My First Fall Off Savanah, and Other News

I had a very lucky escape from injury the other day. I took Savanah for a bare back ride on the beach, our first ride on the beach since last fall. It was windy, snow was flying and she was VERY up for a trip to the beach. Maybe I should have taken all this into account and waited for a calmer day (or used a saddle), but the weather's been terrible, meaning the ring is too wet to ride, and Rogo needs to be lunged or ridden more regularly before I can take him out. He gets very excited outside the ring, meaning he needs more of it, but I have to do it safely.
I've ridden Savanah bare back a lot and feel pretty much as safe without a saddle as with one. She's broad and well balanced. I love riding her bare back - I feel such a connection and can work on my seat, not to mention having a nice heated seat :) So, off we went. It was fun, fun, fun. We did a big trot for a long way up the beach and it was nice to note that I can sit easily, since I still can't sit Rogo's trot a lot of the time (I think it will get better as he gets rounder). After that we rounded a point onto another small beach and had a great canter. Savanah was blowing and snorting and raring to go, so you'd think if there was going to be a problem I'd have it then. That part went really well though and I was grinning from ear to ear. I decided we'd done well and brought her back to a walk and turned for home. We always walk home because otherwise she hurries. Just as she turned she saw something that made her spook and I wasn't paying attention - we were walking safely home right? Off I went, but oddly, I went off in the direction of the spook - maybe because we were turning and I wasn't sitting over her center of gravity properly? Anyway, I went off and under her and she stepped on me. She's very big - a draft cross who truly shows her draft. Miraculously I wasn't badly hurt. I must have sunk into the sand some as she stepped on me, and she must have had lightening reflexes and shifted her weight off me. She completely froze in place and I was lying completely underneath her. I thought for sure I'd have broken ribs but I crawled out and realized I was just a little sore and shaken. There was a sandstone outcrop beside us and I led her over to it and she leaned into it to try to make mounting easier. I jumped on and we walked home. I think I have a guardian angel (the one who looks out for fools).
Honestly, the ride was so much fun until that happened that I don't even feel bad about it or regret it. I can't wait to go again. We've had Savanah for five years and it's my first fall off of her. She's very safe and it was just bad luck and probably bad judgement to go that day without a saddle. Oh yeah - a plug for helmets - I was wearing mine and hit my head on a rock hard enough that it hurt afterward, so I shudder to think of the damage that would have been done without a helmet. It's time to replace it.
Then, another story. My teacher Joan has had two Arabians, half brothers Razim and Fadin, that she's had since they were weanlings or yearlings. Razim died the other day with no warning. He was only seventeen. Fadin has never been separated from Razim in all his life. Joan asked if Dan (my Appaloosa) could come up and stay with Razim for awhile to keep him company, so we took him right up. Dan was wonderful - Fadim was on edge when we got there, but Dan was stabled beside him and stayed very calm. After being beside one another all night we turned them out together in the morning and they were instant friends - running and playing. We had made two piles of hay, but they just ate out of the same pile. That evening Dan went into Fadin's stall with him and they were in there eating together calmly and happily. I know this isn't safe and Doug went in and got him out right away ( I wasn't there but I guess they weren't expecting it), but it seems incredible to me that they could be so relaxed together so quickly. I don't know what we'll do longer term, but we won't worry about it for now.
Today my friend Lynn's daughter Jessie came over to try our saddles as she's shopping for saddles for her three horses. It was great to see her. She's a great rider and although only about 5 ft. (+?), she's backed and trained a 17.2 Swedish warm blood and several others too. She's in the process of training three warm bloods now and I think she does a great job. She may come back with her horse Elvis soon so we can ride together.
A final note - if you're following me and I'm not following you please send me a note. I read a lot of blogs from my google reader (highly recommend it) and really enjoy finding and reading new ones. I don't always comment, but I read and enjoy tons. Lately I find new followers aren't added in chronological order, so I can't tell who's new, I just see the number increase every so often.
Since it's going to snow tonight I won't feel too guilty that this post isn't the slow, medium and fast warm up and training bag of tricks that I need to organize and that I committed to in my last post. My business planning has me distracted :)


Anonymous said…
Ouch! Glad you we're hurt. Sounded like a great ride before the spooky.
typically i see people fall off in the direction of the spooky due to the way they have their head and neck aimed at the spooky thing and the rider and body give the same direction so you weren't riding improperly, just relaxed:)
OnTheBit said…
Yikes!!! You said ride on the beach and I was off day dreaming too though so I can't blame you!! I am glad that you are just sore in the end and nothing worse.
They can disappear right out from under you can't they - even the big girls. ;) SO glad you're okay and thank goodness you had your helmet on!!

