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|
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.