Soo here’s this…
I was talking to this girl who rides at my barn. She’s older than me, but still young, probably about 25-26ish. She’s the type of rider that I could go out to the barn and she’d be galloping bareback through the field without a bridle or jumping the ditches and banks bareback for fun. Anyways, I was talking to her about this #dontbeafruit thing going around tumblr, because like most of us on here, she believes that she can trust her horse with her life. When I gave her a puzzled and almost sarcastic look after she said that, she told me this story:
She’s owned her horse, Romeo, for about 7 years now- she bought him when she was 3, helped back him, and basically with the help of some professional trainer, made this horse into an adult jumper. A couple years ago, they were at a show together. They went in the show ring, and completely ate it at the 2nd jump. Romeo crashed through this giant oxer, and she fell off the side and inevitably, underneath him when he landed. If he had put his foot down, the weight and pressure of him coming down would have crushed the entire left side of her ribs and would’ve punctured some organs, and in short, it could have been very very very bad. However, Romeo did not put his foot down on her, and completely avoided even touching her when he down.
She said “I know I can trust my hose for the sole reason that he did not put his foot down on me while I was on the ground, rather than me letting him put it on me. Placing your horse’s foot on your stomach does not signify you have great trust or a huge bond. When your horse avoids that very situation completely, that’s when you know you can trust him.”
Boom, my mind was blown.
She laughed when I pulled up pictures of girls sitting underneath their horse or sitting with their horse’s hoof sitting on their head because “The horse is doing nothing but standing there being a trick pony. Having a “bond” doesn’t mean you force your horse to stand with it’s hoof on your stomach.”
When I fell off and underneath Major this time last year, this type of situation is the reason I am still alive. When I came off, the only place to go was under, and I remember seeing his feet coming at me, and shutting my eyes so I wouldn’t have to see, but Major didn’t touch me at all. Everyone who saw what happened said that he did an awkward massive canter stride/jump in an attempt to get over me without hurting me, and he succeeded. For an extremely flighty, spooky horse who tends to completely forget the rider in a situation like this one, that was big. The incident completely changed my perspective about him, and about what it actually means to trust my horse.