Rattled to the Core. How I Got Back in the Saddle…

I originally wrote this 9/24/2010.  Once a year I repost my story for those of you who need to read it.

I wasn’t going to write this story because I don’t have any photos to go along with it.  But today, as I was walking my horse along a riding path, I thought about how far I have come since the accident.  I thought maybe someone else might need to hear my story.


Mind you, I don’t ever really even think about the accident itself.  I was fine and it doesn’t replay in my mind, ever.  Having said that, it effected me tremendously.  Here is what happened.  First of all, I made several mistakes that created the perfect stage.  I was riding an equine I didn’t know.  I was using someone elses too large, slick saddle and I was using a bridle that I didn’t inspect.  Luckily, I was wearing a helmet.  Now, I am not a fearless rider but I was pretty darn close to that.  I would gentle all of my babies.  I gave the first ride and most of the training to all my trail horses.  I’d ridden miles and miles of trails over many years and had bred and raised World Champion Morgan Horses.  And to me, I was always safety conscious.  Just not this day.  I “forgot to put on my seat belt” as it were.  And that was the day I got into the accident.

It happened a ways into the ride.  My mount started to get a bit jumpy and I was circling him to keep him busy.  Mid circle, he whipped his head around and took hold of the bit.  In a flash, I was being “run away with”.  This had never happened to me before.  I had the presence of mind to pull one rein and stick his nose into my leg.  POP!  The bridle broke.  Not just the pinging of Chicago screws, the actual leather was rotten under a buckle and it snapped apart.  I didn’t realize what had happened at the time.  I just couldn’t figure out why my reins had so much slack.  At this point, we were running straight towards a hedgerow of towering blackberry brambles and dense oak brush that rimmed a steep descent.  To me, if we entered that, I was a goner.  So, we did.   I remember thinking about the movie, Man from Snowy River, as we crashed through the entrance to the brush.

Vaguely I can remember hearing my friend screaming my name.  Everything on the outside became very sloooooooow.  My mind was thinking about my life.  It did pass before me.  As I was clutching the neck of my equine and bearing as low as I could possibly put my body, I thought of what a stupid way this was for me to die and that my Mom was going to be really mad about this at the funeral.   In slow motion, I felt the branches thump along my back.  I felt my helmet bash against everything.  My legs, tight around the gut of this raging animal, were being ripped yet they felt numb.  I felt numb.  I felt nothing.  Down. Down.  Bang! Crash! Snap!  The sounds of horrible bending and snapping, wild ripping and tearing all around me.  I heard it all but it really felt like I was under water and it was all happening to someone else.  And then, in an instant, it all stopped.  In a moment I went from clutching and gripping onto my tormentor to sitting upright on the only 1 foot square patch of clean grass in the entire hillside.  I swear, and I have a witness, I was sitting perfectly upright with crossed legs as if I was about to start a yoga class.  When I realized that I was no longer on the equine but sitting in a patch of grass against a tree, I couldn’t fathom what had happened.  I checked to see if I was alive.  Yes.  I think I am alive.  I checked to see if I could move everything.  Yes.  Then, faintly, I heard my friend screaming my name.  I heard myself feebly call back.  Yes, I was alive.  My friend couldn’t actually get to me.  She hacked her way into the thicket and stood there shaking with me.  I was alive.  I was OK.  Unbelievable.  We both started crying.


Now, I don’t know what I really feel about angels or God.  What I do know is that I have no idea how I survived that without any significant damage.  Looking back on the path we took, you could see where my helmet cracked branches and dented limbs.  You could see all the lethal broken wood daggers.  It was impossible to get through that without more than a few scratches.  Yet, I did.  What was even more strange, is that the gear had no scrapes.  The only scrapes were on the animal from about shoulder down.  He had tons of scratches all over his shoulders and legs.  But, nothing above his shoulder, just like me. So odd.


That night, I had a dream —  a very vivid dream.  I felt as if I was being told to watch and listen…  As I rested there, a movie played.  It was my ride happening in front of me.  As I watched, I see the horse decide to bolt.  I see me start to react.  I see the bridle break.  I see me respond by releasing my stirrups and grabbing on in a very primitive fashion. Then, with my face buried in the side of his neck, I see a huge pair of white wings surround me.  I see us all crashing through the intense and barbaric brush, going straight downhill.  I then see myself being scooped up in a nanosecond and dropped gently on the grass.  The winged creature looked right at me, in my eyes, and told me, “You’re alright.”  I felt his words like a warm rush of strength through my body.  And then he/it left.  That was my dream.

