As I sail through the air, blue sky, more blue sky and more blue sky, I think this is slow motion or one mighty big buck…
and then thud. I land in the sand, upside down, kind of on my head and do an unconventional forward roll.
Tosh carries on bucking and rodeo-ing round the track in such a crazy way I have to put my hand up and wave at him from my spot in the sand to make him change direction and not gallop over me.
Dazed, I pull myself over to the fence.
After three lunatic laps, Tosh comes to a halt in the corner of the arena: his reins tangled but not badly as he is wearing a martingale.
I catch him, get him to step out of his reins and walk him round the arena twice in hand and then climb back on.
Springing back up on this 16.2 hh from the ground isn’t a problem. I must have more than the usual amount of adrenaline coursing through my veins.
I walk him round, hop off, straighten his pad and numnah and go and get on the mounting block to do it properly and finish on a good note.
I can’t help thinking, ‘what a shame!’ This is the best he’s gone. Admittedly, I’ve only sat on him about five or six times. He’s always been stiff on the left rein and tried to evade in left canter, but to think he even struck off on the correct leg for several left canters and this was my last ask before cooling him off. He even cantered a few strides before he got rid of me.
Am I asking too much of him? He’s a retired race horse and not a youngster. Would he be happier just hacking out? I’m sure if I ride him a few more times I’ll get what he’s trying to tell me!
However, I’m not overly looking forward to schooling him again. I can’t remember the last time I came off on the flat!
Sand does make for a soft landing but even so, I am getting through a goodly amount of Arnica and when any one comes near my back I almost scream.
I can’t help but feel there is something not quite right with this horse. Is it really just the thoroughbred in him? Or does something hurt? Apparently he’s been seen by a back lady and his back is fine?
I ponder the ‘have you got a body protector?’ question posed before I got on him the first time. And think this doesn’t sound like his first handstand!
Note to self – Google body protectors and make sure there is an infinite supply of Arnica, Deep Heat and Radox in the house!