When it comes to falling off, are you a Tennis Ball, TV Remote or Egg? Take Melanie Eberhardt’s quiz to find out!
I fell off my horse. It hurts. Worse than the pain, I won’t be riding anytime soon. My doctor made me pinky swear to stay off horses for six to eight weeks, then for good measure, wait four more weeks. So… I find myself with a lot of free time. I’m making good use of it! I am getting really good at solitaire–not on the computer, I’m going old style with cards. I have mastered the art of paper-thin crepes (yummy with fresh strawberries). I clean every dish as soon as I use it, much to the dismay of the tiny ants that have invaded my kitchen this summer. I’ve watched all my DVDs from A to Z, then Z to A. I heaped all my socks on the bed and matched pairs. Oddly, I still have half a heap of singles, but that’s a problem for another day. I’ve thrown my dog’s tennis ball a million times–he never gets tired of it. You get the idea, I have plenty of time to think about things–like um, falling off horses.
I’ve devised a theory around horse falls. It’s very simple drawing parallels between everyday household objects, horse falls and age. Check it out.
THE TENNIS BALL
Condition: Horse Fall
Age: Kid (through college)
I started falling off horses when I was a kid. I fell off a big bay when I started taking riding lessons. Apparently he didn’t approve of my technique–everyone’s got an opinion! Then there was the red roan mare from overnight camp who scraped me against a tree then ran off down the trail. She never even looked back.
Though the horses were much bigger back then (relatively speaking) and I had farther to fall, I never really got hurt. I hit the ground and bounced like my dog’s tennis ball. Maybe I needed a Band-Aid but most damage was confined to my young ego (because of course I always fell in front of a bunch friends).
THE TV REMOTE
Condition: Another Horse Fall
Age: Adult (25 to 49)
As an adult, the horse falls continued but now I fall off my own horses. (Like that makes a difference?) My first fall off my gelding was a header when he refused to jump a tiny creek. He refused UNTIL all the horses in front of us disappeared around a bend in the trail at which point he leapt that creek like someone lit a firecracker under his A##. He ran to catch up with his friends. Déjà vu, I was abandoned once again on a trail.
Like the TV remote I dropped on the floor last week, I hit the ground a little harder as an adult. I chipped a corner and my batteries fell out. But a little duct tape, a couple stitches and I was good to go.
Condition: The Final Horse Fall (I hope)
I’m now over 50 and not yet done falling off horses. My recent folly resulted from an embarrassingly, inconsequential happy buck. My horse loves ground poles and at the end of a successful trot over about seven, he gleefully gave a teeny, tiny happy buck. I shot straight up in the air about 60 feet. By the time I came back down, he had already finished his ride, untacked himself, had a carrot and gone back out in his pasture. You guessed it–my horse was not under me and I landed on wet sand. (Wet sand = cement.)
Falling after 50 brings a whole new perspective to pain and recovery. The act of falling is the same, but how our older bodies react is completely different. Even a small fall hurts more. Our older bodies are less resilient and slower to recover. My parallel is simple and true. I am the egg I dropped on my kitchen floor this morning.
So, people of Horse Nation, what are you? A Tennis Ball? TV Remote? Or an Egg? We want to know. Please vote (be honest!) and we’ll post results on Monday!
I am an artist in Atlanta. When I’m not painting, I’m riding horses. I have 3 retired Arabians and a snotty pony at home. They keep me on my toes. Three years ago I bought a young OTTB straight off the track. My new fella, Bubba, and I are learning dressage. Sadly, I’m the weak link on Team Bubba, but I learn something every time we ride so it’s all good. I started NickerDoodles to document the horsey antics that abound within my world. I’m very fortunate to balance my life with things that I love – painting and riding – and NickerDoodles gives me a forum to share. If we’re not laughing at our horses and ourselves, we’re probably crying. I prefer to laugh! I hope everyone enjoys NickerDoodles.
Please visit my central website: melanieeberhardt.com