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Monday, 12 June 2017

Human Torpedo

Well my good luck continues!  I had my third flying dismount from Henry on Saturday.


And I broke my nose.










It was my first lesson back with ST and we were taking it kind of easy as my back has still been bothering me a bit from my last flying dismount/car accident.  Henry and I were cantering around and going over a little pole on the ground.  He took a huge flyer over the pole and a few strides after tripped and almost fell down, I lost my balance and he started bucking.  Not good.  I landed on my shoulder and rolled on my face/nose.  I felt a pop.  My nose started bleeding profusely.







 UGH :(








ST said I rode the bucks really well but since I had lost my stirrup during the tripping/almost falling I really didn't have a hope of staying on.



I went into the bathroom and stuffed my nose with toilet paper and got back on.  We trotted around from about 10/15 more minutes and then lunged him at the canter.










I still <3 him, even if he's trying to kill me









She has a few ideas about where this new behavior is coming from:



1) When I lose my balance and my legs bump him in a different spot it freaks him out (solution: more sacking out, patting him all over etc)



2) When he loses his balance his new go-to is bucking (solution: this might need to go to a cowboy who can ride the bucks out better than I can - I can't afford this solution at the moment but if a month goes by and we are still having trouble I will figure out a way to make it happen)



3) She also suggested incorporating more ground work and she's going to teach me to long-line him next week.   








I have a few other ideas that may be contributing:



1) Henry's human is incredibly stressed out.   It's just been a really tough month for a lot of reasons (namely real estate, car accident, other falls, Apollo/trainer stress, work stress blah blah blah). I think he can sense that I'm not really myself at the moment. (solution: ?)



2) Pain somewhere?  There have been lots of new horses arriving lately (including Apollo, who just got home on Thursday) and Henry has come in with a lot of bumps and bruises.  He hasn't quite felt 100% either.  (solution: he has a bodyworker appt on Thursday and I'm going to arrange having the flocking of his saddle re-adjusted as he is really growing and filling out.)



3) Inconsistent riding schedule.  I have been doing my best but as mentioned previously it's been a challenge to put regular rides on him (solution: I have reached out to a friend who is a fantastic rider and is currently horseless to ask if she can help putting some rides on him, she knows ST and I thought maybe if I paid for an ST lesson she could ride him in that and then maybe another ride during the week... details to be sorted.  Two rides a week from a better rider than me would be a huge help for both of us.)



4) This isn't really a contributing factor but I think doing some more core exercises would help me sit bucks/unbalanced situations better so I will be adding that into my life routine. 







Sir pounce is always relevant








So because my nose is broken the doctor recommended that I take a week off from riding.  My fracture is not displaced so if I let it set for a week it should heal normally (and straight!) without a reset or surgery.  The doctor also felt that if I hit my nose hard enough to break it I should also be on concussion protocol.  I feel like most of the force was absorbed by my shoulder and nose but I have been a little dizzy since I hit the dirt so better safe than sorry.






Hope to be doing more of this soon! 




 

This has been a big blow to my confidence as I'd been having so much fun riding Henry and for once was actually enjoying jumping.  But I'm hoping with my ideas listed above we will get on the right track soon.





What is your post-fall protocol?  Any tips for me for getting my confidence back and managing this kind of young horse behavior?  I also would love any groundwork suggestions :)




34 comments:

  1. Aw. I was hoping for some great news. Can ST not get on for a baby pregnancy warm up, or help with bucking situation?

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    1. Sadly no! Although he was actually pretty fantastic for the ride before and after. I might ask ST to hop on for me, that's a good idea :)

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    2. Acknowledge that was supposed to be pre. Damn autocorrrect

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    3. I knew what you meant ;)

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  2. So sorry for your struggles. If it helps at all, for a while I rode a green bean who bucked when he got off balance and was too on the forehand. He wasn't being dirty or mean, he was just green, not terribly strong, and it was his only means of 'rightening the ship' so to speak. Maybe Henry is going through something like that?

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    1. Thanks! Yeah that sounds very very similar to Henry. What did you do to correct it?

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  3. Hope your nose heals fast! Those plans sound smart. Also, maybe try and ride in nice harrowed arena dirt? A) It should mean Henry will trip less, and B) It always help my confidence if I know that if I do come off it won't be onto such a hard surface. Good luck!

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    1. Thanks me too, it actually isn't super noticeable which is nice... but omg it hurts so much. I've been riding inside only lately (softer footing) but it's not super even so I may harrow it myself in the near future. :)

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  4. aw i'm sorry :( in regards to your questions, my guess is that the answers to "getting your confidence back" and "managing that type of behavior" might be pretty distinct and different things. but it'll be tough to do either one successfully without also addressing the other. often when i start struggling with my horse when we start doing something new, i try to back it up a couple steps, simplify things, to see if i can figure out what holes might be there that cause so many issues when we work on new things. like, maybe if cantering a ground pole is creating some baby brain or balance difficulties for Henry, it might be that the canter itself needs more practice? idk. wishing you good luck tho!