The next day, I thought I was fine.  And, I was — physically.  But, as soon as I went to the barn to saddle up, I knew I was very hurt.  Fear the size of New Jersey erupted inside of me.  I couldn’t get on a horse.  I could barely be around a horse.  I would jump out of my skin if they so much as sneezed.  I had lost my trust in myself and in my horses.  I was a mess.  I have Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  Diagnosed.  This is not a term I use lightly.


So today, almost 6 years later, as I’m walking my horse, Finn, along a trail, I thought about how far I’ve come and the odd way I journeyed through it.  What I mean is that when you’ve been rattled to the core, others who haven’t ever been that frightened, cannot possibly understand.  All of a sudden you become a “baby” or “not a good rider” or many other terms of not understanding.  “You just need to get back on” and “It’s all in your head” would come across my hearing often.  They had no idea and I really couldn’t fault them for this thinking…  They simply didn’t know.  This wasn’t getting the wind knocked out of me or having a nasty fall.  This was I knew I was going to die.  What was really difficult for me was that I had just moved here.  No one knew me.  No one knew that I could ride.  No one knew how brave I’ve been.  No one knew that I wasn’t just a baby.  All of a sudden, my identity was confused.  I was “that lady with too many horses who doesn’t know how to ride.” I would hear them whisper that I should just sell them if I wasn’t going to ride them.  Or, I was the lady who has really nice horses as pets and what a shame that was…   Of course, I didn’t understand it either.  What was wrong with me??  Why couldn’t I just relax?  It wasn’t going to happen again…!  Just ride, already!

If any of you readers have ever been through the kind of terrifying experience that handcuffs your brain into PTSD, you know what I mean.  I was so frustrated with myself I decided to do what I thought was best.  I understood that my only way out was through.  So, I started with the sole horse I felt would never hurt me, my Aladdin.  I only worked with him.  For a year, only him.  Everyone else just had the year off.  No matter what anyone said, I just focused.  He and I walked (me on the ground beside him) the trails we used to ride.  I let him garden with me (he grazed), we bathed and clipped and did feet and every possible ground work exercise out there. Eventually, I got on.  We rode all the trails at a walk, alone.  Finally!  Yay!  I was OK on him.  I felt safe.  Now onward.

After three years of Aladdin only, he got sick so I had to ride someone else.  I picked my crazy Morgan mare because at least she and I knew each other well since she was born here and I had taught her to ride. In hindsight, it was a great choice because I hadn’t realized that she had matured.  Getting to know her so closely again was a gift.  She and I became hiking buddies.  We took every trail around here.  People would laugh at me and say, “What, you walkin’ your hawse??”  Yup, I was.  Eventually, I started riding her.  If I got frightened, I’d get off and walk.  I never let her forget her manners; I just got off when I felt that awful grip on my throat.  But, it happened less and less.  I was getting better.

That same year,  I forced myself to do the same with Finn, my TWH who I had purchased about a month before the accident.  He had sat, not being used for 3 years. And, again, we walked everywhere together.  Around my house, around the neighborhood, to the mailbox, whatever I did, I took Finn.  I realized that for me, if I really knew my riding partner, I felt much more at ease.  And, it worked.  Last year, I taught my Icy filly to ride.


This year, I am determined to ride my 7 year old TWH filly who was a yearling at the time of the accident.  She has sat around here for 6 years.  6 years!  (She has all her groundwork, just not much riding by me.)  So, she is my challenge.  And, I’ll do it.  But, even with as much progress as I feel I have made, I still won’t do cliffs, I won’t ride with a horse that rattles mine and I won’t ride on anything narrow or confining.  Maybe in time that will change, too.  But for now, no matter what anyone thinks, for me, this is what partnership with my horse is all about.  They patiently wait and help me when I need it.  I patiently wait and help them when they lack confidence.  We are a team.  After all, I already know I can ride… now I’m learning that I can heal.

As an aside, when I do get unsettled in the saddle, I just imagine big ol’ white wings around us.  “You’re alright.”

It works.

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31 comments have been posted...

  1. Thelma Massie

    I just found your website. Loved to hear your story! I am 3 months plus post traumatic head injury from a horse falling on me. I had 2 brain bleeds and swelling but thank God for no other injuries and for saving my life! I have not been released to ride as of yet but when I am I know I need to wear a helmet! I have rode horses for over 30 years and did not want to wear a helmet. Seeing the hell hats, I know do not dread this now.
    Thank you!

