Monday, October 19, 2009

My first buck (from before the surgery)

The week before my surgery, JJ let me come out to the barn and ride Saga after her lesson on him. She was riding FuzzyPony's horse Taran in a lesson immediately following her lesson on Saga and so she needed someone to walk Saga cool and untack him and such. Since I hadn't ridden in a while it was a good chance for me to get a little riding in.

Everything went fine at first. JJ's lesson was at the end of the arena closest to the stalls and so I walked Saga around at the end of the arena closest to the pasture. Now it had been raining a lot lately, so most of the horses at the barn had been kept in their stalls for a week or more, but the barn owner apparently decided that the ground had dried out enough to let the horses back out into the pasture. The horses were understandably excited about finally getting out and being able to run around and stuff. Most of them took off running in their pastures, chasing each other and playing around. When they first started letting the horses out, I worried a little bit about Saga getting excited by the other horses running around, but even though he obviously noticed them, it didn't seem to bother him. He was still paying attention to me and would just occasionally look over at the pasture. I'd wriggle the reins and he would switch his attention back to me. No problem.

However... suddenly two(or possibly more) of the horses decided to get into a squealing fight not far from the arena. That was just too much for Saga. He bucked. (I don't think it was that much of a buck because I actually stayed on him.) First his front end went up and then down and as his front end went down, his back end came up and threw me forward. I experienced a VIVID demonstration of why you want heels on your boots as my feet shot forward in the stirrups until my heels caught. He only did the one buck, but then he really wanted to run. Fortunately, I still had control of the reins and although he sort of jigged forward in this REALLY BOUNCY trot, he didn't actually run off with me. I had to pull and release the reins and say "whoaaaa" three times, but after the third time he actually stopped. (GOOD HORSE!) His body was still sort of quivering beneath me, and I suspected that if I moved at all, he probably would take off. So I sat VERY STILL, making soothing sounds and waiting for him to stop quivering.

About this time JJ, who had apparently had some trouble with Taran acting up at the same time and had not seen my masterful (HA! :sarcasm:) handling of Saga's buck, suggested that it would be a good idea for me to get off Saga since the other horses were making such a fuss that they might cause Saga to act up. I sort of quietly yelled back to her(I didn't want to make any startling noises, but for her to hear me on the other side of the arena I had to be pretty loud) that as soon as Saga finished quieting down, I would get off of him. He did quiet down fairly quickly, but with horses still being let out to pasture nearby, I was a little worried about starting to dismount, getting halfway off and having something set Saga off again. So I asked a couple who were standing near the arena hand grazing a horse if one of them would mind coming and holding the reins while I dismounted. The girl headed my way, but she was rather hesitant and I could tell that she was a little scared of Saga. I tried to reassure her that he really was a sweetie that it was just the other horses making him excited. I don't know if that really reassured her, but she did come and hold my reins and I dismounted without any problem. I thanked her and led Saga back to the barn to untack and wash him down.

So anyway, that was the first buck I ever rode. Like I said, it probably wasn't much of a buck. He wasn't really trying to get me off his back. He wasn't angry or scared, just excited. But it was still a memorable experience for me.

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