Puff the Magic Dragon

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After a nasty fall a few months ago …….
yes, another one………..

I decided one of those new-fangled air vests would be a good investment.

Remember, I’m the person that buys helmets two at a time…….

And it’s not because I have two heads!

Does anyone else remember when helmet companies would replace helmets for free if you fell off? You just sent them a nice note about how the helmet saved your life with the damaged helmet and they sent you a new one.

I’m probably the reason they don’t do that anymore!!

Back to my fall…….In my post-pummeling-into-the-ground-delirium I repeatedly said, “I wish I’d had one of those air vests on!”

But that’s how wishes are I suppose.

The decision was made and I purchased one the next day. A day late for sure, but at least I’d have one for next time.

This weekend fully prepared with my new air vest I dutifully wore it for all my riding.

Then I learned a new complication to my added piece of safety equipment.

Here’s what happened………

I spent several summers taking very intensive horsemanship classes. One of the things I was taught in those courses was this important piece of wisdom…..

When should you get off a horse?
Answer: The FIRST MOMENT it crosses your mind.

This tidbit has actually saved me more times than you can imagine. And unfortunately (prior to having this grilled into my brain permanently) I can recount quite a few nasty accidents where I didn’t GET OFF the moment it crossed my mind, and when I CAME OFF it wasn’t on my terms!

This weekend, I found myself on my recently off the track Thoroughbred hanging around with a group of riders. He is the most athletic horse I’ve ever owned, which means that he can move his body in 5 directions at once, and often does! He’s also still a bit “excitable” and keeping him busy is a challenge.

While we were standing around a young lady came over a jump and her horse did airs above the ground, repeatedly!

She came off (which was a shock that for once I wasn’t the one hitting the dirt!) But in the horses exuberance it came galloping and bucking straight at me!!

I knew I was toast if my amazing athlete decided to join in the fun!! Which he was MORE than willing to do.

All my horsemanship training kicked in, and I immediately ABANDONED SHIP!!

I will say this was definitely the right choice, as the other horse came straight at us & circled us repeatedly riderless and bucking the entire time.

However, the moment my feet touched the ground I felt the pull of the tether on my air vest!!!

The last thing I needed at that moment was the canister to go off & scare Me, My Horse & the other Horse! Besides, he’s a RACE HORSE, I can only imagine his next move after hearing the “gunshot”!!

Now I found myself dancing in a circle trying to stay close enough for the air vest not to deploy, while not getting stomped on, and hanging onto my horse who was now doing his own tiny bucking circle of his own, while the other horse circled us.

It seemed like forever before I got the vest unclipped – but amazingly I got it done!!!!!!!!

If this little incident was on video, it would probably make the best blooper reel ever.

So now I have to learn how to BAIL OFF and UNCLIP simultaneously!! We’ll be practicing this new skill, that only someone as BAD at Eventing as me would need!!

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