Have I ever mentioned that I don't like riding Western? If not, I DON'T LIKE RIDING WESTERN!!!! Just thought I'd throw that out there. And here's why:
So Saturday morning Colin and I decided that it would be a good idea to go ride Rocky (Laura's horse that I take care of on the weekends for those of you who know nothing of my life). By morning, I mean morning. We got up at 7am. (Well, he got up at 7, I was waked up at 7:20.) We piled into Bu (Laura's car) and hit the road. Low water bridge was flooded, so we took the scenic route. We got there, greeted Rocky, who was in his normal calm mood. Although he perked up once I started tacking him up. (Laura rides western, I think you may see where this is going.) I decided it would be a good idea to lounge him first. So Colin and I vainly tried to keep from getting dizzy as we watched Rocky run around us in circles. He kept spooking by this one tree (Rocky, not Colin), so I worked him through that. Then I asked him to canter. Now I've asked many a horse to canter in my day, but very rarely have I gotten the response Rocky gave. He started bucking all over the place. I calmed him down and got him going again. I repeated the command. He reared. Just a small little baby rear, but a rear none the less. Got him going again. Once he calmed down I inspected my bleeding finger. After a little bit I turned him around and just kept him at a trot. He seemed okay with that, so I decided that it was time to get on.
And thus begins my tirade on Western saddles. I had forgotten how horrible they were. I felt like I was sitting on a couch or something, not a horse. I had half (or more than half) expected Rocky to take off as soon as or before my rear touched the saddle. But he stayed put. I breathed a sigh of relief and contemplated adjusting the stirrups. The next thing I knew I was flying through the air over Rocky's head. I had a moment to ponder what was happening, then I saw the ground rushing at me. (I said a bad word.) My left side slammed into the ground with avengence. Rocky was already racing off across the pasture before I hit the ground. I jumped up and pain shot through my body starting from my left hip. I assured Colin that I was okay and watched in horror as Rocky tore around the pasture with reins flying dangerously close to his feet. I kind of felt like passing out and couldn't figure out if that was out of pain or fear or a combination.
Rocky finally stopped at the far end of the pasture and I hobbled over to get him. He had started grazing and my first thought was, "You're not supposed to be eating with the bridle on!" I grabbed his reins and led him back to the shed. There was no way I was even going to be able to get my left foot into the stirrup, much less get back in the saddle. So I untacked Rocky, fed, and watered him and Colin and I went to breakfast. Thanks to Rocky and that stupid Western saddle I've still got a shooting/aching pain in my hip and am walking with a limp. Plus I'm finding new bruises ever couple of hours.
I can't wait until my hip heals and I can try again.