Saturday, 22 August 2009

Briwnant fun ride

Today was the Briwnant fun ride.  We arrived in good time to find Red in and groomed with Dee still out in the 12 acre field.  I went over to catch her, but found her reluctant to be caught.  I gently and quietly stayed with her until she permitted me to put on her headcollar.  She was still slow to come in with me however, and clearly not entirely sound.  Dee would not be going on the fun ride.

We decided in this case that I should go on the ride with Red.  Once we were assembled at the yard, ready to go, Red and Dee began to call to one another.  Although he was obviously excited, he seemed okay at first and walked out quietly enough through the first field.  The first part of the ride was a sort of cross country through the Briwnant fields with a few small jumps along the route.  The second part was to be around the Wenallt trail.

And so I discovered two things:
1. Red can jump... really jump...
2. when he is really excited he is too much horse for me.

We jumped the first three jumps—a single log, another single log and then a stack of three logs— without incident but I was already starting to realise that I was not really managing Red in this excited state. By the time we reached the next field I found myself riding a new Red that I had never experienced before.  He pranced and bucked and was pretty wild.  Apparently he looked quite magnificent performing a perfectly athletic, collected canter sideways as I tried to check him.  I hoped he would settle down as we carried on and took the route that avoided jumps for the next couple of fields and stayed with the slower riders. 

Then we came to the last jumps.  Here the choice was: to the right and a very small jump; through the centre and no jump; or to the left and a slightly higher jump.  It was still only 18ins – 2ft high.  Nicky on the herd leader Falcon, was taking the left hand jump and I had no choice but to allow Red to follow because there was no way I was going to succeed in taking him either of the other ways.  He took the jump too fast, too close to Falcon, and at an angle which meant he did a huge leap over this small jump.  He jumped it like a show jumper and I didn't stand a chance.  My treeless saddle isn't much more than a bareback pad which is great usually and how I like to ride, but I am not a good enough rider to take such a big jump and stay on, so Red and I parted company as he landed.  Fortunately the ground is quite soft there and I fell quite well, so I have not hurt myself.  I will probably find a few bruises tomorrow and I feel a bit stiff in my left shoulder.  They tell me that Red was quite upset that I had come off. 

I did not feel up to the rest of the ride as Red was so excited and I knew he was too much for me.  I'm so glad that it was me on him and not 'ö-Dzin.  I am not the fearless rider I used to be when I was younger, but I have ridden some pretty feisty horses in my time.  'ö-Dzin has no experience of such riding and may not have been able to hold Red even for as long as I had managed. 

We walked Red in circles whilst the rest of the ride carried on to help calm him, and then led him back to the arena.  I got back on at the arena and we walked him round a couple of times.  Everyone was very kind to me.  Red continued to call and be wound up until the rest of the ride returned and then he gradually settled down.

So there we are... not quite the 'fun' ride I had been looking forward to, but I think everyone else had a good ride.


lytha said...

wow, what an adventure. i am glad you survived that jumping accident. i am way too chicken to jump anymore. my horse is way too old to act like red did, but he does so anyway, often. much nicer to ride alone!

it takes the help of other people in situations like you were in, and i hate to ask for help. but people are usually nice about it, i find.

i thought it was interesting to read this post and the sidebar which says red is the laid back one!

°lytha in germany

Victoria Cummings said...

I'm sorry I've been away from blogging for a couple of weeks and only today am reading about your adventure. I'm so glad that you weren't hurt! Sounds like Red is feeling his oats. I wonder how he learned to love to jump and do it so well. Is that what he did before you got him?e