I went for a lovely hack today - it was cold but sunny and fresh, and I was looking forward to a nice relaxing ride. For the most part, it was. We had a long canter where I didn't feel terribly in control, but she didn't do anything naughty. She felt very on the forehand today (it totally changes each day) and so when we went into canter she became a bit of a tank. It didn't matter too much, as the horse in front was going reasonably fast (he is an ex-racehorse after all). The only problem happened when Mojo shot sideways at a fallen tree, so then Echo spooked as well and her canter became disunited. She couldn't canter like that so we had to come back to a trot.
The rest of the hack was lovely. As we were riding home we saw an enormous herd of deer on the path. Both horses had a little look, but then the deer moved on and the horses relaxed. I was just admiring how sensible my horse is, as she clearly assessed the situation and realised that it wasn't scary. We were both relaxed and riding on loose reins. Turning onto the track that leads back down to the yard, I was behind my friend and we were chatting away, when Echo suddenly pricked her ears and looked worried. I didn't know what the problem was at first, then I saw two horses from the yard had just cantered up a hill that emerges near the track we were on.
They didn't want to come up behind us, so they were just standing still. Echo suddenly saw them and shot forwards , running into the back of Mojo. He panicked and bucked out at Echo, which made her spin sideways and charge into the bushes. The only problem was that he was trying to push through a tree, where the branches were as low as her chest. She was panicking and turned sideways, trying to find a route through the tree, but she slammed me into the branch and I fell off. It all happened as if in slow motion - I was lying on the ground looking up at her standing above me, thinking 'S**t - she's going to trample me', as she was still snorting and staring in the direction of the horses. I jumped up very quickly, but she didn't move. I was so grateful to her at that moment! I led her out of the bushes and saw my friend leading her horse too - I didn't realise that she too had fallen off! When her horse had bucked and kicked Echo, he had leaped forwards, spun round and stopped dead, causing her to fall off too. If someone had filmed it, it would have looked like a comedy sketch!
Both horses were jumpy but fine, so we got back on and went a long route home, in order to let them to chill out a bit before going home. Echo was still quite spooky, but was much more relaxed by the time we got home. I think she was a bit worried about me, as she was very very affectionate when we got back to the yard. In terms of first falls, it wasn't too bad - she relaxed quickly and we were able to continue our hack. I wasn't too shaken up and was confident to get back on, so as falls go, it could have been a lot worse. I think we will just have a light schooling session tomorrow - nothing too strenuous.