Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't worry, I'm fine

Okay, I figured out what my problem was and why correcting him for that behavior bugged me so much. It had a whole bunch to do with me and my past experiences and blah, blah, blah... nobody wants to read about that. So- moving on.

Gwen bucked me off yesterday.

See, that's why I made that the title of the post. So you wouldn't immediately start worrying. I really am fine, just a few bruises, of which I'd have a lot fewer if it weren't for that *&%^$# western saddle!
Evil hunk of leather
All you western riders can say what you want about english saddles, but if you're coming out of an english saddle it lets go of you gracefully. If you're coming out of a western saddle, especially over the front, that %$^&;* thing decides it needs to get in a couple punches of its own. Ouch.

That mare can BUCK. I could take Gwennie on the road as inspiration for rodeo broncs everywhere; they would stand there and watch her in awe. I have not been bucked off in years, despite the efforts of many, because I somehow have the uncanny ability to stick through bucks. Not hers. That mare goes UP! and she keeps going. I stood up and dusted off and she was still bucking. It was impressive.

So what happened? I hopped on her in the pasture without locking up Rocky, that's what happened.

What's that? You want more detail? Well, we were having a grand 'ole time, Gwen really felt like moving yesterday so we ambled up the hill away from the herd and towards the barn. I was asking her for turns every once in a while. She was happy, I was happy, riding her walk is like riding on silk. It was great. And then Rocky decided to ruin the party. She came up while we were heading toward the barn. Gwen felt like she had to get away from Rocky, which meant going over the little stream and heading for the barn. I tried my darndest to get her headed away from that little stream, because I knew full well she'd jump it and if she jumped it she'd start bucking. When it's between me and Rocky, Rocky wins, so Gwen went over that little stream. She jumped it, started bucking, and I hit the dirt.

I did not get back on her. I know that breaks all the rules and that now she knows she can buck me off, etc., but I'll just have to see how that shakes out. She wasn't bucking to get me off, it was a reaction to how the saddle felt when she jumped. She really doesn't mind having me on her back, having me up there means she gets attention and treats, which is pretty cool. I also have never overstayed my welcome on her back, between those things I don't foresee bucking to be a big problem of hers.

Of course I could be wrong... As her punishment I pulled the tack off without giving her any praise or affection and then I got Coriander and did some groundwork with him right in front of her without giving her any treats or attention at all. He did great, btw, he's learning how to pick up his shoulders and not lean into circles.

Anyway, current game plan is to put the saddle up on her again and get her to do some more dynamic movement. I realized yesterday that she's never bucked with the saddle on and now I'm wishing she had, that way she wouldn't have been so surprised by the feeling. I'm also thinking it's time we learned how to ground drive, that would have helped a lot too. When I really needed control of her nose and hips I didn't have it. That was bad.

Oh yeah, and that *&^%&* Rocky is getting locked up from now on.


  1. Glad you're OK - do you use a back cinch? That could help (once she's used to it) in situations like this since the saddle can't move around as much. Luckily, when I came off Pie on Saturday, I was in my Kieffer dressage saddle and fell off clean, although I do have one ugly bruise on the inside of my right thigh that I expect was from hitting the pommel - but that's a lot better than hitting a saddle horn. Hope your bruising up isn't too bad.

  2. yikes! I'm glad you are okay! I HATE the way western saddles can put up a fight instead of letting you off easy. That damn horn scares the crap out of me!

  3. Hi Kate, good to see you up and around :)I don't know if you've found arnica but it helps a lot with bruising. I'm wearing a bunch of it right now.

    The back cinch might help but since I know so little about western saddles I'd probably screw it up and make things worse. I'm just counting the days until my Ansur arrives. Hopefully she'll be happy with it.

    goodtimetoreview: I don't even want to tell you about where the horn got me. It's an interesting place to be bruised, I can say that much.

  4. Come on, already! Is it in the air right now, horses bucking, riders coming off, respect gained and lost? Ditto to the others: so glad you'll be okay.

  5. Glad you are OK! I suspect I know exactly where the horn got you....I came very close myself to having a bruise in an interesting place when Gem bucked me off. :-) I was fortunate to only have a bruise from my knee up my thigh. Hope you can at least ice yours!!! :-)

  6. (this is in2paints) I can only remember being thrown once in a western saddle, and my horse launched me, so I cleared all parts of the saddle, but I've seen the damage they can do.

    I'm glad to hear you're okay!!

  7. I'm so glad you're ok! My, so many people having spills! It sure doesn't do anything for my own confidence LOL

    I admire you for being able to stay in an English saddle. One of the reasons I like western is because it seems to keep me in better if they do buck. Sorry it "bit" you on your way off, though!

    I bet you're right--she felt that saddle go up on the jump and it probably freaked her out. Sometimes it's good not to push something that isn't going right. As horse people we always want to work through stuff, and 98% of the time that's what we should do, but then there are those times when quitting really is the right thing to do. I think you did well here.....

  8. Ouch. Glad you're ok.

    I am TOO OLD to fall off, and so I don't like hearing about other people doing it!!!! Last time I sort of fell off, it was an emergency dismount, and I wound up with a torn rotator cuff or something, and it's taken months to heal due probably to my advancing years. Doing much better now thanks to acupuncturist.

    Saw the horn off. I met a woman who'd had a horn impale her. Not even kidding.

  9. Thanks everybody, I really am fine. Still too tender to sit in a saddle but there's tons of other things I can do :)

    I'll keep putting the western saddle on her but I'm not sure I'm going to sit in it again. There are other reasons I dislike it other than the bruises. Gwen goes pretty well in the bareback pad so I think I'll use that until the Ansur arrives. I was only using the saddle as extra stability for when she gets spooky anyway.

  10. I apologize if I cause offense to any western folks, but I have never sat in a western saddle that didn't hurt my bum. The last and only time I put a western saddle on my horse, he ran to the other side of the paddock when I came out to visit him the next day. That saddle is now collecting dust in my garage. ;)

    Glad to hear that you are okay. And thank you for following my blog!

  11. Glad you are okay but it's still scary to come off a bucking horse. When I've ridden in western saddles I've always had the feeling of being a little trapped by the saddle. I know that's not the case but it's a hard transition from english to western saddles, for me anyway. I'm not even that comfortable in a dressage saddle to tell the truth.
    Anyway, glad you're doing fine.

    My cousin who rides western had one hell of an accident one time. He got bucked in the air, came down squarely on the horn ( in between front and back ends) and split his pelvis. How's that for a freak accident. Ouch, it's one of the reasons I don't feel comfy riding western.

  12. Crapola!
    Sorry that happened! As you stated, thefurry oversite won't be the issue next time!

    I've gotten stuck in a Western before...scary! Glad you using your Arnica! That fall I took, off that stupid mounting thingie, the black is still there, but the pain-gonzo!

    Looked for your saddle the other day -took a your of ANSUR, backroom !

    It is not started yet, bareback it is...confidence starts soon! Believe it or not, I was afraid of my saddled...after riding bareback!