Saturday, November 26, 2011

Spooky? I think not.

So, yesterday after Chels and I got back from riding, she accidentally startled Orion with her bright orange hunting vest by swinging it around while I was partially obstructing his view.  I was standing between her and his head, and he was eating (which seems to take all his attention).  He jerked his head up and peered over my shoulder at her for a minute before going back to his dinner.

Not having been around him as much as I have recently, she thought that it had spooked him.  To prove that she had just taken him by surprise and that he wasn't actually scared of the vest, I first tossed one of his green fleece leg wraps around his face a few times after unwrapping his legs.  He just stood there and stared at me with his head half lowered, like "Really woman?"

After I was satisfied that he was fine, I called her out of the barn and repeated the little exercise.  Then, to prove once and for all that there wasn't a problem with the hunting vest, I grabbed mine from the lawn chair I'd draped it on and tossed it on his face.  If I'd thought it would even slightly freak him out, I wouldn't have done it, but I know he doesn't freak out about just about anything.  True to form, he stood and gave me the same "Really?" look.  Then he went back to eating, the vest hanging from one ear.



You can kind of see his winter fuzziness in that last picture.  I love it. :)  I love his sleek normal coat too, but his fuzz is even softer than that (which is unbelievable to me; he was super soft to begin with - corn oil in his diet works wonders).  

Photo courtesy of Liz

This morning I went riding with Liz on a couple of ponies (above is me on Nanny, a Welsh pony).  This little thing was a spitfire.  She shocked the crap out of me.  As soon as we were in an open field (on our way to the rail trail), she started testing me, prancing, going the opposite direction from where I was guiding her, stomping, tossing her head, and eventually throwing in a couple of bucks....which tossed me to the ground.  My initial reaction upon hopping to my feet was "Did that really just happen?"  She's tiny!  Granted, my seat sucked at the beginning of the ride (it's something I've been working on, and it was better by the end, but at this point it wasn't great), so I wasn't very secure.  

After getting back on, I finally fought her over to the trail.  Once to the entrance, she stopped and started acting up again when I tried to get her moving forward.  She threw a tiny buck and I smacked her on the neck.  She stopped.  I clucked again and she tossed her head and started to turn around to go the opposite way.  Smack again.  By this time I was beyond frustrated.  After the second smack though, she must have figured out I wasn't messing around, because she listened fairly well the rest of the ride...until Liz and her pony ran on ahead.  

I was to hold Nanny back, and I was trying.  I really was.  She started trotting, and I was like "Okay, I'm fine with this, but let's not canter because it will be harder to pull her up if she gets too eager."  Not that that mattered at all.  Even pulling her back to a walk from a trot didn't work.  She just kept going faster faster faster, until she was galloping.  I have never galloped before.  My fastest has been a canter.  And remember I'm working on my seat?  All of that ended up going out the window at that point.  I was just trying to stay on and slow her down, but Nanny wanted to be with her friend and ignored me.  So right as I got almost to Liz, I lost a stirrup and started to pitch forward.  The only thing I could think to do was grab Nanny's neck (it's small enough that I can wrap both arms around it), but all that did was make me slip around her neck and I ended up on the ground.  I'm not sure if I was in front of or beside her; I just know I hit the ground, my helmet and several layers of clothing protected me, and she ran on past.  I thankfully didn't get stepped on, but I was shaken up. 

After making sure I was okay, Liz took off to catch Nanny.  She didn't get too far. I meanwhile experienced the effects of the huge adrenaline rush I had just had and had to sit down.  Holy crap.  I felt like I was going to throw up, and I couldn't stop shaking.  I was kind of mad at myself because I knew I was fine, but I couldn't make the reaction to what had just happened stop.  

Liz came back and put her NSP skills to use by doing a check over on me.  As I had thought, everything was fine.  Just a couple bruises and scrapes and shaken up.

After sitting for a few minutes until the nausea passed, I got back on and we walked the rest of the way back.

So, I experienced my first "epic" fall.  According to Liz, that's what it was. lol

The only thing I got from it was a scraped and swollen knee and some banged up fingers and a bruise on my right hip from where I landed.  Fun stuff.  Nothing serious though.  

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All in all, this break has been pretty awesome, and I'm sad to be going back to school.  Only another 2 1/2 weeks though, and I'll be back for a month for Christmas break.  More family and Ethan and horse time then. :)