I rode an absolutely adorable pony named Jasmine. She was a gorgeous chestnut with no white markings on her face. She had cute little ears like a fox.
Everything started out well. We were riding around and I was having a good time working with Jasmine. Then, Teresa told me to shorten my stirrups. I didn't have a problem with them, but I listened to her anyway. Shortly after, my hip started hurting, even though I took a pain pill before I even came to the barn.
My legs were way out in front of me and I was leaning forward--because my stirrups were too damn short! My hip kept on catching, and I had to stop once while we were cantering (the only gait that really makes it catch) to do my half-dismount-scissors thing. I was in excruciating pain, and that was before we even started to jump.
Jasmine was a little uppity at the canter, and I felt that I should work her in a smaller circle in the center. She had comfortable gaits, but I don't think I've ever been on a horse who traveled with her back hollowed so much and so consistently. I tried to encourage Jasmine to lower her head and come onto the bit, but it just blew the poor pony's mind and got both of us a little frustrated. Oh well, I'm not in charge of training their horses--even though I feel sorry for the animals sometimes.
Jumping was okay simply because I stayed on. On the first jump, a small vertical, Jasmine jumped WAY over the fence. That hurt my hip. The second jump was no better, and Teresa said that I was having trouble because my legs were too far forward. I went back to the lineup and promptly dropped my stirrups back to their initial length. From then on, the jumps were MUCH better...until a particularly rough landing ended my jumping for the day. It hurt EVERYTHING. It even hurt my neck, the same place it hurts from my old whiplash injury. My hip was gone, so I skipped out on the last set of jumps and just walked the pony around with no stirrups.
From now on, I'm going to keep my stirrups at the length I'm comfortable with. If they're a little longer than what's considered ideal, so be it.
I was very sad after this ride. One of the girls in the lesson asked me why I ride if it hurts me so much. I told her that I didn't know, mostly because I just didn't know what to say to that. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't ride, really. I think I'd be a very, very sad person.
Sometimes I wonder the same thing, though. It's always an uncomfortable thought. I think I'll go do some Chemistry instead. Even Chemistry is less uncomfortable than thinking about not riding.
My hip still hurts.