  2. Sonya

    I have YET to get back into the saddle, even though I have pressure from many sources to “just ride…” Thanks for this.

  3. KD Huff

    I did not know this, Dawn. Bravo for loving your horses and doing it your own way, one step, one horse at a time. BTW, I do believe in God and in angels and you are the first person I’ve known (well, cyber-known) that actually had a vision of how an angel saved their life. Amazing!

  4. Annie B

    Thank you. I too went from skilled and safe and fearless to totally fearful. Some wonderful horses helped me heal, but I have never regained the confidence I took for granted all my previous years. No one who hasn’t experienced it “gets it”. I applaud you. John Lyons said “Ride where you can, not where you can’t.” That means you get off when your throat starts to close and walk home with you horse. No shame.

  5. Kathy Levang

    Thank you for sharing that amazing story and how you overcame the challenge and fear. I believe that method can help with so many different situations.
    I’m not a good rider. I lack good balance, so I’m that lady who has horse pets lol. I think the way you worked with them and had them go everywhere with you could help me get more confident until I can get a trainer to work with my boys (ages 14 & 13, have only been ridden once or twice). Thanks again.

  6. Tammy

    Thank you so much for sharing and for your honesty. I am sure many of us can relate to your experience and take comfort knowing we are not alone.

  7. dawndi Post author

    I guess I reposted this today for you… I understand. Walking is fine. Just walk on the horse you trust. Talk to him/her throughout
    the ride and look at the beautiful surroundings. It will get better. I promise. And, there are many ‘jobs’ for horses other than riding… go out and
    sit with them, or just listen to them while you groom them. Peace will come.

  8. kim

    Just thank you. I feel like someone just gave my hand a comforting squeeze. I just started riding again and am still not feeling confident. There isn’t much in the way of lessons here, so basically on my own to figure this out. I used to rider hunters and now can’t get past a walk. Some days, best I can do is drag the saddle to the barn and groom one of my horses, don’t even make it out of the aisle way. The running commentary of why I bother having the horses any longer, and quit making excuses, just get on and ride by well meaning friends and loved ones, I think that makes it hurt even more. So I don’t try to explain, I just say tomorrow, a lot. So thank you.

  9. Judy S.

    I am so glad i ran across this page, i’m 50 yrs old and yes i have had my fair share of buck off’s and bad spills .i can honestly say it really affects you much more than you know, and like i have read on her great sight by the way .. nobody can say it in your head if they haven’t been there themselves .i had my very first buck off ten years ago n still i have scary thoughts about it when i go to mount up .and to top that off i have been dumped by the gelding that i have now just a couple months back n had three bones that atach to the spine broke n it still hurts . but i try my best to not let it stop me from doing what i love doing most.. i can tell if he is in a pissy mood so when that happens i don’t even try i’m a chicken ,well no i’m not chicken “i’m just scared ” i hope that someday i wont feel this fear but i’m not holding my breath . good luck to all you wonderful horse lovers . always say a little prayer for” you “and :your horse “before you ride….. god bless

  10. Pat Showalter

    I’m 60 and had a horrible accident 2 years ago when I got into ground bees. My helmet which I didn’t wear regularly saved my life. I got a helilcopter ride out of the woods and had sustained two fractured vertebrae. After riding since I was a child this was the first “serious” fall I had ever had.
    My horse is my best friend but he has always problems with easily being frightened. However he would jump then face his fears with stationary feet. This time I have never felt such power. In fact in my fear, I can still feel it even when sitting on my recliner. He ran so fast and bucked so hard. My husband and friends saw me land literally head first and were sure that I was dead.
    Physically I healed but emotionally the fear is horrible. I do ride my boy again but I won’t leave the outdoor ring. The thought of being out in an open field even terrifies me. We were on a nice wooded trail when it happened but I just feel like I won’t be able to stop him if we are in the open and heaven forbid what if he bucked.
    Thank you for your story. It helps to know you are not alone. I was alreay planning to spend a lot of time with him in the round pen and just loving on him. Maybe by summer we’ll be back on the trails and enjoying life together again.

  11. Katy

    It’s like you typed out my story! Two years ago my mare of 10 years rear up and fall on me. She is such a sweetie, a trier, very sensitive, very forward, and we were not a good match.

