So I should have known better than to go trail riding on my mare without lunging her first. Especially since the ground has been icy, so none of the horses were really able to run around even when turned out. She was alert and aware when we set off from the barn yesterday with Holly (another boarder) riding her mare Trendy. But even with birds, deer, dogs barking and bunnies literally coming up between her legs, she remained calm and just walked. We were a good 20-25 minute out on our ride when something, lord knows what because neither Holly or I ever saw anything, caused Jewel to do a nice rollback and then start bucking. The rollback got me a bit off balance, but when the bucking started, that was it for me. With Jewel’s help, I made it to the ground hitting my left side pretty hard. Thank goodness I always wear a helmet because I landed on my left hip, shoulder and side of my head. I felt like one of those football players who comes up with grass stuck in his helmet after a good tackle. That was me, except it was snow! Holly had some precarious moments as Trendy considered joining Jewel’s escapades, but she stayed on and got Trendy settled.
Jewel decided to head back to the barn, except that she got most of the way down the trail (bucking and snorting) and then turned around and galloped back. She did a few circles in the cut cornfield managing to get both her front legs inside the reins (but didn’t break them) before finally coming to a stop and letting me catch her. Unfortunately, at 16.2h, she’s just too big for me to get on from the ground. Or rather, I’m unpracticed at it as I always use a mounting block. So we headed back to the barn — both of us on foot. When we got back, although sore, I mounted up and we took a short ride around the neighboring hay field. This was more for the “fall off, get back on” theory than anything else. By the time we made it around that small field, the adrenaline had worn off and I was beginning to feel the soreness. With that, I left Holly and Trendy, who ventured back out to the corn fields where Jewel and I had parted ways. I untacked Jewel, turned her out and headed home for the comfort of the hotpad and ibuprofin.
I’m happy to report that I’m still sore, but feeling much better today. I might even ride this afternoon…but not before lunging my horse!