Oh Vick, I’ve Fallen

24 06 2012

It’s been another week again.  I have been riding in this time, however I’ve also been very busy outside of riding club with a lot of work being set by both my host university and my proper university. There have also been two important games for the sempai in the week, so having to stay at the club for longer hours to help out with those has been eating up my time and energy as well.

In riding terms, I haven’t progressed any further beyond practising my sitting and rising trot yet. At the moment it seems that on some days I can do this really well – one reminder to correct my posture is enough – and on others everything I do seems to be unacceptable. I accept, however, that I am having to contend with not only trying to concentrate on getting everything right, but also on having to interpret instructions that are being given to me in a language I have a fair but by no means complete grasp of at the same time, so perhaps once I return to the UK and start having lessons there again this will improve.

As regular readers will know, I do a lot of sweeping at the stables in the course of a normal day. We use traditional wooden besems for this purpose. Because they are made entirely of natural wood and twigs, no two of them are identical, and in my head I’ve started to give them stat ratings like weapons in an RPG-type video game that summarise their suitability for any given task. For example, the smaller, short ones with smaller broom heads are very hard to use for sweeping up large, flat areas, but highly effective to use for sweeping up a pile of collected debris into a dustpan. Conversely, the larger ones with longer handles are better for sweeping up dirt that’s spread out over a wide surface area. There’s one intermediate broom that can be used easily enough to do pretty much anything, but you have to be really lucky and get there first to get that one. Heh.

In other news, I had a fall from Kit earlier on today. He jumped while I was struggling to keep him trotting – he was being very difficult, and my sempai had to follow behind us with a large whip to spur him on for me as though he was on a lunge. I think it was being whacked from behind with that that caused him to jump, and I was effectively thrown off.

In the strangest of ways, there was a split second while I was thrust up into the air in which I realised I had a choice to either let myself fall or try and regain my seat, but I went with letting myself fall because I wasn’t convinced I knew *how* to recover my seat, and thought the fall from attempting that and messing it up might be worse.

I landed arse-first and bounced off the fence on the way down. It happened really fast, but in a strange way I remember it as though the fall itself happened in an instant but my thoughts happened in slow motion. On the way down I remember trying to concentrate on relaxing to reduce the impact of the fall but also trying to fall out of reach of Kit’s hooves. Landing really hurt. I was thankful of having had a helmet on as my head hit the ground hard and it absorbed all of the impact.

As soon as worst of the pain had subsided, I got back up and insisted I was still fit to ride. I re-mounted Kit and continued to practise without any difficulty, although I had some discomfort at the base of my right thigh. I think I was largely going on adrenaline, though; the impact of the fall has since left me with lingering pain in my right ischium and coccyx, and it now hurts when I bend or crouch down and walk (which made washing, drying and grooming Kit after riding him a bit uncomfortable). The discomfort became more pronounced over the course of the journey home.

Upon arriving back at home, I had something to eat, a delayed cry (like a real girl – heh) followed by a nap. When I woke up I followed this up with a hot bath and some painkillers, and they’ve helped. I can’t see any black bruising so I’m just going to hope there’s no serious damage and take it easy until Wednesday morning – when I have riding again!

I suspect that this will only have been the first of many more falls to come, anyway, on the road to becoming an accomplished rider. Especially as I’ve sort of got my heart set on continuing and trying to get into cross country when I return to the UK!

In other news, I think I’ve found a pair of leather riding boots for under £100 that will actually fit me! Rhinegold’s Olympic riding boots in a size 36 extra wide. I am never sure whether to buy a size 4 or a size 3 as I have pretty small feet and alternately find either size will fit me depending on the manufacturer, but from a customer review I found on Amazon it looks as though the foot sizes run on the large side, and the extra-wide calf width for the 36 is perfect for me. Buying some will have to wait until I return to the UK, however, as even if I could currently afford them it is inadvisable to ship leather goods to Japan because they place high import duty on them. I have no idea why.

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