The last few weeks have passed so quickly, I have been trying to write this update for weeks! Thanks to Buddy on Sunday, I am currently nursing a hairline fracture in my left hip, gravel rash down my shoulder, arm and legs not to mention the bruising that is tarnishing my ego.
I was thinking back to when I first bought Buddy. I was in contact with someone that knew him in the life that bought him to me. When asked the question if there was any tips to catching my new evasive family member, I was informed “He’s just a brat. He has always been hard to catch”. I have watched this horse develop into something I question if they ever got to experience.A bit of love and attention seemed to be all that was needed.
Buddy has become the first horse at the gate, the horse that will canter across the paddock to see your face. Hold your hand out and his face will happily be in your palm. Buddy has come in leaps and bounds.
I’ve been trying to start Buddy on the barrel pattern for weeks. He was flat out refusing at the start, would just stand in the center of the pattern and buck or do these little jump rears. If Buddy could throw himself on the floor and scream, he would. When I first found Buddy, the first few rides we would have these kind of argument maybe between 10-15 times on a trail, now my odds are in my favor with only one or two tantrums.
Last weekend was a huge workout for Buddy ( As you can see from his unimpressed face below) and George, 26kms we rode, up and down hills with the fastest speed of 23.4kph. We went further than our normal trail ride, it was a beautiful day and I make terrible choices, We (I) decided was the day we go that little bit further. That little bit further resulted in us getting a little lost for a while and then the panic set in when we released we had at least an hour and 15mins till home, but only an hour left of daylight. That extra 15mins in the dark, with no lights would be the 15mins we would be riding along the very fine edge of a 100kph zone.
Some cars don’t respect the horses on the road in the middle of the day, let alone at night where you can hardly see us. We were so lucky and very grateful that we didn’t come across any cars during our sprint home in the dark.
While I have typed out my story from weekend’s past, I can’t help but smile. I don’t know when I will be able to get back in the saddle and that not knowing is killing me. Not for a second was it Buddy’s fault. He has been starting to really enjoy and becoming brilliant on a barrel pattern, picking up speed, finding his confidence in the turns. Being able to feel the progress and his love growing for it is incredible.
Nothing frustrates me more than a rider blaming the horse for these kinds of accidents. Saying the horse did the wrong thing. I believe as a rider, you should take blame where blame should be dealt. Buddy was on fire Sunday, every time around that pattern he was getting faster, stronger, his turns were getting better. All it sometimes takes is a mixture of things to go wrong simultaneously that create a bigger bang. My foot knocked the barrel, causing it to move and make a noise, at the same time a car with a trailer was going past making a lot of noise. All I remember is looking down and seeing my boot hit the barrel, then I remember being on the ground.
The above is not Buddy’s fault. He was just as shaken as I was. He was scared and acted accordingly. I’m not angry at Buddy. I managed to crawl but up in that saddle and take him for one more pattern at a walk. I am so scared to going back to having no confidence, I wasn’t going to let this be my decider.