"In the life of every horseman occasions will arise when it is desirable or necessary to leave the saddle in a hurry and without formality. The problem is to achieve the fall without incurring more danger than is involved in staying on the horse. Unfortunately there is very little time to think out, much less apply, any kind of technique. The believers in learning to ride from a book will find themselves particularly handicapped—there is hardly sufficient time to turn to the right page of the manual."
~"How To Fall Off A Horse" (original publication 1962)
Good thing we never bought the book. Last week for her birthday, C'sa was treated by Abbie (Xena's beloved riding instructor) to a saddled ride on a miniature pony. When I say miniature, I am not kidding, This pony, "Dusty" is about three feet tall at his highest point, tops.
She rode him around the ring for quite awhile when K.Z. who was helping to lead her, accidentally kicked one of the jumps with the toe of his shoe, dislodging a pole, causing it to come crashing to the ground. For self preservation, Dusty took off (it is almost funny to see a miniature pony run that fast), leaving a very shaken, but unharmed C'sa on her bum, on the ground. She cried, had a sore bum for a little while but was just fine.
Today was Xena's next lesson. The pony (full size) she normally rides, "Ella", is on stall rest due to a cut on her hock (sounds like I have a clue, huh? I had to look it up when Abbie told me). So she rode a newer pony named, "Tucker". This is a really handsome painted pony. He is very gentle, but a shy horse. Abbie thinks he may not have been well cared for at his last home.
Xena shed her coat, popped on her helmet and did very well on him. Until she decided she was cold. She asked Abbie if she could get her jacket and Abbie brought it to her. Tucker decided that was not cool and got a little nervous. He took off and so did Xena. Right to the ground. Her helmet protected her head when she landed, but her back took the biggest brunt of the fall. Structurally she is fine, but she now knows how "road rash" feels!
My heart just about left my chest as I watched my girl take that tumble, but she was just fine. After a lot of crying and a quick trip to the pediatrician to have her back checked out she was her happy go lucky self again.
She's ready to get, "back in the saddle". Let's hope next time she stays there!