    I had the mentality if I tried harder, if I did xyz we would sync. We were in a centered riding lesson when she reared up and fell on me. It’s such a surreal experience; the slow motion yet the mind blowing quickness of the event. Thank goodness neither of us were seriously injured, but it wasn’t until I’d gotten home from the hospital that night I realized emotionally I wasn’t ok. I had been all reassurance and joking through the chaos, but the moment things were quiet the thought of, “My god, I could have broken something. I could have been paralyzed.” Then the tears came.

    The only way I can describe it is your animal instincts take over. It was the moment I physically realized my mortality and those emotions are so primaly rooted. My first ride was on my friends quiet, silly, dependable appy. The moment I climbed on my body tightened like a claw and I cried. Like you said, you tell yourself, “This is silly! I know I’m safe. She’s a wonderful horse that takes care of her riders. Stop it!”. But your body takes over and I think you need to feel that to process the feelings.

    A few years flashed forward and my mare has a loving new home, I have a new mare who matches me, and I’m getting my confidence back. It’s funny, I never thought cantering a lap on a horse would bring me such joy and a feeling of accomplishment. My advice to anyone out there with a similar story, don’t let anyone bully you into pushing your process. Your body is going through the motions for a reason! Take your time. For me the lesson was to HAVE FUN, don’t push, and to listen more closely to my horses and instincts.

    Lots of love and thank you for sharing your story. It’s comforting to know we’re not alone, isn’t it? :) Here’s to many happy rides ahead!

  12. Marsha

    Thank you for sharing. I have had PTSD (for years, sigh) and still struggle with the ‘its all in my head so get over it already’ syndrome. I have been enjoying your blog for several months and had no idea you had any issues with riding (haven’t read back posts). Thank you for the reminder and encouragement – there are many trails and just because I cannot do things exactly as I used to, there are still many many trails (aka things) I can do and multiple ways of walking them . . . or riding. . . driving, . . .

  13. Suzy Bridenbaugh

    Thank so much for sharing yourself so honestly. I had a similar experience when I was 16. Didn’t fall off but the feeling of being run away with and heading for a cliff on a horse with the bit in her teeth was terrifying. The only way to stop her was get my panic under control, remember how I got the bit away from her before, and run us both into a tree at the same time. My leg was a little worse for wear and I still carry the scar. I think I was too young and dumb to be afraid to ride again. That may sound strange but my first time on a horse was when I was 4 and I was thrown. It wasn’t intentional on the pony’s part but rather a reaction to being stung in the eye by a horse fly. This resulted in my belief that falling off was just part of riding. I have never owned my own horse and as a kid, riding friends horses, I spent as much time looking up from the ground as I did down from the back of the horse. A lot of that was due to lack of saddles. Now that I am over 60, I realize that riding is a much more chancy thing to do as things break a lot easier and don’t heal as fast. I am learning from those of you who have the experience I never had of owning, training, and riding your own horse and how to do it the safest way. I still have the dream of having that opportunity some day soon. A retirement goal. I also know that falling off still happens so I keep reading and learning from you all who are graciously and honestly sharing your love of horses and experience.

  14. Jody Brittain

    wow! Your story has left me speechless! Last year I fought threw a fear that gripped me so hard. It was not riding. I have not ever had an accident. It was the fear of LOADING my horse into the horse trailer to go to my riding lessons! It sounds really lame, I know, because You and many other commentors here have had more of a reason for fear. I felt I was failing, and failing fast. I have such a good instructor, that she helped me get thru the worst part. I even showed up at one of my lessons, IN MY CAR with Pitchfork in hand, to scoop poop! I just needed that. I am glad to read it is OK To just walk with your horse. Libby and I go for pasture walks, and this year, I want to walk her down to the river. Yes, I have ridden her down there, and Yes my nerves are not made of steel! I am more nervous about loading and hauling her than I am of riding her in new territory! THANK YOU DAWN and for everyone else that has a story to tell. It helps me to know I am not the only one out there with a fear that is hard to deal with.

