Monday, July 5, 2010

Fear

Dan (picture in right side bar) bucked his face off in the arena familiarization ride and the warm up when I took him to a show last summer. I don't know how I stayed on him. Who ever said to push them forward when they buck because they can't buck and go forward at the same time is out of touch with reality. Dan galloped, with his head pulled completely back almost to my knee, all the way across an arena, bucking and hopping like there was no tomorrow. Although he hadn't bucked in two years (and hasn't bucked since), I thought he'd reverted to bucking Dan. 
He'd had an exposed nerve on a tooth a couple of years before this and by the time I discovered what was causing the problem, after several bad episodes, I'd been knocked out (while wearing a helmet) and broken a rib from being bucked off on the beach. A vet, a trainer and a farrier all told me that he was just spoiled when I had them look at him to try to determine the problem during this time. Finally a dear friend called and said "I'm picking you both up and taking you to a clinic for problem horses before he really hurts you". I didn't even own a trailer at the time, so this was huge (thank you Lynn).
The clinician took 30 seconds to find the broken tooth and the two vets hosting the clinic confirmed it - the bit was hitting raw nerves. I could cry when I think about the pain he felt.
Anyway, I digress - the tooth got pulled, Dan has been fine since (used a hackamore for awhile), and I got my love of riding back. Until the show last summer when the crazy bucking started again. Damn. I was a nervous wreck for the show. I rode him through his classes, but I was afraid every second. To make a long story a tad shorter, when I got home I found a small sore in the girth area. I rode bare back for a couple of weeks and he's been fine since, but he broke out of his stall at his next show (screw on the latch was only in the wood 1/4 inch) and now I don't have a good feeling about shows, which I LOVED the summer before.
To be more specific, I now have a love / hate relationship with shows. I know how much fun they can be from the summer I showed Savanah, but now I can't help feel "what can go wrong next?". Fear has entered the picture. I didn't know the meaning of the word when I was younger so it isn't pleasant. Also, I sense it isn't okay to admit to this. Riders, good riders, are supposed to be confident and fearless, right?
Taking a young horse to his first show is a stretch for me. OMG, the pictures! I'll let a picture tell the story. My face in many pictures is  absolutely twisted  into "what is going to happen next?". Needless to say I deleted most of them :) Here's just one - I think Rogo looks gorgeous, but what up with that sour puss face on me? There were lots more like this :(. 
My next post is going to be about the upside of taking Rogo to his first show (euphoria! :)), but in the interest of honesty I had to post this first...

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