Well, the fates delivered.
I missed a couple days, so Theo whinnied and cantered up to the gate when he saw me. He missed me!
Clutzy dork, but so cute
He also managed to give himself another scrape. Of course he did, we have a show in less than two weeks. It's very minor, but after the last one? I'm doing everything to keep it clean and infection free.
My lesson was great. I went down in my dressage gear for my first private in August, getting back into the grind. We've been starting to work on the concept of half steps. Of course, since neither Theo nor I have ever attempted anything like this, it's slow going. Right now we're working on the basic idea of me being able to tell him to either step over two poles set close together or step between them. This takes a ridiculous amount of awareness and body control for both of us. We've been teaching him just to reach out and step over both poles rather than always stepping between them. That was step one. Today we started working on having him step between with just his right hind on some passes and completely step over on others.
It's hard. So, so hard. It's going to take months to get this. But I think it will completely change the way I ride if I can consciously control how big of a step he takes with each leg and he learns that he can have energy that goes up as well as forward. Trainer A was very happy to see him stop his forward by lifting his hind leg up for the first time today. It was just one time, but hey, that's a start.
Then we jumped around a bit to make Theo happy. As usual, he bombed about happy as a clam, popping over the 2'3" fences like they weren't there while I tried to not hurt myself on my dressage saddle. But it was worth it, he was so relaxed and happy at the end of our ride.
My water bottle was sitting next to a coffee mug in the corner. Trainer A offered to grab it for me, but I said no, we've been practicing. I went over, hooked it with my whip, and started to haul it in. Theo reached over and gave the mug a sniff. And a shove. He knocked it over, spilling the contents. I lost my grip on my water bottle. One of the two knocked off a picture frame and some papers. I was hanging way off to the right and Theo shied to the left, like he always does. There was no chance of me recovering.
About the same time I heard Trainer A say 'sit up!', I was already abandoning my stirrup and letting go. Me hanging that far off the side was freaking Theo out. Safer to just fall. I landed on my ass, right on my phone. That's going to be an interesting bruise.
But on the bright side, it was the best kind of fall. It was controlled, I chose to let go, and there was pretty much no forward momentum. I apologized to Theo as soon as I was up. I didn't mean to give him a fright by hanging off his side. He was rather displeased by the whole situation with me ending up on the ground, but he was perfectly happy to accept my apology and it was like nothing had happened when I hopped back on a minute later.
I don't always take selfies, but when I do, it's to show off my bleeding elbow after falling off my horse for a dumb reason
After every fall, I get an ice cream. It's a rule.
Butterscotch soft serve!
I'm actually quite thrilled. I was feeling over due and falling off in such a controlled, non-traumatic way makes me feel better. I fall off about once a year and now I'm set for another year! It wasn't likely I could pull off landing on my feet two times in a row, so at least I knocked off another minor, actually pretty darn funny fall. I don't think Trainer A was expecting me to be so pleased to fall off. I mean, I don't want to fall off, but if it's going to happen, this is the best way. My head didn't even touch the dirt.
So now I'm sitting with a heating pad on my butt. The bruise is already starting to show and it's exactly the size and shape of my phone. But my phone is fine, so I officially recommend Samsung phones. They are tough.
Tomorrow's lesson is going to be hilarious when I try to sit my bruised butt in my saddle.