I mentioned in the last post about Kat and I having a run-in with the irrigation ditch. Something has been on my mind since then.
At the last ADT I was talking to one of the club members who offers lessons in our area. I had mentioned to her about one of our previous outings when we encountered the garbage truck 3 times and how each time I stopped Kat, hopped out of the cart and stood by his head. When the truck went by, I hopped back on and we went on our way. Kat doesn't often spook and doesn't often bolt & run like a twit but I felt better, safer, standing by his head and making sure he was calm and relaxed, seeing me there calm and relaxed.
I was told I should Never dismount the cart in a situation like that. If he were to spook and bolt, he would be running away and there is no way to stop him or bring things back under control. It is better to sit in the cart and wait it out. You have more chances of preventing an accident that way then to step off the cart and head the horse.
Ok, that makes sense and I understand the reasoning behind it, but I also know that sometimes there is a time to just get off the horse and let them kill themselves too. In cases like that, have at it horse. Take yourself out, but you aren't taking me with you. Sometmes they handle things better seeing us on the ground, standing safe and calm while crazy shit happens around us. They see and feel us blowing it off, looking but not scared and do the same. You aren't freaked out, why should I be? is their reaction.
Knowing this, when things started to go south and the ditch was right there, I went with my instincts and stepped off the cart. I didn't let go of the reins, never got excited or lost my mind, but instead, stood there and waited for Kat to get his mind back and stop reacting to everything like he was. Sure it could have gone seriously wrong, but I did what I knew to do and waited for Kat to slow down and figure it out.
I know every horse is different, we are all different, every situation is different and how things turn out in the end vs. the could have, would have, should haves is all going to be different too. But do we all know what our own 'breaking point' is? Do you know when to get off and when to stay on and ride it out? What is it for you that defines it? Sometimes it is a gut feeling, reaction, instinct or you just know... but when do you hang on and when do you bail?