I thought Michael was crazy/ out to kill us. See we had so many horses we did sets of 12 horses out at a time with 12 riders. So when the 2 yr olds came in they started doing group rides on the hills, fields and woods of Fair Hill. No biggie. So one day Michael asks us to Gallop across the field, (towards the barn) as a single file group of 12. I thought I was a dead woman!!! Thankfully we survived that day and a a few more. But it was more than a little challenging to simultaneously look for gopher holes, avoid passing or being passed and riding out the broncs etc.
No wonder our turf horses could really run!!!
"Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries
Highs - the sheer exhilaration of galloping an amazingly strong and powerful animal full pelt down the straight with a horse on either side...oh the feeling is intense and nothing compares to it.
Lows - early mornings.
Lowest moment for me - watching my favourite filly come galloping back with a dislocated/twisted pelvis after a race. Broke my heart. She came good & is now a brood mare but at the time I thought she was a goner.
Hair raising moment - about a month into learning to ride track work, finally getting the guts to ride the 'star' racehorse, he was too strong for me and I wasn't game to give it a go despite the encouragement. He took off on me on the home track we worked them on every second day. Worst feeling of my life. I will never forget the vision of the ground beneath me travelling at such speed. I never want to experience it ever again. There is a fine line between being in control and drastically out of control. Horses make us humble.
Another high - the friendships you form. (human and animal) Learning about yourself. For me in Australia it was also very multi cultural so that was an eye opener as well, and I'm a better person for it.
A hilarious moment- riding work with one of the older riders at the track, very early morning, very cold, he was always chatting away to me about something, and almost every morning he had a long stream of snot coming out of his nose and down his face. It was all I could do to keep a straight face. I always wonder why he didn't just use his sleeve to wipe it? Maybe he didn't even know it was there...
And...one for the girls - gee you get a tough skin!!! Boys are awful
RillRill, if that ever happens again try standing up and riding on the buckle. Sometimes acting like you don't care they are running off takes the fun out of it for them. I was the queen of getting ran off with because I have noodles for arms. I figured out if I pulled with all my might or threw them away they went the same speed so I saved my energy. You can ride as fast as they can run!
The closest I ever came to getting killed on the track was once when I was two minute licking in company down the stretch. Thank God I was on the outside because I look up and there is a horse hobby horsing on the rail in front of us. I try to steer off the rail while screaming for them to get the hell out of the way and had nothing. Actually dropped my inside rein and pulled with both hands on my outside rein and still went straight at an arrow. The quick thinking rider on my inside guided his horse gently into my horse and drifted us both outside the asshat on the rail.