|George Thelwell © 1962|
While neither myself or the horse was hurt, the client's confidence in being able to ride her "broke" horse was understandably shattered. And I felt like a complete idiot. The worst part was riding out the buck knowing exactly why she was bucking, feeling like a fool because it was my fault, and knowing I would have to try to wait it out since I couldn't use any of my go-to "stop" tactics, like disengaging her hindquarters, for fear of losing the saddle out from under myself. Some people will advise you to just bail in that situation, but in my opinion just about the worst thing I could have done would have been to freak her out even more by flinging my own weight off one side and potentially causing the saddle to roll. So I stuck. And we survived (well, maybe not my pride).
I left the experience reassured that I must have damn good balance (that cinch was loose but both myself and the saddle stayed on and centered), but with an embarrassing feeling of rookie-ism and a determination not to let that kind of thing happen again. Next time I might not get so lucky.
....These horses, how they humble us.