A NickerDoodle Quiz: What’s your falling off style?

When it comes to falling off, are you a Tennis Ball, TV Remote or Egg? Take Melanie Eberhardt’s quiz to find out!

From Melanie:

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.


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).


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)

Age: 50+


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!

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About Melanie:

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

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