The Day I Became A "Real" Rider
It was a day like any other. I went for my riding lesson at Mane Stream. I don’t recall which season of the year it was, but we were doing the lesson in the indoor ring that day. The ring is relatively small so the turns were a little tight on the tall horse by the name of Waverly I was riding.
As we were trotting around the ring, Waverly tripped on his feet. He stopped. I kept going. In slow motion, I rolled over his neck head first. I put my head down and let my feet tumble over. I held tight onto the reins as if there was still a need to steer or otherwise control what the horse was doing.
I landed on my back on the dirt footing of the ring. I felt the back of my helmet hit the ground. I was still gripping the reins with my right hand so my arm was pulled up toward the horse because of the connection to the horse above me. I quickly realized I was not seriously hurt, but I took a minute to take inventory of my body. I was becoming afraid of where the horse’s feet were and what they were doing. Waverly seemed aware that he had dumped me on my back and was careful not to step on me.
As I lay flat on my back, my instructor looked a bit panic stricken. She ran over, knelt down next to me, got in my face, and asked if I was ok. I knew by then I was fine, so in the minute it took Jen to run over, I thought of a clever response to the question I knew was coming. When I saw Jen’s face up close, I said “Well, that was interesting.” She laughed a little, but I could tell she was quite scared that I was hurt. It really was interesting to fall off a tall horse and not get injured. The scariest part was when I was on the ground worrying about being stepped on by a 1200 lb. animal.
Jen and the volunteer who was working my lesson that day helped me to sit up slowly. I sat on the ground for several minutes to collect myself and make sure I wasn’t dizzy. It took some doing for Jen and the volunteer to help hoist me up onto my feet. I stood there in a psychic daze. I had just fallen off a huge animal, and I was fine. My lesson was over for the day.
Jen is an experienced, competitive rider as was the volunteer. They both let me know that this was the day I became a real rider, because until you have fallen off a horse, you’re not quite there, yet.