I hate it so much I will do just about anything to stay on...anything. I should probably learn how to bail better as I came really close to Charlie's feet this go around. Now for the positives - I now know I can fall off and get back on again (more on that later) and I know Charlie is most likely going to stand there looking at me like I'm an idiot instead of running off (definitely a good thing). I will tell you it's a loooooong way down from a 17.1hh horse
Here's how it happened: things were going pretty well - I was doing our normal figure-8 routine and he seemed happy enough. I cantered to the right with no problem and then I changed directions and asked for a left-lead canter. Well, I never got the left lead (at least I don't think I did) - Charlie pretty much launched us into outer-space. I stayed on for a decent amount of time - I would have hung onto his ear if I thought that would have kept me in the tack. But in the end, I just couldn't reach his ear (I'm kidding before anybody tells me that's probably not such a brilliant idea) and hit the dirt. I'm pretty sure my shoulder hit first, then my hip. I did hit my head so I guess that means I have to suck it up and buy a new hat. What I'm most proud of though is I got back on. And not only did I get back on, I made him do several trot-canter to the left and the right. I finished up with some more trot work - basically, I rode for another 15 minutes or so.
I'm not really sure what set him off. I have my suspicions and I think most of the blame falls on me (big surprise) although, I don't necessarily agree with his reaction. I'm not going to over-analyze it here (I've done enough of that in my head). Let's just say my trip to Southern Pines couldn't come at a better time.
I did ride today and we jumped. I just tried to make it a fun, fight-free ride. Basically, he got to run around looking like a giraffe. I just wanted him forward and off his forehand. Mission accomplished. I did some grid work - bounces and bounce to a one-stride.
The trailer is all packed - it's crazy how much junk Charlie has. Good thing nobody is coming with us. I leave tomorrow after clinical. I'm keeping my fingers crossed I get out a little early so I don't get caught in Charlotte traffic!