I really could have used one of these yesterday :(
Instead, I got dumped by Ivan twice yesterday. ONE of those incidents wasn't his fault. The other one was.
Check out that gnarly sucker, huh? Hurts like a SONOFABITCH! This one was from the spill that wasn't his fault. He's actually sore like I am right now.
OOOOUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCCCHHHHHHHHH... This one is on the inside of my right knee, towards the backside as you can see. This is when the left stirrup flopped over and hit me.
Another bruise from the other side of my knee, presumably from something I suppose I landed on...
Still doesn't quite compare to the other one, though, does it? I'm not showing a picture of the one on my ass. My dignity is a little too bruised to reveal that one.
Ok, the summary of the afternoon was that it started off really well... I showed up to ride Ivan. I lunged him for about fifteen minutes in side reins at walk/trot/canter, and he did GREAT. So I hopped on, rode for an hour, did a lot of walking, did a little bit of trotting, did a few circles of canter in each direction. The canter was rough, but that was partly due to being on such uneven terrain in our pastures. He did well, though, and improved with the second time we cantered.
Ivan the Wonderful turned into Ivan the Terrible when I asked for a canter the third time. Little Mr. Asshole started into it fine, was calm, easy, and then all the sudden when he came 1/4 of the way around our first circle, he caught side of the round pen with Brittany working Chance in it and HE SWITCHED GEARS! No warning, no nothing, just instant switch into go-Go-GO! mode. One rein stop DID NOT WORK! Little Mr. Asshole turned his head sideways and kept on trucking. Admittedly, I ride him in a loose ring snaffle, and that really doesn't have much whoa to it. However, he should be LISTENING AND OBEYING since he doesn't have a hard mouth. That definitely wasn't on his agenda. Anyway, longer story made shorter, he charged towards the round pen, went around to the left, almost smacked into the barn, cut right quickly (causing me to lose a stirrup), cut left quickly alongside the barn to avoid the tree (causing me to lose stirrup #2), then cut right quickly back towards the roundpen and I rolled off over the left side, landing on my bum and rolling back to smack my head (thank GOD I was wearing a helmet. After about 10 seconds of yelling, 30 seconds of low cursing, and 20 more seconds to quit shaking, I hopped back on and made him listen again.
The second instance which caused the bruises actually was entirely a whoopsie and not his fault. After his Whoop-te-doo! moment, we practiced cranking his nosie around to touch his side to make him stop while at the walk, then slowly slowly slowly started walking/trotting and practicing laterals. He was doing fine, was actually to the point that I thought he was ALMOST trustworthy again, and then the poor guy's hind end slipped out from behind him and he went down HARD. We were trotting in a circle, I will say he did get a little excited right before that but I didn't feel us break out of the trot. The only thing I can think of is that it's likely the ground was still too soft and wet and the ground cover closer to the barn does not have a very strong root system. He has slipped and gone down close to the barn before, but that was when he was on a lunge line. Knowing that, I wasn't working him close to the barn, but evidently the other side of the round pen is still wet enough once you get a couple inches below the surface. Anyway, his hiney slipped out from under him, he lurched to the right, and I went down with the ship. When he went down, the lower part of my boot below the ankle got stuck under him, kind of under the saddle, and the stirrup from his left side swung over and that's what hit me in the leg.
Refer back to this photo. See the two parallel lines from where it hit me? Yeah, ouchie. My knee is a little twisted, but it's nothing compared to that bruise. Anyway, he was pretty slow to get up :(. I got up and checked him out, and he went down on his right knee and shoulder, so I'm thinking he went down and rolled up to the right a bit based on how high on my saddle the mud was. He's pretty stiff today, poor thing.
So in summary, first he was good, then he was good, then he was good, then he was an asshole/naughty/disobedient, then he was good, then he was unfortunate and went down. I need to buy liniment, both for him and for me!