Girlehs Riding Experience - Fear or Stupidity
 By Padfoot   •   25th Jun 2010   •   2,655 views   •   10 comments
A local riding club was doing a half term free riding lesson. I jumped to the opportunity to join. Later that week I got my first ride. Beaming the whole way around as I just walked the horse, it was nothing at the time but I loved it. Walking around with the horse, whom was ironically named Toffee.

Two weeks later I was in riding lessons. I rode a cheeky grey pony. I was afraid of him because he bucked, reared, squealed, kicked and bit. He did everything in his power to get me off. I managed to stay on and asked if I could ride him in next weeks lesson. The next day I had pony club and I seen this stunning Palomino mare. I fell in love with her instantly, but she was one of the livery horses, so I moved on.

Riding ExperienceI went up the next week and rode a horse named Chico. Though the palomino mare wasn't in her usual stable. She was at the bottom. I ran down, going to her and giving her attention. Only then did I notice my dad. I squealed as he told me she was mine. My own horse! I tried to tack her up but she refused to take the bit, holding her head up high. She bit me when I reached up. I decided to move onto the saddle, nope. She kept breathing out. It took me and my dad three hours to tack up the mare, after which I slowly let her out of the stall. The mare burst into a canter with me struggling to hold onto her. I had to let go and away my mare galloping up the main road with her reins dangling. My dad and I ran after her, but we were too late. She jumped into her field, banging her leg into a metal gate, catching her reins on the lock. I cried as we were told she was lame, though luckily nothing serious. I couldn't ride my mare for six weeks. A few weeks later in September She pinned my father against the wall as the yard manager tried to clip her, I couldn't bare it. We had to sell her. She's was 22, not some three year old.

The person we brought her off took her back and a week later Chico was sold also. I'd lost both my horses. I continued with lessons, though I was riding a chestnut mare now, she was called Toffee and was an RDA horse (Royal Disabled Association). I'd spend time with her, help the disabled kids ride, keeping with her as much as I could. Some days I'd fall asleep on the ride home.

A month later my dad said he'd got me a horse to try out again. Standing at my five foot size I looked up gasping at the stunning grey, sixteen hand horse. I rode the stud around, no one had told me it was a head strong stallion, I rode him as I would of Toffee, though I couldn't be gentle. I squeeze and the horse would buck off into a canter. I spent half an hour of fear with the horse when my father asked if I wanted him, though it was a six year loan. I nodded slowly and we took Jerry home that night. I cried myself to sleep, my father wanted me to do everything at once. I couldn't do it. I spent two months with that stallion before I broke down into tears, My shoulders bruised, my confident gone. We had to give Jerry back. I told my dad I didn't want to do it any more. I didn't want to cope with being forced around. Though he pushed me back into public lessons. I had to do it. I stuck silently through my public lessons.

Four months had passed, another month and I would have been riding a year. My dad told me he'd found the perfect horse for me. I didn't want to do it. I wanted to quit riding. Nevertheless my father dragged me down to the yard that night. I glanced at the cherry bay gelding. I didn't want this. His owner Jane was there with her daughter Jess. I glanced at the pair telling myself to stop being so self centered. I said I'd give this Toffee a try. That Wednesday night we took him up to my yard, we brought my instructor over and she gave me a lesson on this lovely calm pony. He reminded me so much of the female toffee. I said I'd try him, so we took him on part loan. We left it till show season was in full swing before I began jumping him, having one lesson before jumping my pony for he first time. Throwing myself up his neck as we went over the 1'6-1'9 fences.

Horse Cross CountryAfter another month I moved onto cross country. With the August heat, I wasn't learning what I needed to do. I didn't know the course at all. Nevertheless, I mounted up on my pony and jumped the fence before falling back first onto concrete and wounding myself very seriously. I gasped for breath and forced myself back on. Only to fall off on the last fence, I did a summersault over him, landing on my ankle and hip. I screamed in pain and again forced myself to stand while my father just stood there smiling. A year of not falling and I fall off three times in one day. I refused to remount as I limped off, only to be rushed off in an ambulance, They put me on crutches and told me I was lucky I hadn't broken my spine.

