My mare, Sugar, is a master of the Rider Over-Ride. Typically happens when we are approaching an oxer that she finds particularly impressive. Or maybe it's an oxer that I find particularly impressive. Will have to give that some thought. In any case, what typically happens is we'll be cantering down to the fence, and I'll have some idea of where I think we're going to leave the ground. When we get closer to the fence Sug will make an Executive Decision that, no, she doesn't like my input, and she's taking over the decision making process.
We then have what I like to call one of our "Holy Crap!" moments, with her taking an ENORMOUS leap and me hanging on for dear life somewhere in the back seat, with my heels up by her ears and my mouth wide open. I'd like to say my mouth is open in prayerful supplication to my Higher Power, but I'm not going to try and BS you. You know I'm saying something that my mother would have washed my mouth out for.
There is some photographic evidence of these moments, which I will now share with you. Hope you get a giggle or two, and I'd love to hear which one you like the best.
Thought you might appreciate the full sequence here. Back story is it was our first away show ever, week 4 at HITS Saugerties. My trainer decided that for our first class we'd just warm up with something smaller than we normally do. The round was going well, until we rounded the corner to the oxer and final combination. Miss "I Really Think I Should Be A Grand Prix Horse" saw that oxer and LAUNCHED herself skyward, with no warning to her unsuspecting rider. She landed on the back rail, splintered it, and then took off as if her hair was on fire at the combination with me hanging on like a burr, holding the reins by the buckle. Luckily we got through the combo okay, and she passaged her proud self out of the ring as if she'd not just raised several people's blood pressure.
Pic 1 -- Note that the shoe is directly left of her eyes.
Pic 2 -- The shoe is by her schnozz.
Pic 3 -- Now the errant hoof covering is directly to the left of my helmet.
This series was shot from a couple of angles by two people. You know you're lucky when you have not one, but two people recording your less than stellar moments! Anyway, Sug was fairly impressed by this triple, and gave a huge leap into the first element. She then decided that the best way to handle the situation she found herself in (remember, she wasn't taking rider input at this point) was to take ANOTHER huge leap over the second element! At some point she caught her toe on her front shoe, and as we were rocketing skyward I heard a high pitched whizzing noise. It was her shoe flying by our faces! As you can see from the third shot, I had a great view of that shoe as it flew threw the air, smacked into the third element of the triple, and then hit the dirt. Thankfully she allowed me to pull her up at that point, although she wanted to go for fence #3 and argued with me some about it. We excused ourselves, left the ring and found a farrier, with her shaking her head and looking around as if to say, "Hey, didja see that? I jumped so hard and high I jumped right outta my Jimmy Choos! Pretty impressive, huh?"
As you can see, the rest of the show was pretty much more of the same. We were lucky to get out of there with our lives. You have to say, the mare loves her job! At least it wasn't an oxer this time.