About a year ago I took my first tumble off of Prim. It was the first fall I'd had in a long time. I'd had 3 or 4 falls when I was younger and taking lessons but they did not prepare me for flying off my 15.1h mare at a good clip. I was extremely dehydrated from standing in the sun the day prior at Pilgrimage, and I was tired. It was the very end of our lesson on a 95° day and we were finishing up our last pattern. We came out of our rollback on the wrong lead and I asked Prim to do a flying lead change but I was so far forward on her neck, just trying to make it through the final maneuver. She changed, but she lifted her back end so high that I tipped right over her shoulder. Reflexively I tucked my head and ended up doing a somersault instead of diving head first into the sand. When I hit the sand on my back I slid with one arm trailing out behind me, resulting in a wound that looked like I had taken a sander to my skin. Of course, the wind was knocked out of me and momentarily all I could do was blink up at the sun, trying to breathe and assess the damage. My lower back was the most painful, so I didn't want to make any sudden moves just in case. Prim had come to a halt after I'd been launched over her shoulder, so she was about 10ft directly behind me. Then I heard the hooves of a 1,100lb animal walking towards my head. In my mind, I knew she had no desire to trample me but I also knew I couldn't move out of the way. So I instinctively threw an arm up over my face (as if that would have helped), and I didn't see her big brown muzzle coming down to inspect me before my trainer grabbed her reins. After checking that I was ok, she said casually: y'know, I don't often see a horse that sticks around when their rider falls off, they'll find the nearest patch of grass, especially if they haven't been with their rider long. - I knew then that my mare was kind. At the time I'd only had her about 2 months, but I knew she was the horse I would want with me forever.
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