Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I consider myself a "Jack of All Trades, Master of None" kind of person. I don't really excel at anything but can muddle through most undertakings I have an interest in. However, I think the dictum, "Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Well" has seeped into my subconscious to such an extent that when I make an inadvertent mistake I beat myself up over it.

It was unseasonably warm yesterday with a breeze. When I got to the stable I remarked to my instructor that it felt like spring. She agreed and remarked that the horses were acting like they had spring fever. (Okay, she really said they were acting like idiots) She told me to let her know when I was ready to collect my horse from an outside pen and she would come with me. This is unusual - I'm allowed to bring her inside unassisted in addition to moving other horses around. Anyway, we go outside and my mare ambles right over to the gate to be haltered up and led. Some of the other horses are prancing around in their pens and my instructor had a whip to shake at them to keep them from reaching out to my mare (presumably biting) The path is fairly narrow and I unfortunately let my mare get ahead of me. All of a sudden she took off running and the lead rope was ripped out of my hands. I don't know if one of the other horses got too close or if she saw the whip and decided to get the heck out of Dodge, but off she went. Fortunately the path ends where one of the pens is closely adjacent to the barn so she didn't get very far. My instructor very matter of factly caught her and handed her back to me.

I was rattled. You see, most of the time when I exit the lower barn (different door than where the pens are) I let her walk out to the end of the rope ahead of me so I can close the barn door. What if she had spooked one of those times? She conceivably could have really gotten away. I'd been told she was an escape artist but she has always seemed so docile that I guess I got complacent. I finally get the message that horses can be unpredictable and will do stuff for no reason.

When I went into the arena for my lesson I told my instructor that I was not feeling very confident. She had me ride in a large circle, concentrating on using my upper body and legs to control the horse, not the reins. We eventually started doing it at the trot where, amazingly, I felt more secure in what I was doing. The lesson ended on a very positive note.

So all's well, wouldn't you think? I went to bed about 12:30, read for an hour as usual and turned off the light when I started to doze. Boom, I'm instantly wide awake. I lay there for about a half hour before turning the light back on. I finally fell asleep with my book in my hand and woke up about 5:30 to turn off the light. Did go back to sleep but got up at 7:30. So what's that, about five hours of sleep? I'm an eight or nine hour kind of gal. What's bothering me? Guilt for what might have happened. No one blamed me and my instructor and I had a really good talk about what I could have done to prevent the runaway from happening.

I will get over it, I always do, but damn. I wonder if an anti-anxiety pill would help?


  1. We all get complacent after a while. I think it's just part of being human. While I don't like letting a horse go ahead of me, I have been known to do it a time or two.

    I do that sometimes too when sometime important is on my mind. Wide awake in the middle of the night, I hate it, but that's just how it is.

  2. Ah, Honey, if we never made mistakes we'd never learn anything. I bet you will always remember the lesson you got yesterday.

  3. Horses will always be teaching you something new. They are also pretty good weather forecasters: If they're acting crazy, the weather is going to change.

  4. All I can do is echo the above comments. I grew up around horses... actually, on the back of them... ;) and unpredictable is a good buzzword to keep in mind.

    If you'd had the rope doubled up around your hand, you would have been drug when she took off. That's never good, trust me. Then the mare would've spooked more because she's not used to pulling something screaming behind her... ;)

  5. Seriously, don't beat yourself up over it. Mistakes happen, especially with horses. I've had horses spin and rip away from me several times, and I've also forgotten to latch gates and have accidentally let horse lose to run busy roads...I felt like a total idiot, but I realized it was a lesson learned and tried to get over it. You are only human, and I bet you will be much more vigilant about your mare from now on! I'm glad to hear you had a nice lesson, good for you for getting on even though you were feeling a bit shaky!

  6. The good part of making mistakes is we learn from them. I've done things like this. Trusting my horse not to take off or whatever, and then they do it. I'm more careful now, experience is a great teacher. I wouldn't worry about it nobody got hurt and it's no big deal.