If you ride horses you know: falls happen. Sometimes you hit the ground because the horse is being naughty. Sometimes it is because your position is week. AND sometimes it's because the horse is so athletic, you just cant stick with him/her.

In the past couple months, Betsy and I have both fallen off because our horses were being phenomenally good. 

Betsy fell off Aly near the beginning of our trip to Massachusetts. She came into a bending line a little wrong and tried to go straight. As she got to the out, she though 'No way is she going to go', and relaxed thinking Aly would stop. Surprise! Aly went and cracked her back over the top. Unfortunately for Betsy, she landed just wrong and broke he tip of her tailbone off. She sat on a donut for most of the month and cannot ride until November.

Today, I fell off Ray. Twice! Just like Betsy, I fell not because he was being bad, but because he was being so good!

For those who know Ray, they know he has not been the most naturally brave horse. He is amazingly talented, but often feels the world is out the get him. We waffled about whether or not he should be an event horse or go into the show horse arena. Does he really want to do this job? No matter how hard you try, you cannot make a horse do this job if he doesn't want to do it. Plus, at the end of the day each horse should be happy in his/her job. We haven't entered him in an event since Florida because at that point we weren't sure he was enjoying his job. In the last few months, he seems to have come into his own. He's jumping much braver. He even seems to be enjoying it! 

Today we were schooling our newly made ditch. After a few tries, he was walking, trotting, and cantering back and forth over it. Then just for fun I thought I'd jump the skinny step fence we built some time ago. He was awesome! In jest I told Betsy I wanted to jump the corner. I was shocked when she said go for it. I was even more shocked when he went! The first time, he uncharacteristically hung a front knee and I was ahead of him. Boom. I hit the ground. The fall itself wasn't bad. The landing was what got me. The ground was incredibly hard and to add insult to injury, I landed in an ant bed. 

Little Gracianne, one of our young students, was watching. She went over to the jump and picked up my helmet which I took off after I first got up and handed it to me. After much grumbling and biting of my tongue, due to young ears being present I clamored back on. 

I jumped a couple smaller jumps, which he jumped the snot out of, and then went back to the corner. He went! However, he wasn't going to let it bite him again. Like a rocket, I got launched. I think Ray scared himself because on the back side as I was trying to get back in the tack, he tucked his butt and scooted. I hit the ground again at which point Gracianne said, 'I don't think she needs to jump that piece of cake again'.

Lucky for me, I didn't hurt myself as bad as Betsy. Pride and bum are bruised, but I'm otherwise no worse for wear. I mostly feel bad I didn't stick it since Ray was being so brave. Still, fills me with confidence. Some horses go slower than others. Sometimes it's worth being patient, even if it's not always easy, especially the landings. Dang.