Monday, September 20, 2010

New Footing and Whoops!

This past weekend a new riding area was used at the barn- a grassy area that is a hay pasture, which right now is just short grass. The plan is to make it into a reining arena. One section is marked off with overturned buckets at the corners. We used it on Saturday for the 1:30 class, and all the riders just trotted the perimeter once. Buckshot did fine.

On Sunday we used it for the reining clinic. As I rode Buckshot in a canter in one direction, we did okay, not great. As I brought him to a stop, he fell! His front feet went down, and then his hind feet, straight down, beneath me. I leaned back slightly, and then, immediately, he was back up. The reining trainer, sitting on his horse nearby, said uneven ground caused it. As I walked Buckshot to the side, he didn’t limp or seem hurt at all. A while later, after other riders had their turns, I rode him again, trying the canter to the right. It didn’t go very well. The trainer got on him and rode him – beautifully, and energetically, all around the large, grassy arena. Wow – look at how great Buckshot can do the canter! When a truly expert rider is on his back.

Maybe someday, I’ll be able to ride the canter like that. For now, I just have to work on the basics, and the aids, and be glad for small bits of improvement. Like last Wednesday, when we did some great cantering. But I guess that doesn’t happen all the time.

(And in the back of my mind, I still feel bad about his fall. Like I am working him too hard. But the trainer said it was due to the footing. He commented about the footing with other horses also, pointing out that sometimes short grass is slippery to their feet. When I later rode Buckshot again- he didn’t feel off at all. And the trainer rode him as well. He didn’t have any scratches on him, or swollen spots on his legs. But still, I wonder if he is sore today… My sweet horse…)


Grey Horse Matters said...

Grass can be slippery for them. And uneven footing can be a problem too. We have a horse(Blue) who has fallen down a few times in the past, it's not the footing or the grass, he just forgets where to put his legs when he gets going on his forehand and runs around unbalanced. We've been working on this for a long time and he's getting much better, but he sort of zones out and forgets to listen or he may just be ignoring the cues. He's a very strange horse.

I'm glad neither one of you was hurt. I'm sure with time and training you'll both do very well at the canter. Just think you could have Dusty who is really bad at this gait right now.

Story said...

I am so picky about footing! We have a huge outdoor ring and people always wonder why I insist on staying in the stuffy little dusty's about the footing. Dee hates bad footing too...she's a princess.

Glad to hear you both came out of that wreck in one piece. Things like that are so scary!

Carol said...

Seems to be the week for falling down. I'm so glad he wasn't hurt and you did really well to stay on. The footing sounds like the problem. Your canter is coming along very well. Buckshot sounds like a great horse.

juliette said...

Oh, poor Buckshot! I am glad you both are ok. Years ago, my mare fell with me at the canter on grass. The next week, she fell on my mom at the canter. My mom still has a messed up foot because of that fall. We kept her barefoot and the grass was just too slippery for her. I still have a fear in corners at the canter because of this experience. Hopefully your footing in this area will improve. Love up your sweet boy!