Just when I thought I'd curbed my tendency to push my luck when things are going well, I pushed my luck. I've posted about wanting to energize Rogo at times. It comes and goes with him, but as he gets older and more experienced it's coming along. In my last post I reflected on lunging to energize him and get the forward trot he should be doing now (by the way - thanks for all the feedback). A few days ago I thought I'd hack out before schooling, as an energizing exercise. I usually do this after schooling, as he is still very green on the trail and I have to go by myself. As a matter of fact the one previous time I tried a hack before a ride in the ring I realized it was still a bad idea. Some how I forgot this. I additionally decided it would be a good idea to start on new routes - so - no warm up, first time on this route. Can you guess what happened?
Things went well at first. I headed to the beach, but on a little woods road instead of directly out the back gate. The trees are overgrown in one spot, and I had to lay down on his neck to get under them. This went okay on the way down, but as we got close to the beach he broke into a trot and wanted to canter before we even hit the sand. He isn't ready for me to let him go in the wild blue yonder, trust me. I got him back to a walk and decided he was energized enough :) and that we'd go home. Instead of going back the way he knows though, we went back the new way, i.e. laying down on his neck again when we got to the branches. This was too much for him. Isn't this a jockey position? He thought is was and BIG canter ensued. I couldn't sit up until we cleared the overhanging branches, so by then he had a good head of steam and was heading for a blind entry to the road about 50 feet away. Damn! Do I have shit for brains, or could this happen to anyone? (don't answer)
I remembered that I'd been taught to use my whole upper body to stop a horse in an emergency, not to just pull on the reins, so I threw my upper body back to put the weight into the reins - once, twice, three times - hard outside rein, on off with the inside, and we did a hopping turn onto the front lawn of the house and came to a halt. He wanted to run badly and I wondered for a second if he'd try to get rid of me to do it, but he didn't, God love him. I managed a very high stepping walk into the arena where we enjoyed a very forward ride! (By the way - I've read about and / or trained / tried all the techniques to stop a run away horse and this is the only one I'd trust trying. The one rein thing doesn't do it for me. I've been on a horse who galloped and bucked with his head pulled to me knee. My technique isn't for everyday, that's for sure, and on the downside could cause a rear.)
Doug got home a while later and when I told him where I went he blanched even before hearing about the near 'incident'. He was convinced I couldn't trust Rogo not to fall into the little ravine the road skirts. I say he's smarter than that :)Mom - if you're reading this it wasn't that bad.. Remember when you said how nice I looked riding by the window? :)