And I broke my nose.
It was my first lesson back with ST and we were taking it kind of easy as my back has still been bothering me a bit from my last flying dismount/car accident. Henry and I were cantering around and going over a little pole on the ground. He took a huge flyer over the pole and a few strides after tripped and almost fell down, I lost my balance and he started bucking. Not good. I landed on my shoulder and rolled on my face/nose. I felt a pop. My nose started bleeding profusely.
ST said I rode the bucks really well but since I had lost my stirrup during the tripping/almost falling I really didn't have a hope of staying on.
I went into the bathroom and stuffed my nose with toilet paper and got back on. We trotted around from about 10/15 more minutes and then lunged him at the canter.
I still <3 him, even if he's trying to kill me
She has a few ideas about where this new behavior is coming from:
1) When I lose my balance and my legs bump him in a different spot it freaks him out (solution: more sacking out, patting him all over etc)
2) When he loses his balance his new go-to is bucking (solution: this might need to go to a cowboy who can ride the bucks out better than I can - I can't afford this solution at the moment but if a month goes by and we are still having trouble I will figure out a way to make it happen)
3) She also suggested incorporating more ground work and she's going to teach me to long-line him next week.
I have a few other ideas that may be contributing:
1) Henry's human is incredibly stressed out. It's just been a really tough month for a lot of reasons (namely real estate, car accident, other falls, Apollo/trainer stress, work stress blah blah blah). I think he can sense that I'm not really myself at the moment. (solution: ?)
2) Pain somewhere? There have been lots of new horses arriving lately (including Apollo, who just got home on Thursday) and Henry has come in with a lot of bumps and bruises. He hasn't quite felt 100% either. (solution: he has a bodyworker appt on Thursday and I'm going to arrange having the flocking of his saddle re-adjusted as he is really growing and filling out.)
3) Inconsistent riding schedule. I have been doing my best but as mentioned previously it's been a challenge to put regular rides on him (solution: I have reached out to a friend who is a fantastic rider and is currently horseless to ask if she can help putting some rides on him, she knows ST and I thought maybe if I paid for an ST lesson she could ride him in that and then maybe another ride during the week... details to be sorted. Two rides a week from a better rider than me would be a huge help for both of us.)
4) This isn't really a contributing factor but I think doing some more core exercises would help me sit bucks/unbalanced situations better so I will be adding that into my life routine.
Sir pounce is always relevant
So because my nose is broken the doctor recommended that I take a week off from riding. My fracture is not displaced so if I let it set for a week it should heal normally (and straight!) without a reset or surgery. The doctor also felt that if I hit my nose hard enough to break it I should also be on concussion protocol. I feel like most of the force was absorbed by my shoulder and nose but I have been a little dizzy since I hit the dirt so better safe than sorry.
Hope to be doing more of this soon!
This has been a big blow to my confidence as I'd been having so much fun riding Henry and for once was actually enjoying jumping. But I'm hoping with my ideas listed above we will get on the right track soon.
What is your post-fall protocol? Any tips for me for getting my confidence back and managing this kind of young horse behavior? I also would love any groundwork suggestions :)