Cello had a mustang moment the other day, sponsored by me. It was situational, not behavioral, and shouldn’t reflect badly on this awesome amazing horse. I’m just disclosing to keep it real on here- and in full disclosure form, the incident was my fault, not Cello’s. This all makes it sound worse than it was, because it wasn’t a big deal, but I know how over dramatic some people are about animals!
Sunday night China (good friend) and I went out to the ranch to ride. It was getting late, way later than we intended, so I tacked Cello up and just figured I would lunge him around some/do some groundwork and call it good. China’s been riding Cello quite a bit, in the arena and out on the trails at the ranch, so she’s familiar with him. He was being so good- lunging rythmically, responding quickly, etc. that I let China hop on. It was dinner time for Cello and getting dark (we don’t have an indoor) so I figured a quick 5 minute ride on the lunge line was all we would do. I had China practicing balance- airplane arms and seat finding exercises. I still had the reins tied up since he was on the lunge and I was at his shoulder. Well, something spooked him when I backed off of his shoulder some, and he spun and kind-of darted away. He stopped the minute he felt rope pressure, but stopped at an odd angle- his butt was to me, and the lunge line running along his side. He spun and proceeded to go from 0 to 60 faster than Eric or I imagined, and not going smoothly- not bucking or rearing or anything, just an ungainly bolt.
China stayed on the bumpy ride pretty good, but at the end chose to fall off. I was a bit baffled at what happened until she told me- she stuck out the beginning of the bumpy bolt awesome, but Cello had ripped the lunge out of my hands at that point so she kicked her feet out of the stirrups and bailed. She said she didn’t want to go for a wild ride if he made it out of the arena or what not.
Like I said, it was situational and shouldn’t have happened. I feel like I made the bad judgment call letting someone ride him when I originally planned not to. I’ve been insanely sick the last week and a half, way too long, and he’s only been ridden lightly. We should have been out there during the day, not at night, not at dinner time, not when visibility is getting low when he was so unworked. Everyone gets on my case a bit about not trusting Cello en0ugh that I let it affect my decisions. Lesson learned there! I might be rusty but I know horses and I know my horse and I knew it wasn’t the best situation. Lesson learned.
It wasn’t a big deal at all, but it was the first negative incident I’ve had with Cello, and I feel incredibly responsible for keeping this awesome horse awesome. I guess the guilt comes from setting him up for failure- I shouldn’t have put him in that position. No one was hurt at all, Cello stopped when China fell off and let me walk right up and grab his line. China was unhurt, and she is ready to get back on completely unfazed. I, however, was not wearing gloves (count the dumb decisions that night) and have crazy rope burn on both hands.
The rule drilled into any rider is definitely if you fall off GET BACK ON. ASAP. To cut down on your fear and to make sure the horse knows he didn’t get away with something. I decided not to put China on and not to ride him myself. Conditions weren’t right for it. I did some ground work with Cello and left it on a good note. Eric was surprised I didn’t do more- usually I get a little angry, hop on and make the horse really work. He’s seen me duke it out with a few hot horses. But Cello wasn’t hot, and it was dark.
I left it for the night after Cello behaved more, and hopped on him the other day. We just walked around some and had some relaxing moments. This horse doesn’t want to do any more work than he has to; he is LAZY so I played to that. We had a stressful moment for him on the last ride, so I kept it completely un-stressful and manageable for his mind on the next ride. Talk about one relieved horse!
On another note, I’ve been in a cleaning mood lately. Not at home, but at the barn, to Eric’s annoyance. The ranch owner said I could test out some of her westerns, but they needed major cleaning. When I started, I couldn’t stop. These saddles are amazing! They were just unused and dusty so you couldn’t quit tell at first. I found one I love and am going to try to buy it off her. I hope it’s not a saddle with sentiment attached to it!
Cello & I jumped on a trail ride this afternoon last minute. It will be good to get out with a herd of horses and ride for a longer time than usual. We have some energy to burn, the both of us. Being sick is really no fun at all. I’m thinking about going back to the doctors before our ride today.
Cello & Dani