My old borrowed mount Buckshot once spooked at a (very) fast moving vehicle that suddenly came up behind us on the beach, when the wind was in our ears... in the blink of an eye I was on the ground under him. I had an apple in my fanny pack - smashed flat as a pancake + a major bruise. Sand makes for a softer landing at least. :)
juliette said…
What a fabulous tale about a great ride and a not so great fall, but hooray - you are ok. Savanah must be some kind of horse, leaning in so you can remount!!! You sure are brave to be out there in the wind and snow on a wild beach when she is UP and cantering bareback!!! Wow! What an inspiration.

That is an equally great story about Dan comforting Joan's horse. How sad to have lost his brother and how happy that you guys shared your Dan so he could have a new friend!
achieve1dream said…
I've had that problem with the followers gadget too. You'd think it would let you know who the new ones were so you could check them out, but nooo lol.

I'm glad you were on sand and wearing a helmet. I hate falling off, but it happens so I'm glad you're okay. :)
Amy said…
I agree with preivious commenters that first it sounds so lovely to be riding down the beach and secondly you are so brave cantering down the beach bareback. I wish someone was there to take a picture. So glad you are ok and that Savanah is such a good girl.

I get to go ride on the beach in June in California. I CAN. NOT. WAIT! And you have it right outside your door. You're a lucky gal!
Annette said…
What a good girl Savanah is! She was careful with you, she froze, she helped you back up. I'm with you -- back at it. Nothing beats bareback on a comfy responsive well behaved horse. ...and on the beach! Oh my!!
Brittany said…
Thank goodness you didn't hurt yourself! Savanah sounds like a good horse, most horses would just keep running!
smazourek said…
Well if you're going to fall off then I think you picked the perfect spot. I'm glad you weren't hurt!

How wonderful that Dan could help Fadim through his loss. This is something I worry about a lot since mine have also been together since Gwen was born.
Sorry to hear you fell off but glad you weren't hurt badly. Good thing you were wearing your helmet. Freak accidents happen but I'm glad you had a great ride before your unscheduled dismount.

It's sad when one horse loses his best friend. Good that Dan could help Fadim feel better. Amazing they got along so well so fast. It's too bad you're so far away I'd have sent Sami, our little Arabian rescue, up there for as long as needed. He's a good companion.
Lexa said…
Ouch that sounds like it had to hurt. Happy to hear that you didn't break anything! And that's so sad about Fadim =[ I know that my dog Rio got super super depressed after our other dog Lobo died 2 years ago. He would just look out the window and howl. It was so depressing, even though we have another dog, Biscotti. We ended up just getting another puppy to distract Rio from the depression.
Rising Rainbow said…
I'm glad you were wearing your helmet. It does sound like you need to replace it after that kind of crack.

Nice to hear the two boys settled in so quickly together. That must take some stress off your friend.

I do all of my following in a reader. For some reason when I "follow" blogs it really messes with my reader so I had to undo them all. Now I just check everyone out in my reader. I follow a ton of blogs that way. Makes it nice when you can tell who has posted recently tool.
Dom said…
Glad you weren't hurt! Seems to be the week for falls. So so jealous of your bareback beach rides.
Rachel said…
I just shudder when I see people without helmets on a horse. My helmet kept me safe in a big fall and I'll never go without one again. I'm glad you and your girl were okay and no serious injuries.
Good on you Carol for riding bareback I remember those days and the great bareback rides galloping up the beach then having a big swim in the sea...I will have to try ride my warmblood bareback and see what she thinks think i might just keep it to the confines of a yard first though!!!! glad you didn't get hurt in the fall and great you still enjoyed the ride after that...
Jeni said…
Very glad you were not seriously hurt from that fall.

From your "tiny" comment on my post tonight... I'm at my lowest weight since pre-kids 19.5 years ago. 120 pounds, I believe that 54 or 55 Kg? I'm only 5 ft tall so 120 is perfect. Also Western seat size is different than Dressage seat size. My Wintec all purpose is 17 inch seat.
Carol said…
Thanks for the great feedback everyone.
Jeni, congratulations on your new saddle and seat size :)
Judi said…
Glad you weren't hurt and you had your helmet on. I'm a big advocate of helmets. I also ride small horses--much less distance from the ground!

I've been following your blog, and I don't believe you know it. I am a trail rider in Ohio with 2 Morabs.
Jan said…
Carol, I'm so glad you were okay after coming off of Savanah (and that you were wearing a helmet!). It is sad to hear about your friend's horse passing away. So nice that Dan connected nicely to the other horse. (I think horses can tell sometimes when their presence is needed. Once I told Buckshot about a new horse just joining his herd, and needing a horse friend. The next time I looked out at the herd, Buckshot and the new horse were hanging out side by side!)Good Dan!
allhorsestuff said… needing to catch up with YOU! WOW!

That Savanah is such a beaut!Love that she is wider for the bareback..I do not have that option with the TB matre I have. It is a gross feeeling of my two seat bones over her spine!

So happy that you were not hurt too! Your Protector Angles WERE there for you!I love the beach..and it did sound heavenly. Sometimes, we go out and it may nt be the right time or a good idea..but we just love to go out! She was so good for you after too...a redeemd ride after a fall.