  15. Lisa Olsen

    I know just what I went through, I had a friend give me the love of my life. A two yrs old Palomino fill. We moved to a new area. I was riding with my daughter in the frony pasture, and one of those super horse fly landed on her butt. The one that could carry you off. Well she’s a diva and I didn’t move fast enough for her. Lond story shot. She started bucking and when she was finished I was on the ground. Some back round on me. I have been riding for 25 yrs and was always the person my friends got to go with them when looking for a new horse. Lisa will you ride them first. So when I got up I got back on and rode around a little. I had bruises from my shoulders to my knees. Then next day I went to get on and had a melt down. I could not breath,shaking,mussels knotted. I wanted to throw up, I could not get off fast enought I was crying. My daughter could not understand what was going on. This went on for a year. And YES I heard you should get rid of that horse, she’s not right for you, you should’nt be riding. So I sat for a yrs while very body else rode my horses. I am riding again but it’s ust not the same. My fear has tought my mare that she can get me off with very little effert. They just don’t understand and the worst part is I don’t either. And I can’t find anyone that will help me. Lisa

  16. stephanie

    I haven’t been hurt but have been through the same anxieties around cliffs and horse or cars. I recently found a wonderful book to help me with my fears around horses. it is called RIDING FEAR FREE. I have shared it with several friends who have riding fears from either getting horses late in life or from bad accidents. she is on face book also.

  17. Just Em

    This is a wonderful story!
    I have PTSD– not connected to riding, thank goodness– but from a very bad family situation. I deal with that mental lockdown almost daily, in social situations, and I know how frustrating it is to be surrounded by people who just assume it’s like any other fear.
    I’ve found that when dealing with people gets to be too much, horses are my refuge. I don’t have my own… I volunteer at local stables, mostly grooming, groundwork, and mucking out, and it helps to be around them.
    I’ve often wondered how things would turn out if I were to have an accident like this; if my safety net were to become a threat. It’s really nice to hear about your experience in overcoming this situation, and comforting to know that it doesn’t have to end with trauma.

  18. debbie nolan

    yes i’ve been there 54 years old… back riding again after being thrown ..I had to ask for help after I’ve started my own horses rode for years I’m back in the saddle FEAR has alot of control

  19. Connie

    Thank you so much for sharing this story. What is it about these magnificent creatures that we just can not stay away. I have 3 and love them dearly. I keep telling myself that maybe I should not ride because I’m in my 60’s, many people depend on me and I have Osteoporosis. But my soul cries out in definance , give me horses or else I’ll die.!!! So I try to be safe, try to be in good shape and pray for safety with each ride. Despite the fear I thank God daily for the love of horses that He has placed within my heart. They are truly a part of my soul. I am blessed beyond measure to be a part of their lives.

  20. Kerry

    I did finaly get back on my mare Katie, two years later. She was a 5 year old wild mustang when we got her, then trained professionaly at 10. I guess, well know, my first mistake was to climb on her against my trainers advise a month into her training during the beginnings of a thunder storm. Big impression there. Wild, crazy and powerfull as I plowed into the mud. The second mistake was riding too close the the hot wire. Stayed on thru the buck but fell off. trying to get off. Third was riding with new saddle , sturrup a bit too long with someone’ crazy idea of a spring style stirrup, couldn’t sit the horse through that buck, got kicked in the knee. That did it for riding her in close quarters. Forth mistake was riding her out in the dune for fun with a friend and not focusing on my horse and thinking my boots were too big for the stirrups. So with a simple sideways spook, I feared for my feet, pitched myself forward onto her neck to kick my feet free instead of just riding, and sure enough, stuck feet. No i didnt get dumped and drug, just dumped and broke a finger slaming my hand into her neck as she flew sideways. Stupid me, it was a move that I could have handled too. All these things led up to my fear to ride her. If I even thought of tying to catch her I would get a bad feeling in my stomach. To even think about saddling brought fear in me. Just to think of any plans of how I needed to ride her every day for her training would make me wheeze and sick to my stomach. I just could not even think ahead or my plans. With Katie, I would tell myself that I was going to just go pet her, that would be ok. So that is what I would focus on only. Then I’d say I’d just catch her, then groom her and so on till I would have her saddled and be riding her. By no means do I have my fear concorded with her. I even quit riding her cause “I had too many other good horses to waist my time on her” Then I got mad, real mad cause she wouldn’t let me catch her, same story different day. And I took charge, I wasn’t mean just real firm and mad. We went through every step she ever learned, I never backed down and I made her behave. Bridling, saddling everything went smooth, she never did a thing, just excepted and did everything I asked. I had been mad I guess for a while, I just couldn’t believe that I had been whooped by this one horse, I have ridden so many and have no fear of any horse that I have tryed, I’ve ridden with the best, helped train so many….Why be afraid of her? It was that first fall that was my undooing, setting myself up for all my fears with her. Of course, she still is a very difficult horse, but she’s a sweet horse, and if I can ever overcome my fear, a great horse. She did after all save my life from crashing into a bear, stopping when she new it was there. Twice. All without her reacting and bolting, just calm and turned away or waited for the bear to run away, all within two months of her training, green. So, my struggle will go on, and I am half way there, to no fear.

