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We Are Flying Solo

June 17, 2013

How To Make A Lasting First Impression

Perhaps you have a job interview for that dream position or perhaps you are pitching a hot new idea at a big meeting.  You want to blow their minds, right, and be certain that you are the hot topic for the rest of the day?

Do I have the solution for you!

This brilliant scheme was first practiced on a beautiful Saturday morning as BFF and I prepared to meet the group on our Mount Rogers trip last month.  The horses were tacked up and I had longed Encore briefly, since he had demonstrated an abundance of energy and he was wearing some new saddlebags.  Everything was purring along smoothly and our farrier came splashing across the creek to pick us up and lead us to the group rendezvous.

We mounted and followed him back through the trees to a small meadow where roughly eight other horses and riders awaited.  Encore had been placid as a lamb on the longe and marched calmly along just in front of BFF's Pete.  Entering the clearing, I smiled and waved at the group, as we did not know anyone except for farrier and his family.

"Hey, peoples!" I called gleefully.  The greeting is key to the success of this approach, as it maximizes your chances of being seen.

I didn't mean to...
No sooner had the words left my mouth, then Encore transformed from quiet trail horse to apocalyptic explosion.

As he leaped straight into the air like a gazelle, it felt exactly like sitting on a horse who is being stung by bees (been there, done that).  Yet there had been hardly any flying insects and all the other horses were watching in frozen amazement.

The first leap hurtled me vertically and to one side, but I had a leg on and felt like things could still be saved.  But then I received the memo that there was a second leap.  All hope was lost.

Luckily, at this point in my life, when being catapulted from an equine, I have learned to relax everything and roll with it (the deathly Solo fall was sadly, not a catapult situation).  While I landed hard, the impact was mostly to my head, shoulder and elbow, and I quickly rolled onto my back.  No harm, no foul (although I will be taking advantage of Saturday's helmet sales!), thanks to the ever-present noggin protector.  Without the latter, our weekend would have ended very messily right there.

Encore ran in a circle to his friend, Pete, and stopped, trembling.  I jumped up and walked over to him -- hey, my instinct is to FIND MY HORSE, since a certain orange beast was always one to run off -- to inspect him and try and solve the mystery.  We never were able to confirm much.  He was unhurt, no signs of bites or stings.  He did jump when I touched the saddlebags (I longed him in them and he has worn his own, very similar ones, heaps of times!!!) so I  moved them from the cantle to the pommel of the saddle.  I climbed back on and he was fine.

He was not being spooky or naughty or even excited.  Something convinced him that he was being suddenly stung and it scared the life out of him.  For a horse who spooks by standing still and getting very tall, I would never expect that kind of panic reaction, but he is still a horse and apparently believed that full-body rocket-launch was the only escape!

I am damn sure, however, that no one will EVER forget that entrance!!!

This post brought to you by WEAR YOUR FREAKIN' HELMET!, inc.


  1. thats one way to do it!! LOL Glad you were ok.

  2. You always have the funniest stories! :P

    Glad you had your helmet protecting your head!!

  3. It must be going around...

    Funny story - glad you are okay!!

  4. you are giving me gray hair! Thank goodness for chemistry....glad to hear you are alright although I bet there are bruises to help tell the story. Didn't you say no falling off at a walk?????

  5. Yikes! They won't soon forget that one!

    Glad you are okay.

  6. CFS, I hope it does not recirculate!!

    And I didn't fall off at the walk, I fell off at the rocket leap! :)

    Thanks and yep, I was unhurt except for a few scrapes. Actually, that was the first time I had ever fallen off Encore!

  7. Good grief - yes, I don't think I will ace my next interview by leaping into the air and then landing on my head. :-)

    Very glad you are okay and have fun shopping on Saturday!

  8. Horses are such nerds! That's what makes them exciting. Although some days I wish they weren't quite so exciting.

  9. Awww, come on, RW, where is your sense of adventure!?

  10. Aw I'm sorry! I'm glad you're okay though! My usually super well-behaved boy gave me a RODEO buck when I tapped him with the whip (I asked him to canter 5 times and there was no response any of those times...) and I promptly landed on his neck, which I rode around for half of the arena before we stopped. Haha. And then of course after that he was fine... horses are weird. Glad you're okay!

  11. Wow, congrats on a successful neck ride! I am always in awe of those, I so would never be able to pull it off!