ugh, please help me not repeat this mistake
I dropped my flippin reins yesterday!! both of them! :grief: of course at a fairly touchy moment.
Had our second drive of the year yesterday, a nice 3 mile walk. We did a little exploring in the woods and in a grove of trees we practiced some really tight turns. At a walk. Intermittent long lining over the winter really paid off with much improved shoulder control. Pony discovered a new level of nimbleness and was t.h.r.i.l.l.e.d. with his new skills. He was snorting and chortling with delight as we made our way out of the grove, towards a steep incline that lead to the main path home. He had quite a spring in his step though very well behaved and I was laughing and just enjoying the nice day.
As we came to the incline, I let him move into a trot, and - as I usually do - folded at the waist and stuck my arms out in front of me to give him room to reach.
At the top, we had the choice to make either a hard right or a hard left. I called out 'come left' as I used my reins to guide him and I guess because we had *just* come from doing these incredibly tight sharp circles, he made an unexpected 90° :lol:
My front wheel went just off the trail and hit a fairly good sized branch hiding in the leaf litter and good gravy it bounced me!!
Next thing I knew I was very close to doing a somersault! Fortunately my one foot was up on the dash high enough to press me back into the seat, while I grabbed the rein rail with both hands to keep from tumbling out. But I managed to drop both stinking reins! On either side of the dash no less. But keep hold of the whip :confused: I really don't quite know how this happened, it was so fast and fluid.
Thank goodness the bight managed to stay under my thigh despite my rump having come clear out of my seat.
Of course I had time to let out a "Oh CRAP!" as slightly amped-up pony was now at a brisk trot headed home.
I dove for the reins and then quickly glanced up, wincing, half expecting to now be aboard the chariot to hell :lol: My good good boy slowed of his own accord to a shuffle with head craned and both ears back saying "Hello?? Where are you??"
By now I was back in control... and thanking my lucky stars it wasn't worse! I spent the rest of the day shaking my head and wondering how I could have let this happen.
I've dropped a rein before, had one snapped out of my hand by an acrobatic tail, etc. and I always have the bight under my thigh or a breakaway leather tab around my pinky. But never have lost both before! Or been so thoroughly jostled, though I've taken bigger bounces before.
I guess I was leaning too far forward?
Should I be letting reins slip instead of leaning forward to give him room to reach? The hills we drive over are more like 'whoop-de-doos' very quick steep down up down, so there is a huge compression-extension-compression that takes place and I absorb that range with my trunk and arms, not letting my reins slip.
Is this just a case of 'life happens'?
I always drive on contact, and I always wear leather gloves though they're not what you'd call grippy. My reins are smooth, either beta or leather, though when I do drive with leather I use the flesh side up.
While no one was any worse for wear, and it was over as quickly as it happened, I can't help but realize that had things been a little faster or touchier, this could've gone south in a hurry...
I was driving two handed being in the woods, but this year am making the effort to drive single handed on the flat or groomed trails.
Any advice is very appreciated. I am mortified I let his happen and want to learn from my mistakes :(