  21. sue t

    I too, am still recovering physically from a bad crash 3 years ago. I’ve fallen off, been bucked off, rolled on, etc., but was never really bothered. 3 years ago I was riding a very familiar trail through the bush at almost full gallop. I turned to look over my shoulder to make sure my friend’s daughter was doing ok with her horse, and when I turned back around, I didn’t have time to move my horse over enough to miss that damn tree that we’d all almost hit before. CRASH went my knee, making a sound that caused my friend’s daughter to scream. I almost went unconscious, and thankfully, there was enough of a curve/small rise right at the tree that we travelled uphill, so the force actually drove me into the saddle instead of off. It almost stopped my 16 hand quarter horse dead. I am now recovering from my third surgery…plates, screws, various hardware. I couldn’t ride physically for 2 months, but worse, was traumatized thinking what would have happened if it had been my HEAD…and I wasn’t wearing a helmet that day!!! I most certainly would be dead as a doornail! I think the most important point in all these comments, and especially our fearless blogger’s story, is that we all GET BACK ON. Unless someone has had that experience, they have no idea of the depth of injury to the psyche, let alone the body!! GO GIRLS…and guys, cuz I know you’re out there, too!


    I think this is a VERY COMMON problem that riders face..and it is odd how you can fall and it doesn’t bother you or you can fall and you are rattled to the core. I fell about 8 times in one and 1/2 yrs after first buying horses of my own. Afew times from ill fitting saddle that rolled..while galloping up a hill :( the rest from spooks..i always was able to get back on..undeterred. THE BIG ONE was when my perch cross Bella spooked while i was mounting..she was overly afraid of loud noise..someone slammed a stall door right when i was throwing my leg over. She bolted and i basically fell onto her back..which caused her to BUCK..off i came into the fence of the arena..THANK GOD FOR HELMETS!! I hit the fence so hard my helmet blew apart and off my head. MY knee(which was previously injured) swelled to 3x it’s size, but no real physical damage..hovever major mental damage. I had to sell bella even though i loved her dearly…i would start shaking at the thought of getting on her and i knew it would never work for us. My confidence was shattered. I began only riding my Shire, Delilah, who is bombproof and a sweetheart..she has helped but i’m still afraid to canter..

  23. GARRY


  24. Cindi Whiten

    It sure helps to know I am not alone. It seems like it takes longer and longer each time I have fallen to work up the courage to get back in the saddle. I have a wonderful mare that gets really upset when she “loses” me and waits for my courage to return with great patience.

  25. Nancy Belden

    Great story. They can say all they want to about getting back on after a bad accident ! Just a few years ago I had 2 very bad accidents { in my 60s ] on a new horse [ have had horses for many years and the had all passed away ] and was taken away by ambulance both times. It was very strange but a couple days before the accident I was awaken from my sleep by a jump in my sleep and saw the mean look on this horses face !!! It was a worning! That week it happened. The second time , I nearly jumped out of bed! Still I did not pay a tention and got hurt again. I do belive someone was trying to watch over me . I try hard to listen these days. I have a 9 year old mareand it has taken3 yearswith the help of a real horse whisperer to get over my fear especaly since she has an adatude. So far so good. I just got a round pen and will start with a lot of ground work before I get on her. A this age I had expected to just ride slow and easy on my trails but now I might do a little more with her. I have also taken her for hand walks like you in hopes we could bond more. Good luck Nancy

  26. michelle

    wow. Thanks for sharing this, Dawn.

    After struggling with Ashly Rose at Folsom–she wants to lead–I am wondering about going out with others. She wasn’t ‘bad,’ just riding up the butts of other horses. Finally Sax tried to kick her, but that kick didn’t connect and she didn’t care. On the way back, she was power-walking, in the lead, to get back. Head tossing. Ugh. Wears me out. I couldn’t let her trot because she’d start getting bucky. I’m riding with loose reins, except when she gets stupid. Then a one-rein pop to stop her. Seems like I was popping the reins the entire last hour. argh@#

  27. Maggie

    I’ve bought the helment. Now to get the courage to ride out of the round pen……. I fell off too, two and half years ago. I love to ride but I’ve forgotten how after not having horses for 30 years. I have 9 horses now and one so sweet but he’s the one I fell off of. Wasn’t hurt, just scared to pieces.

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