I told my father I couldn't do it anymore, only then did he realize how much he had been pushing me. He put me in with a new riding instructor, who helped me cope with my fears. I began to work through the height of show jumps, and began competing again. I learned my O-so-perfect-pony wasn't perfect. He would refuse to load, we'd put his best mate in and nothing. Wouldn't go in. The amount of shows we missed, fractured elbows and injuries I received, I wasn't sure if this was worth it.

Only two years down the line did I find out why. The horse had a bad accident in the trailer. Though in my two years of having my pony, we had finally got him loading, his fears were almost gone as I was jumping 2'-2'3. I wasn't doing too bad.

It took me another few months to build up to 2'6. Though one bad refusal threw that idea out the window. He refused the large oxer, sending me flying over his head straight into the wooden poles. The force of it was that bad that one of the poles snapped in two. I was left with a concussion and a serious fracture on my left ankle and chip on my right. I was out of the saddle for 12 weeks, but the moment I was fit I was right back in the saddle. When September that year came around my good luck had ran out. I tried a cross country course and had three falls. First, back first onto concrete. Second, hip first into a telegraph pole. Third, head first into a metal water trough.

By the next year I was back into Cross Country again. The best one of my life. The start was classic, my angelic pony had returned, plodding around, half asleep. The two girls at the start looked at me, before asking "is your pony going to wake up", "yes" I answered politely while collecting my reins just before they ran the bell to begin. Toffee reared up straight onto his hind legs before bursting off into a gallop towards the first fence, doing a wonderful course full gallop most the way around the water jump. My pony doesn't like water, Toff tried to slam on the breaks pulling into a sitting position as he tried to refuse. I tapped him with the whip, screaming at him to get on before he finally went through, ending the course with the amazing jump out of the water before catering off innocently to his 16hh girlfriend.

That was only last September. Me and my Pony are now back up to 2'6 jumping. We did fall off a 2'6 Cross Country fence recently, but I got straight back in the saddle, unable to finish the course though I was happy that we got to the 10th fence. I'm competing again in two weeks time, though at 2'4. I'm not going to let anything knock my confidence. I've been through so much in the four years, yet I've come so far. Three years in having Toffee. I'm not giving up on him now.
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Stories      Horse News More From This Author:  Padfoot
i wish i could do that on trigga (galloping bareback) :P i did cantering before though
  Jun 25, 2010  •  1,815 views
It takes time and practice hunni, I'm sure you'll get there )
  Jun 25, 2010  •  2,159 views
Suffolk Rose Stables  
Wow. You have gone through a lot. Wish I made it half as far as you have. Been riding 12 years and never once been in a show ring. and Only had a trainer for about a year when I was in 2nd grade. I Wish you and your pony the best of luck!
  Jun 26, 2010  •  1,784 views
Suffolk Rose Stables  
Wow. You have gone through a lot. Wish I made it half as far as you have. Been riding 12 years and never once been in a show ring. and Only had a trainer for about a year when I was in 2nd grade. I Wish you and your pony the best of luck!
  Jun 26, 2010  •  1,784 views
Suffolk Rose Stables  
I wish i made it half as far as you have. I'v been riding for 12 years and never once been in a show. Only had 1 trainer back when I was in 2nd grade and it waas only for a year. But I did teach myself how to Jump. Making it to 2'6 myself. But teaching my horses what Jumps are wasn't fun.
I wish you are your pony the best of Luck!
  Jun 26, 2010  •  1,784 views
When I first started riding I was forced, As mentioned. Thats the only reason I have come so far hunni.
  Jul 1, 2010  •  2,159 views
WOW! You are brave and stubborn which is good! YEAH! You go girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE FUN AND DO YOUR BEST!!!!!!!!!!!
  Jul 1, 2010  •  1,802 views
Thanks Dreamer :) I'll be posting my latest show results up soon xx
  Jul 6, 2010  •  2,159 views
You have spirit which is something that a lot of people don't have.I hope your horse behaves.You don't want another trip to the hospitle.
  Jul 7, 2010  •  1,845 views
He was a good boy )
Even when I do fall off, a lot of the time it is my fault x
  Jul 9, 2010  •  2,159 views
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