In the simplest sense, there are two means for dismounting a horse. The planned method, and the unplanned method. The former is, of course, preferred, but does not make good blog fodder.
On Independence Day, Daughter #2's Husband (henceforth known as DN2H), and I went for a trail ride on Weyerhaeuser land north of Enumclaw. DN2H rode Smokey, while I rode Dozer. You may recall, from this post, that Dozermeister has been a tad skittish. This may become important later.
Dozer is shaped somewhat like a barrel, and is lacking in a significant withers. When going down hill, it begins to feel like the saddle is going to end up on his neck. To combat this, I brought along a crupper. Any wise horseperson will tell you to only introduce new things in the arena or round pen. I do not claim to be wise. I put the crupper on in stages, and once secure, let him sit with it for about ten minutes. No reaction, so all must be well.
I put the saddle bags on, again with no problem. Until I started to walk away. This was apparently one thing too many as he started jumping around like a bronc. Oh boy. After a few tense moments, we got him settled down. I removed the crupper. This seemed to calm the youngster, and we soon hit the trail.
The next three hours were uneventful, as we enjoyed the quiet and the nice weather. We were moving up a logging road, when I heard the sounds of other riders approaching on an intersecting road. Soon, a white horse showed up on the trail.
Dozer spooked so suddenly, and so quickly, that before I even realized it, I was flat on my back on the ground. I'm fairly certain the only reason Dozer did not manage to bolt is the fact that old Smokey Joe was standing in the way, with a look on his face that seemed to say "what's all the commotion about?" Finding one rein still in my hand, I jumped to my feet and gave a jerk on it to stop him. As quickly as the rodeo had begun, it was over.
I straightened the bit in his mouth, and climbed back in the saddle. A quick self assessment revealed the bottom of my left forearm to be, well, a bit scratched up. More on that later. A few other cuts and bruises, and my back was a wee bit sore. We rode up to the other party. Lo and behold, it was a friend of ours, and a whole group of her friends. We talked for a few minutes, laughed about my dismount, and then headed in on our separate paths. As DN2H put it "only your family would run into someone you know in the middle of nowhere". This does seem to happen regularly.
I asked DN2H's what happened. He put it rather succinctly: "Dozer did a rollback, I heard a thud, and you were the ground. You got back in the saddle, rode up, and started talking to your friends".
We headed back to the trailer without further event, unsaddled, loaded up, and took the ponies home.
It wasn't til later that the pain set in. It was a hard landing, cuz I don't bounce like I used too. My lower back hurts (sitting down is the worst), and my forearm looks like someone took a cheese grater to it. But, as they say, pain let's you know you're alive, so I'm alive and well. Although it may be a few more days before I climb up in the saddle.
BTW, this was my fault. I know Dozer has been skittish, and I heard the other riders coming. I should have been prepared for his reaction. Had I been, I probably would have stayed in the saddle. Sometimes I just have to relearn a few lessons.