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Learning How to Gallop

One day I was learning how to gallop on my horse Buffy at the stable where I used to take lessons.  After I went around the pen once, I asked my instructor if I could go around one more time, and I took off.  I went about 20 feet, when I kicked her just a little bit, and that’s when it all began.  I flew off the saddle banging my back into the metal pole fence that went around the sandy arena.  I then slammed onto what seemed to be the hard, sandy ground.  My first instinct was to get away from the fence so the horse could see me.  I tried standing up, only to fall back down; I inched my way over, crouched over my knees.

I took a rest when I was about 3 feet away from the metal beast of a fence.  By then my Mimi and Kim, my instructor, were racing toward me saying, "Are you alright?!"  My horse came trotting up to me, knowing that something wasn't right, and she put her head down as an offer to help me up. I grabbed her bridle, while I slowly and painfully got up.  Of course, I had to get back on Buffy.  I walked around the arena holding back my tears, slouched over the saddle horn, and wondering if I would be okay.  I got off my horse hoping that I would never have to gallop again.

I think that my helmet may have saved my life if I were cantering and fell lower, hurting my head instead of my back.  Later that week I found out that it hurt to do anything.  I couldn’t get off the bus, run, nor trot on my horse without experiencing pain.  I spent weeks going to my lessons afraid of the big pen, and afraid to gallop.  I have had many confidence problems since then.  Please offer any pointers you may have.

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