Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

When Murphy and Gravity team up bad things happen.

woohoo -- I cleaned up in Jeopardy today. Shakespeare category (ok so that's to be expected) AND got the final question. I almost never get the final question. Ok so yeah, it's the little things in life and happened while I was typing this so I figured I'd share :)

So yesterday N came and rode Sienna (makes her exactly the second person to ride her since I got her, and the first to do more than walk around :) And I have to say she did an absolutely amazing job!!! It was super-kewl to watch -- pony's looking pretty good. Seeing all was well and good I asked N if she wanted to jump (as if there was ever any doubt about the answer!). So she shortens up her stirrups making some comment about falling off while she did it -- not cause the horse was doing anything bad, but just to fall off for no apparent reason. Yeah we know what Murphy does when people make those sort of comments. Sheesh. Anyways -- I had warned N about Sienna's recent habit of stalling before the first few fences, and of course it was also her first jump in four months, so of course Si did *not* follow through on that and instead cleared their first fence (that was all of a foot off the ground) by an extra two feet easily. hahaha was pretty impressive. Even more impressive was that N stayed on w/ no apparent effort whatsoever. Anyways, after that Si chilled a little and began to jump like I normal horse and N started to get the hang of her so landings were slightly less ummm frantic and then the world got better and we could make the fence into something a little more worth jumping over. Anyways, they stopped pretty early cause ummm Sienna was tired, but I think both had fun. It was really well done all round and despite her threat N was not overwhelmed by gravity at any point.

So it turns out Murphy's a vindictive little bastard. He wasn't about to let that comment of N's go. So sure enough the next time that horse came in that ring the rider was destined to hit the ground for no apparent reason. And his good buddy Gravity was all too happy to help. Unfortunately for me, I was that rider. And it happened pretty well exactly as N described. Short version ends there. Long version follows.

I warmed up my horse and she was good. Started jumping her and she was brilliant. Working on the whole adjusting the stride thing over poles again (this time they were closer together and it took a couple more tries but we got there) and gymnastics (vert, one stride, cavelliti, one stride, oxer - 1st fence about 3', 3rd @ 3'3, striding set to approach at a trot). So we jumped the gymnastic a couple times reasonably well, always trying to refine etc. Si was being very quiet and jumping like an old school pony.

While we're riding there are two other horses in the ring. One ridden by a more novice rider lunging @ first and then later just walking/trotting around and the other ridden by quite an experienced rider who was planning on schooling a slightly lower version of the same gymnastic I was working on but was still warming up. So I went through the gymnastic, landing a few strides behind the experience rider who was cantering. All good -- lots of space, safe distance to land and turn, etc. Except that her horse objected to Sienna coming towards him at speed, so he tried to accelerate and his rider promptly parked him in the wall. All good and entirely appropriate, except that when she did so, he spun his hind end out so that *my* remaining choices were halt or run into them. So we halted. No problem. Sienna wasn't even remotely frazzled by it; I was quite proud of her actually.

So we go through the gymnastic again, I'm thinking if she does it well, we're done, and the other rider intentionally times it so we end up in the same position as last time as she's hoping to accustom her horse to other horses. No problem right? I know to turn a little tighter to leave extra space just-in-case and otherwise the world is good. She jumped it flawlessly. Our best line of the day. Perfectly in stride, dead straight, centered, knees up around ears, quiet. Couldn't've been any better. We land from the last fence and I'm grinning ear to ear from that line. Cool out and go home. Right? You remember my good friend Murphy? Sienna took one look at the other horse she was coming up behind, the horse who stopped abruptly last time, and spun out the other direction.

I was on the ground before I even realized what had happened. Usually when I come off I have time to think about life the universe and everything before Gravity wins. Today, I hadn't even clued in that something was wrong when I was brushing the dirt off. I'm not sure if she got me cause she was incredibly fast or if it was cause she caught me so completely by surprise. hahaha Picture those cartoons where the edge of the cliff drops out beneath the character and they float there for a second before Gravity does his thing.... Yeah I suspect that might be fairly accurate. I was sitting on my horse and then I was sitting on the ground and she was off to the side.

And Sienna was wandering off towards the barn. The door to which was open. "Sienna Stand!" -- yeah nobody was more stunned than I when she actually listened. hahaha stood at the open door between the arena and the barn and waited while I walked over and lead her back to the mounting box.

So even though her last line was perfect, we had to do it again. *sigh* And I wimped out and asked could the other horse please be anywhere *but* that location while we did it. hahaha So they stood still and the line went perfectly. Then they started working again and we did it a few more times with them in various locations and she was pretty good. Doesn't like when he's beside her, but otherwise was kewl. Suppose it's just as well I discovered that here and not in the warm-up ring at a show *g* Have to find more people to ride with so she gets used to passing and being passed. Is kewl with it at walk and trot, but cantering tends to be a little dodgy... Anyways -- other than the completely random and uncalled-for dismount it was actually an amazing ride.


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