Here I sit today with a few toes swollen like a bratwurts and turning the color of eggplant. How, you ask? My horse stepped on my foot. Now, I am sure many of you horse people out there are thinking, ‘Well, you must not have taught your horse to respect your personal space…’ or ‘you must have been careless, and not used a leadrope…’ Indeed, it was a rookie mistake, but as much as I have trained my horses in proper ground manners and have observed pony-club like safety rules, things happen. This morning it was a matter of being dark, not paying attention, etc. The moral of the story? A horse is never too old or too well trained to be incapable of surprising you. Take another example: a few weeks ago my steady-Eddie, Paddy, spooked in the arena and bolted to the far end. No clue what set him off. I thought he was on the aids, guess not. I am not advocating you ride “looking for a fall,” or so defensively that you are stiff and guarded, but also be aware that they are unpredictable animals who have their own agendas. And that’s really what makes them different from riding a bike or a fast car…their individuality and their minds. Happy riding, all. I’m going to soak my foot.
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