••• tiff firth photography •••

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

to hunt or not to hunt.

I feel sick.

Really physically sick about the thought of the first hunt on Saturday.

I'll give you some background so you know why.

Towards the end of Hunt Season 08 Jerry (the 17 hh horse) decided to buck. Not just little pigroots, but full on bronco buck at each hunt. I managed to stick one, and had a lot of port to settle my nerves after. The Master of the field happened to be looking back over her shoulder at the time and she said the his hind feet were above my head from her perspective. So it was full on.

The second one at the hunt the following week I came off. He put one in as soon as we landed from the first jump. I hit the deck with no damage done, other than pride and grass stains on my behind.

The third one has totally shattered my confidence in myself as a rider. He stuck one in about 2 strides out from the first jump. I was just preping him to jump so I had just moved forward out of the saddle and so I hit hard. It hurt. It hurt like hell. But as stubborn as I am not to let him win, I was vaulted back into the saddle, but I couldnt lift my leg to put my foot in the stirrup, let alone jump. So I retired from the field. Embarrassed, pissed off and very cross that he won. I even had to be driven home with the float (thanks Helen) as I couldnt apply any pressure at all for the clutch.

Xrays showed a bone chip off my left hip. It's still there and until it bothers me, it will stay there.

I have had a couple of rides (no jumping) in large groups since then and Jerry showed a tendency to buck then as well.

So this last couple of weeks a good friend of mine has seen my distress and offered her horsemanship knowledge to help. I am grateful. She's not a horse whisperer, she's a horse psychiatrist. She gets into their heads and works things from that end. And she is getting results.

Jerry is not ready to rejoin the hunt field with safety at this stage. With more work at home in the round yard and learning a lot of new things in my head too, I hope to join later this year.

With this in mind I am at peace knowing I will actually not hunt on Saturday. I am also very disappointed in myself to have my confidence knocked out of me, but I have to look at the larger picture. I have 2 young children. I have a husband who works on farm and as a builder off farm. He is busy supporting us as a family. 17 hh is a big big horse. When he bucks I go up before I come down and at the speed of cantering.

So I hope I dont get hassled tooo much for going to the hunt on Saturday and participate from a vehicle. I hope my fellow hunters understand that I am shit scared and I need time as well as Jerry before I want to join the field. I cant not go. I am the Treasurer and most of the Season Memberships will come in during the first few hunts.

So lots of hours coming up in the round yard while Sean has his arvo naps or plays with his trucks in the mud outside of the gate.

I love Jerry. He is such a schmooo at home. My nickname for him is 'slug' he is so sluggish. just not in the field. With work and learning on both sides I hope to bring out the best of both of us as a team.

Tally Ho.


Anonymous said...

Hey Tiff, sorry to hear about all ur trouble with Jerry. Hes such a sookie boy in the paddock. :D Love you. Paige. xx

Kirsty said...

Okay. I am TERRIFIED of horses. terrified. Not good living in the country! LOL
I am impressed that you get up on one!!! I let my little boy have a little horse ride today (his first ever) and somehow managed to contain my own horror. I can't imagine getting on one myself!
I hope everyone is really understanding, and that you and your horse get your groove back :)

Anonymous said...

I am just blown away by the picture of you on your beloved horse. I love learning new things about people and it has been very interesting reading about your endeavours in this post. Horse riding is def one thing we don't share in common, I got bucked off quite young and never regained confidence but hopefully you will regain yours and in no time be whipping your horse back into top gear, Tiff :o)

Anonymous said...

Tiff, knowing you it won't be long before you have the upper hand again on Jerry - keep positive about it, you will do it again!! Time heals - don't worry about the pride, that's just a little lump in the road - Enjoy the day from a spectators point of view - and have a port for me!!! xx Tanya

Danielle said...

Wow, he's certainly a good looking fellow!!

Does he get his head right down between his knees to buck? My horse I had as a kid was a bucker & my mum made up something sort of similar to a bearing rein to stop him getting his head right down (different from a bearing rein in that it didn't keep his head unnaturally up though). Let me know if you want to know more.

Hope Saturday goes well for you, despite not joining in from horseback.