Once my principal dressage instructor, a fairly well-known rider and trainer, told me to hop up on her ($150,000--yikes) Trakehner stallion, Rosenkavalier, and take him for a trail ride. I nearly had a heart attack! But being the obedient student...and incredibly EXCITED at the thought of riding Rosen...I leapt onto his back and headed down one of the wooded trails that surrounded the Horse Center at that time.
It was a FABULOUS ride for a while... Rosen went round immediately, trusting me utterly. It was like riding a cloud! We did the most scrumptious sitting trot through the dappled leaves and wildflowers; some relaxed medium trot, a bit of collected trot and collected canter, interspersed with a lot of walk, even took a few small jumps. Oh, what a dream!
And then, my instructor's DOOFUS boyfriend decided to follow me on his unbroken Thoroughbred stallion.
The guy was an idiot. He caught up with me at a gallop, far down the trail, his poor horse already in a frenzy. I told him to go ahead, but he was determined to pester me. I considered turning back, but by this time, it was closer to the barn to continue forward. "Damn!" I thought.
Rosen and I stayed connected but, although he remained balanced and calm, I could feel a flicker of angst through my legs and see it in his body language. The a**hole continued to canter back and forth, take jumps too large for safety on the slippery footing...his horse getting more and more agitated. I reminded him that it had rained earlier in the day, but he wouldn't listen. I had a few "words" with him, but then figured it would only make things worse to get him angry.
We were a couple of miles from home when a freak lightening storm arose like a nightmare. The lightening was striking too close, the thunder was deafening...Normally I would have dismounted, but Rosen was too restive to do so. At 17.3 he was almost too big to walk in hand safely in such a constricted situation, and we needed to get out of the TALL trees. I chose to stay on board.
All was well until the MORON took off, pounding down the trail. Rosen couldn't take it. I knew that I had to allow him to extend his trot, or we'd have an explosion. So we trotted on, and I soothed him as best I could.
Mr. Death Wish in front of us was jumping fallen trees which I was able to avoid, but it revved Rosen up to a high pitch. I heard the Thoroughbred jump close in front of us, then take off at a full gallop, the guy yelling at the top of his lungs.
As we trotted around the curve in the pelting rain and blowing leaves, we encountered what the Thoroughbred had jumped...a fallen tree across the entire trail at a height of about 3 feet . There was nothing to do but jump. Rosen popped it...I didn't duck deep enough and was swept off by a branch and fell back over the fallen log, still holding Rosen's reins.
Thank God for adrenaline! I was bent backwards like a bow by the impact, but I bounced right back up like a jack-in-the-box! I still had the reins, then Rosen spooked and pulled them out of my hand. Off he galloped down the trail, reins and stirrups flapping. I don't think I ever prayed so hard. I was TERRIFIED that wonderful boy would be badly hurt.
I started walking, calling his name. In a minute or two, I heard him calling back like a frightened child. His terrified calls got closer and closer until I saw him galloping toward me up the trail. I blew every good vibe I had his way and warbled in the sweetest voice I could muster, "It's okay, Rosen...whoa, Baby, whoaaa..." He skidded to a halt a foot in front of me. Whew!!! I was one happy girl.
I mounted after calming and walking him for several minutes, and we got back to the barn in one piece. What a magnificent, courageous boy Rosen was!!!
The screaming cretin was no where to be seen. And after that episode...he disappeared from my instructor's life as well...
Or my luck! Hahahaha!
Thank you, DD!