We've all had those days. Days where we show up ready to go and get in the ring only to find ourselves not riding our best, or our horse is having an off day. I had one such day last week, My horse stumbled really hard after a jump. The vertical at the front of a 5 stride line in front of the judge. Stumbling is highly unusual for him, and can anyone actually be prepared for that sort of thing?
He nearly face planted when he tripped on landing from the vertical, unseating me in the process- you know the kind of gymnastics where you hear everyone ringside gasp in horror? As I'm barely hanging off his right side this sweet boy does not miss a beat and is loping down to the oxer. I'm struggling to get my reins, I'm telling him verbally NO, Oliver, WAIT, I'm Not......! We are now at stride 3 of 5 and I'm considering do I bail out, try to jump while performing feats of acrobatics over a 3' oxer.
When this amazing unicorn still measuring his step loping on down to that oxer politely steps under me and throws me back in the tack with his neck. (You can literally see my left foot, heel and spur above my saddle at one point in the video.) Just in time for me to grab my reins and take the oxer minus one stirrup as if nothing had happened ( he was not having the idea of making a circle when the distance was right there...SMH) - What can you do? I just smiled and laughed around the corner and kept going trying to pretend nothing happened.
Upon finishing the course I broke to the walk, gave him a big pat and gave everyone ring side a big smile with 2 thumbs up, which was met with a hearty round of laughter and applause. The hunters are stiff enough as it is, I've already blown the trip, why not have a little fun and lighten the mood? After a quick check, he was fine and I took him back to his stall where he was treated like a greek god for the rest of the day. I'm pretty sure we are both getting a chiro visits and a few days off before we come back to try it again.
In the meantime, I created this fun meme of extra curricular ribbons that the judges would probably like to have on hand for those moments where we find ourselves making the hunter ring exciting again - for the wrong reasons. :)