One of my favorite sayings is "What I said and what you heard weren't the same thing". This proves true repeatedly when you start learning to ride ... scratch that ... during your entire riding education. Its understandable when you think about it.
A rider is trying to coordinate their limbs (all 4 of them) and balance on a moving surface, while coordinating the horse's limbs, and trying to hear what their coach's instruction over their own struggle to breathe at the same time. It might be easier to juggle pitchforks and flaming torches while reciting Shakespeare, on a surfboard. So, a little mis-interpretation at the time is understandable.
The truly epic incidents tend to happen when your coach isn't there, you're riding independently and have had time to process.
One of these incidents was back when I had my first pony, the aforementioned 'perfect pony'. There were two instructions at work that day.
- If she does 'x', use your stick
- When you can't stop, point them at the wall. Then they'll stop.
You might be able to guess where some of this is going... stay with me.
Pony does 'x', I use stick. I don't remember what 'x' was. I do remember the acceleration underneath me, vividly. Pony shoots forward like the proverbial scalded cat.
Not good, need brakes.
Pony is galloping off with me indignantly, as she has taken great affront. So, I point her at the nearest piece of the fence line of the outdoor ring while riding in the (ever so classical and elegant) water skiing position.
Did you know that 'wall' and 'arena perimeter fence' don't mean the same thing to a pissed off pony mare?
|I mean, I still don't but then? Wow.|
Because I sure did when I felt her front feet lift off the ground to clear the arena fence line, which happened to be between 4' and 4'6" high. To this day, I still don't remember why I used my stick. I sure as hell remember picking myself up off the ground on the wrong side of the fence line uncertain how I got there, with my pony standing beside me inquisitively.
|The main difference? Mine jumped the whole damn fence, and I was a kid.|
Pain teaches ;)
|Again and again ... and again|