As I alluded to on Tuesday, May 2014 was not a great month for me and Murray. Specifically, this week last year was a really bad week.
On Monday, after currying Murray out after I ride, I knelt down to take off his bell boots. I liked to do this every so often to clean underneath them (mud and dirt, you know) and get a look at his krazy foot. Murray, seemingly never having heard the sound of velcro before (no, never!) panics. He scrambled backwards, elbowed me in the face, and I threw myself away from him seeing stars. Murray, much to his credit, calmed down rather quickly, and I sat miserably on the rubber mats in the barn while I regained my breath and vision. Clearly my nose wasn’t broken, and my skin just felt a little raw, so I went on my merry way. Little did I know he had scraped the skin off the bridge of my nose and over one eye and I would get a large and delightful burgundy scab there shortly.
Tuesday I fell off in a lesson. Murray was stopping all over the place, but most notably in the middle of combinations. He slammed on the brakes in the middle of a two-stride and left a 5-foot skid mark in the footing. I’m not sure how I didn’t fall that time, but when he slammed on the brakes in the middle of the one-stride I went flying over his shoulder and into the fence. It’s the only time I’ve ever taken down a fence due to falling, and it was shockingly not that painful. It was my most spectacular fall to date. I limped into lab and explained to my students why I had a huge scrape in the middle of my face. They were extremely amused, and many were surprised that horses even had elbows.
Wednesday I tried out a new bit. Murray had been bolting around in the eggbutt French-link I had him in, so at my trainer’s suggestion (she had been suggesting it for ages) I put him in the loop gag. Murray jumped around just fine, until we got to the new fence that our assistant trainer had just got done painting neon green and blue. Murray said no thank you to that fence, and I hit the dirt again.
These are the offending poles. They were terrifying when new, apparently.
Thursday I jumped again while Alana was watching me, to check out the new bit. Alana liked it, right up until we got to the combination. Murray pitched a fit much farther out this time. He skittered out from under me at least six strides away from the fence. I landed on my feet and patted him, then walked back to the mounting block to approach the fence again. Alana turned this into an impromptu lesson, and schooled me back to the combo. I talked to Murray the whole way in, but got a little ahead, and at the last minute he threw on the brakes, snapped his head straight up in the air and smashed me in the face as I popped off over his shoulder to and on my feet. The top of his skull had hit my chin and I immediately felt my mouth fill with blood. I cried while Alana comforted me, then got back on, got through the combo, and called it a day.
Back in the barn I texted my boss to ask if I could cancel my office hours for that day. Because every time I spoke my mouth filled with blood. He said okay. I sent out this email and got some delightful responses from my students.
My personal fave is the one at the bottom, but I also enjoyed one student’s sentiment of “Gurl you gotta fight back.” Trust me, I’m trying.
Friday I did not ride.
And that, my friends, is how I got dumped or injured five times in four rides. Happy anniversary, baby horse! I still love you.