The good, the bad, the terrifying

Had my dressage semi-private lesson last night, as per usual, and I was kind of riding on a high from my one last week–it was so cool and Oats was being great, and just..ahhh…

fancy dressage Oats

fancy dressage Oats

And was last night the same floating-on-air feeling?

Well, not quite. But not in the ways you’re thinking- Oats was a little snippier about following direction, in his usual ways: wanting to pull down/yank the reins, hopping and anticipating, having a bit of ‘energy’ when I was asking for a good contact trot and he was trying to strike off in canter…

That’s all fine and good, not a problem. But the anticipating was kiiiind of wigging me out. We sorted it out fine enough and I was pleased with his attempt to try.

So what went so wrong in the lesson? At first, nothing~

We got a pretty reasonable haunches in, and then haunches out, for Oats. I mean, he was still trying to go horizontal, and then too vertical, but hey, he is TRYING! YAY!

We then worked on some deep bend, and then deep contact, and leg yielding at the walk, then trot- going back to walk when he got fussy about contact. He did get pretty fussy, and a bit hoppy. This made me anxious, and I kind of started reverting back to my ancient fears…

And then…

My riding partner was having a heck of a time with her mare. Things just didn’t seem to be going well, and they stayed on a circle to work while Oats and I were doing the leg-yields, etc. Oats and I were at one end of the ring, when her horse, Chanel REARED STRAIGHT UP!

It was horrifying.

She jumped off the back of the horse and kind of landed on her butt/back. She was ok. The horse just stood there.

I was just in shock.

That is probably the most dangerous thing I have ever seen- other than when Jim lost his shit and galloped/bolted and bucked super high.

I immediately wanted to get off, to not ride, and to scrape that image off my retinas, where they were permanently seared- to say nothing of what kind of fantastical disaster-scenarios have been running in my brain lately!

They got back on, and the rest of their lesson was conducted with a longe whip in Karen’s hand- appropriately so.

My lesson also continued, and it was very non-dramatic. We worked up to canter transitions from our leg yields with less hissy fits from Oats, and then got a fairly nice, forward on-the-contact trot to end. It was nice, and he was a good partner.

So, alls well that ends well, right?

Well, for me- I am having problems letting these incidents go in my head. When I ride, I replay potential disaster scenarios- I can barely manage to stop from envisioning them! When I run through my jump sessions, I am VERY careful to make sure they are good, nice scenarios. But when I’m actually riding, other things creep in…

Because lately it seems to me like there are a lot of accidents:

  • My mom breaking her arm on Oats- a freak thing
  • Older lady at the barn falling off a horse she probably shouldn’t have been on and breaking her collarbone and rib- in Aug.
  • Nov- same older lady then falls off her horse and lands on her feet, and breaks her leg so severely it will be next year-this time- before she can do anything!
  • A young mother get seriously injured on a hack with her horse this summer- and she’s been on the news a lot lately, in an sad insurance fight. I tangentially know her.
  • Nicole got bucked off last week and broke a rib and got a concussion
  • And now, Chanel rears so high it looks like she could have flipped over in my lesson last night.

Just, these things are starting to add up in my head, and NOT in a good way. In a very anxiety- making way…

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2 thoughts on “The good, the bad, the terrifying

  1. I’m with you. Too many things going wrong, too many times, and tension will build. Ride easy for a while. Look at riders successfully handle narly situations, on video or what have you, it really helps! Then get back on 🙂

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  2. Yes! Oh man, it’s those thoughts that creep into your mind that can be the most persuasive. I’m very pleased to say that during this process of figuring things out, I’m still riding as well as I can, and working towards managing this strange anxiety stuff. It’s nice to hear I’m not alone in it too! 🙂

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