Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sooner or Later

Horses: Sarah on Buster, Gee Whiz, Sport

It had to happen sooner or later....
Sarah fell off of her horse in her lesson last night.
(She's fine, by the way.)

I've seen it happen to several other girls. 

I knew it was only a matter of time.

Every adult rider I know has stories to tell of how and when and how many times they've fallen or been thrown from a horse.  I think that I was secretly (or not so secretly) wishing for Sarah to remain glued to her saddle forever...even though I knew that it had to happen sooner or later.

The last time anyone in her class fell, it was very dramatic.  Four riders in the ring.  Something spooked the horses.  Two horses took off running like mad and threw the girls right off their backs at high speed.  Those poor girls looked terrified.  

The girls landed in the dust on the side of the ring, got right back up, dusted themselves off, and got back on their horses.  That's the rule, you know.  They make the girls get right back on their horses.  No time to think about being scared.  Get right back on.

Sarah's fall was WAY less dramatic.  She was riding a horse named Sport (see the photo).  He's way smaller than the horse she usually rides.  Even now, after talking with Sarah and her instructor, we aren't sure what happened.  One minute she was trotting ON her horse and the very next second she was NOT on her horse.  I did not see her fall.  I looked away for that brief moment to help Nate with something.  When I looked up there was no one on her horse and everyone in the ring was just standing around.  

I asked some other parents what happened but no one could figure it out.  Did she slip?  Did Sport start to dart and lose her?  Did he spook?  No clue.  Her instructor helped her up, dusted her off, put her right back on her horse and carried on as usual.  Sarah had teary eyes for the first lap and then was back to normal.

I was anxious for her lesson to be over so I could check on my lady and get some answers.  Nothing.  She fell.  It was a fluke.  Sarah said that her horse made an unexpected move that threw her off balance and made her fall.  She thinks the horse behind her actually bit Sport (it happens), but we'll never know.  Her instructor said that Sarah is tough.  She handled it well -- didn't make a sound. 

I told Sarah that she's lucky.  If you're going to fall off of a horse, it might as well be while you are trotting on a pony instead of cantering on Buster!

So, today Sarah is a little bit sore but happy to have a new story to tell her friends at school.  She's already looking forward to her next lesson.

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