This flows perfectly from yesterday’s post. Over all the years, miles and reckless galloping over hill and dale with my Aunt and Uncle I never fell off. Not one single time in over 5,000 miles of riding out in the world. Amazing really and a testament to the horses the purchased for me to ride.
The came Gemmie. Oh Gemmie. I can’t recall the exact first fall I had. There have been so very many with her. Getting dumped was nearly a daily occurrence in the beginning. Hell, I fell off during the 30 mile Ride and Tie Championships last fall.
While I can’t remember the first one, mostly because it wasn’t very memorable likely occurring in the indoor arena in OH during a regular evening trying to ride her, I can remember quite a few of the ones that followed.
There was the time the “trainer” at the training barn I had Gem at was teaching me a lesson with jumps included (why she thought a rider/horse team who couldn’t even walk safely was cleared to jump I will never know) and kept jacking up the jump every time we cleared it and circled to come again. The last time it was made into a wide oxer at 3’ and since I wasn’t such a wimp back then I tried it. And was lawn darted to the other side.
My first LD, I was adopted by a group of three women who were very experienced. Gem and I did pretty well and hung in with them throughout. In fact, we ended up finishing 8th. At mile 21 Gem waited while I posted up (too high and with questionable balance at this point in the ride) and took the opportunity to duck down and to the right. I landed on my feet on the ground.
My first 50. I was nervous and the start sucked. We began on a paved driveway covered in loose gravel with a 15% downhill grade that last 100 yards and ended in a 90 degree left turn onto single track in the woods. The ride manager stood at the turn in bright yellow and a flag in her hand to make sure everyone made the turn. Sounds like the perfect recipe for disaster. Gem was in fire breathing dragon mode and I was so scared she was going to take off down the hill and slip and fall. She kept it to a dull roar until she saw the flapping woman at the bottom and vaporized, reappearing about 50 feet away. I went flying off. Thankfully I wasn’t hurt beyond my pride having fallen off 100 yards from the start.
It’s been a wild ride, that’s for sure!