So, I have officially been dumped by Cruizer twice now. And this time hurts more than the first, which was a little while after I got him, when he decided to start rodeo bucking. I lasted 8 seconds, and then hit the dirt. Cruizer is VERY athletic, and if he wasn't so pretty he could have been a bucking horse.
Taking yesterday into account, it looks like he could have a career as a reining or cutting horse too. Versatile ;) Except that he would definitely be the biggest reining/cutting horse ever..at nearly 17 hands. The tallest reiner I've ever seen was 15.3 hands, and cutting horses are even smaller. Oh well, Cruizer has talent for those reining spins apparently.
Cruizer was riding along very quietly, just jogging around and being a good boy. I did lunge before I rode. My coach commented that "the snow and ice on the roof hasn't moved at all!" my response was "don't say that, cuz now its all gonna come down at once and I'm gonna go airborn!" and no more than five minutes later, guess what happened.
Cruizer was trotting along quietly with some slack on the rein, I was starting to ask him for more trot, and a huge chunk of snow comes sliding off the roof right next to where we were, he spun at top speed, (according to eye witness accounts), looked at me hanging off the side, and spun again trying to figure out wtf I was doing. There was no hope for me, and I landed flat on my back, cracking my head on the ground. I got the wind knocked out of me and couldn't breathe at first.
We try to keep all chances of me falling off to a minimum because I had a full spinal fusion done when I was a freshman in high school. I have metal from the base of my neck to the bottom of my lower back. I am fragile.
Cruizer at this point ran straight to my sister and shoved his head in her chest. He was looking at me on the ground and was apparently really upset and freaked out. After deciding that I didn't have any injury to my back or head I got up and went over to him. He was like OMG YOURE OKAY!?!? IM SO SORRY. and was nuzzling me and everything. He was so adorable. I think he was more upset than I was.
I lunged him again (which he was very quiet for) and then got back on and walked him around the arena 1.5 times, then just stopped and hung out for a few minutes, and dismounted.
My neck was starting to hurt really bad by then. Today my head neck and back all hurt. We are replacing my helmet, since it did make pretty good contact with the ground and has a dent in the back.
This is why no matter how old I am, I will never ride without a helmet. Even in the show ring, I always wear a show helmet with straps that is certified. I've gotten some people that complain about it, since it looks better when you just have the hunt cap with no straps, but I know that anything can happen, no matter how much I trust my horse. I mean.. look at what happened to Courtney King-Dye. She's an olympian.. and look at where she is now, all because she was in a hurry and didn't want to grab her helmet, and she trusted the horse and knew him very well. The horse didn't even do anything bad, he just tripped.
Even when Cruizer and I show at Quarter Horse Congress in the future, which is the ultimate no-helmets show, I will wear my safe helmet, even in the hunter under saddle and equitation, where I've never seen anybody wear a helmet before. & I will be proud that I have a brain and I'm not too proud or naive to think my horse is immune to freak accidents.
And for all honesty, I have ridden without a helmet a few times. On my 18th birthday, I took my celebratory helmet-less ride on one of my coach's lesson ponies. I have also been on Cruizer without a helmet twice, and I rode my previous horse without a helmet at shows (which was dumb).