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    1. Thanks yeah it sucks! We will definitely be returning to some basics and filling some holes. I think because he's been such a good sport so far we've moved through the cantering and onto the jumping a little quick for him, and we need to work more on our steering/balance/cooperation now. Thanks so much :)

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  5. :( Great plans. Yay for helmet & concussion protocol.

    Overall take your time, what ever that time is. Do what YOU feel comfortable with, no matter from whom or how well-intentioned the advice. Some times we need to open windows to the outside world. Sometimes we need to close the windows, tint those suckers black, and get on with our own sh*t. Ask me how I know.

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    1. Thank you, yes I will be taking my time to get this whole thing back on track. Some windows may need to be tinted haha :P

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  6. So frustrating! I hope when you get back on you find it hasn't set you back confidence-wise too much! Heal quickly!

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    1. Totally! I hope so too, curious how I will feel when I hop back on next week :)

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  7. But did you die?! LOL The falling protocol at my barn: Go to the hospital, or get back on.

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    1. I didn't! I did get back haha although maybe I should have gone to the hospital XD

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  8. Aww, I hope you're feeling better soon. As far as the confidence stuff - work on what feels easy until it's boring! If that means not jumping or trotting ground poles or walking out on the trail, that's great. I also find it helpful to tell my coach or whoever I'm riding with that I'm not feeling 100%. Normally it makes me feel better to put it out there and not be worried I'll get pushed too hard.

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    1. Thanks! I am curious what my confidence will feel like once I'm back in the tack next week. I'm really lucky that ST and Coach D are both really understanding when I'm in pain/freaked out so I think they will both provide some good support :)

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  9. Aww, that's terrible! I hope you heal up quickly. That kind of reaction is pretty common for a younger horse. It might be pretty boring, but just a few steps back doing lots more flat work will be your best bet. The more you two work on questions Henry can figure out the answer to, the more confident both of you will feel.

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    1. Yeah my nose hurts a lot haha! I think he's just not been getting enough work lately and has some leftover sassy energy, but I thought it was a good opportunity to get my saddle reflocked and have some bodywork done (just in case there is some pain).

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  10. Ugh, that's such a bummer! I hope you're feeling better soon. I'm guess the bucking/off balance issue might be because Henry could be growing and just having a hard time getting the parts in the right spot. I was also going to suggest having his back checked. I had one that would buck when his back hurt.
    It sounds like you have great plans to move forward and work on your troubles, so I don't have much to add. Maybe give him a little lunge before you ride in case there's any freshness hiding in there. Get it out on the lunge line so he's ready to work after that.
    Also, just like human adolescents, equine kids have to test boundaries too. Hopefully this phase won't last much longer so you can get back to having fun together!

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    1. Yeah I'm definitely covering the pain bases because I worried about that too (going to have a reflock and some bodywork). I want to make sure it's a training/baby sassiness issues and not a pain issue for sure. He is such a teenager right now haha!

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  11. I am so sorry for your nose! I hope that you heal quickly. The bucking when you lose the balance makes sense but is not easy to ride.

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    1. Thanks! It really hurts a lot, I'm surprised how much actually. Yeah it's tricky for sure! I think I'm going to install a neck strap haha

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  12. Wait a minute. You broke your nose and got back on and rode???? wow, you are WAY tougher than I am!!
    I guess for me after a fall I just take it easy the next time out and work on confidence building again. I'm so sorry!

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    1. I did yeah, I didn't know for sure that it was broken at that moment...just thought it was bleeding! I'm curious what my confidence level will be once I'm back in the tack next week... fingers crossed :)

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  13. Damn girl. Admirable tenacity! When Grif has gone through his "baby brain" issues, I tend to just work his ass on the ground awhile. Usually this progresses through liberty work in the round pen (we have a LOT of experience and history doing this) and then progresses to work in side reins and then ground driving if he's being a particular shithead (the ground driving helps me revisit the "scene of the crime" for wherever he misbehaved last time. When we have had jumping issues, I've made a point of spending a lot of time lunging him over jumps and jump grids so that he's super bored with them and has no excuse to be upset over the same/similar things in the future. Getting your confidence back during all of this is a little harder, but hopefully the copious ground work will help you gain trust back where you'd lost it.

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    1. Thanks! I kind of wish I rode better but I can't do much about that now. We will definitely be doing lots more on the ground! Thanks for the tips, will keep those in mind :)

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  14. Dang girl, you're a badass! Take care of your brain and it sounds like you've got lots of good plans going :)

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    1. Hahah thanks! I look like a badass right now sort of (I have a black eye).

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  15. Hey Kate! Good for you for getting back on! You'll get that pony tuned in with enough miles & then have an awesome bond as well:)

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  16. Sorry to hear about your nose and your unplanned dismount from Henry. Hope you feel better soon. Maybe Henry just isn't ready to move on to jumping right now. He might need to take a step back with what he knows and feels confident about. I'd start with some basic ground work like WTC, then maybe poles on the ground. Henry should feel he knows his job and what is expected of him before moving on to something new. If you don't think this line of training is for you then you should do what you feel comfortable with. I'm of the opinion that it's better to take it slow with training. The slower you go the faster you get where you want to be. Good luck.

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    1. Yeah we are definitely going back to basics for a bit :)

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