Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Third time's the.....charm????

So whoever made up the superstitious saying "things always happen in threes" is now my worse enemy. A couple weeks ago I flipped off Toga while running my mouth and not paying attention in a jump school. My fault for sure. Less than a week later I got bucked off and dragged - has anyone else ever gotten their foot stuck in the REINS?? I did and got pulled across the ring until I kicked my foot loose. Not ENTIRELY my fault... a few circumstances led to a snowball effect with the bucking. OK now I'm really sore, but even worse really nervous about when fall #3 was going to happen.

I've been hunting with Potomac Hunt this season. It's been about 27 years since I hunted regularly - I actually hunted for a living with Greenspring Valley Hounds. I was a groom for a few years and got to go out almost every time on members' horses. Good memories. This year I've been out with Potomac, and even though I've forgotten a few of the specific protocols (my "good afternoon" was met with "technically it's good morning" oops oh yeah) (you're not supposed to wear black gloves oops oh yeah) it's been a really fun time. There have been a few runs through really deep going that have made me cringe, but that's one of the hazards of hunting. Along with rocky going, cows (very scary), trappy jumps, holes, and wire. Yes, wire underground, on the ground, between trees - almost always nearly invisible. I don't think in my hunting past I ever had an encounter with wire. But yesterday I sure did. On one of the great runs we had, we crossed a stream and climbed up a pretty steep hill. I was behind probably 15 or 20 other horses, in the back of the first field. All of a sudden I saw a "branch" coming at my face and I put my hand up. The next thing I knew, I was being ripped (literally) off the back of my horse! This one definitely NOT my fault!! It happened so fast I really had no idea what was going on until I felt the barbed wire cutting my hand and tearing my britches. I let go of the mare (thank goodness) and she ran off, not far. When I stood up there was wire all around me, I had to pull it off. SOOOOOOOO scary, and the worse part was the mental image I had of this lovely mare with cuts all over her, as I imagined she would have. But once again I was lucky in that she had nothing but a scratch under her eye. NOTHING else. My clothes took the beating - shredded gloves, britches, tights, and my good hacking jacket (thanks, Candace, for reminding me it was ratcatcher and saving me from additional embarassment) was torn in a number of places. My hand is pretty cut up, a few scratches on my leg, and a bruised thigh I guess I hit a rock or something when I hit the ground. BUT all things considered I am one LUCKY person, it could have been so, so much worse. Off we went for another hour of running :)

The "charm"? Let's hope that was fall #3 and I'm DONE. All three falls were bad enough, but at least nothing broke, or was cut too badly. Now I'm not as nervous looking forward to my trip to NC next week, and the competitions I'll be doing there. Very very excited, actually - both my horses are ready, and they have been very very good in all the schools. Ari hasn't jumped xc in a while, but I don't think he'll have an issue. He's so eager to jump anything in front of him it's so cute. And Toga's flatwork is so much better than we left off I'm really psyched. I had his teeth done last week and he has ramps...not just regular ramps, but stees (I think that's what they're called) ramps, which are less common and a pain in the ass to deal with. PLUS he's parrot mouthed and this time he needed his front teeth filed down. But what a difference in his work afterward - very happy to flex, and very straight instead of the head tilt he's famous for. Can't wait!!!

I'll try to get on here and let everyone know how it's going in Southern Pines... in the meantime, ride your line and 'ware wire!