I recently read a classified ad stating: “Trail riders! I have a PERFECT Bombproof trail horse for sale!” What
do you think? Most people want a safe horse to ride. It’s
important to limit our risk in any way we can – look for that dream
horse, ride with a helmet, get lessons, teach our horse in obstacle and
sensory training, etc.
However, the only way to have a ‘Perfect Bombproof’ horse with no
possibility of ANY accidents would be to not ride. Now I’m not
saying you can’t have an incredibly quiet, sane, confident, and willing
partner, but as we all know, equestrian activities come with inherent risk. As long as the horse is a living, breathing animal, there is the possibility to get hurt. We all need to use caution, safety, training, and acknowledge risk acceptance. Let me share a story.
I was riding my International Grand Champion Police Horse down the road
in December when we approached a slanted asphalt driveway. Just
before stepping on it, I heard a voice in my mind say, “Gee, I bet
that’s slippery!” One step later, down Dillon went slipping on
all four unshod hooves! With no chance of ‘staying on’, I landed
on the driveway with my outstretched leg trying to catch my fall.
Dillon subsequently scrambled up unscathed and wandered to the nearby
grass. Me? I didn’t know it yet, but I had a compression tibia
fracture, torn muscles, and a torn ACL. I couldn’t stand on my
own. Thank goodness for my riding buddy and a Good Samaritan
driving by! With their help I was able to hobble upright.
Although not quite thinking
rationally, when asked what I wanted to do I responded “get back on my
horse to ride him home”! Not quite the smartest thing I have ever
done, but my leg was relatively comfortable, not bearing any weight on
horseback, and I just wanted to make sure my horse got home
safely. Thinking back there were several things I could have done
better; such as listen to those instincts that alert me to trouble or
take a moment to consider alternative options like letting my riding
friend pony my horse home. So even though I think my mount is the
PERFECT Bombproof horse, I spent my first winter not riding while
recovering from the accident. I’m happy to say I’m back to riding
and Dillon is sound and there for me; my ever trusting mount awaiting
our next ride!
Common sense, safety awareness, AND good training will increase your
chances of an enjoyable, safe ride! For the training aspect, we
hope you will come join us in one of the upcoming Gentle Dove Farm Obstacle Clinics Mounted Police Style!
June 29, 2013: VERSATILE HORSE OBSTACLE CLINIC! Hosted by If Only Farm, 450 Wood Rd, Freeville, NY 13068.
July 13-14, 2013: TRAIL CHALLENGE OBSTACLE CLINIC and CHALLENGE RIDE Weekend! Hosted by Fat Chance Farm, 3620 Yautzy Rd., Canandaigua, NY 14424.
August 3 (rain date Aug 4th), 2013: ON THE TRAIL OBSTACLE CLINIC! Hosted by Emerald Hill Farm, 1707 Murray Rd, Victor, NY 14564
Aug 17-18, 2013: VERSATILE HORSE OBSTACLE CLINIC and PRACTICE/TRAIL Ride! Hosted by Dream Valley View Farm, 8983 Oakland Rd, Nunda, NY 14517.
More information and registration can be found on
www.GentleDoveFarm.com in the events page, join us on Facebook, or
email JKLong@rochester.rr.com Happy, safe riding!
Wheeler Station Rd.
Phone: (585) 738-7477
Bloomfield, NY 14469