A few months back I was given a retiring fox hunting thoroughbred to become my horse if everything worked out between us. My very first ride on him I thought for sure he would be a good replacement for my old thoroughbred who had died 5 months prior. That first ride I remember well. I had him in halter and lead rope only and did maybe a 20 foot circle of patterns back and forth right near the pasture gate bareback, as we didn’t know how he would take to my western saddle after so many years of riding English. super successful I thought. Since our round pen access was a few miles away I needed a way to move the horse from the pasture to round pen to properly work him before we tried to do the western saddle. The next ride however I decided to try with a bit in his mouth to see how well we would do bareback but with a bit in his mouth before we ventured out of the pasture down the road. Like the first ride I remember it well but this time for the lack of success. First there was no brakes, then there was no turning then there was a dead run sprint leading into a bucking fit that dragged me along the pasture about 15 feet hanging on the reins, my back and left hand took most of the beating for that trip. When he came back to me after I let go of the reins, I got back on him bareback again and had all but 4 inches of reins gathered in hand to keep at a walk back to the gate, where I tied him for a time out while a friend bandaged me up with some of her oils and craziness that totally healed my busted hand and back. Those next few rides we did a lot of ground work before I would feel brave enough to ride him, usually topping out at 45 minutes ground time. My last ride on Jack was an eventful failure. A friend and I had managed time babysitters transport everything so we could ride last minute and actually go somewhere for a ride since she and I usually loved going on long trail rides in different scenery, that day we loaded up the husband’s truck and her trailer and our 2 old men. I vividly remember the lead up to the ride itself, similar to how someone remembers a dream. I remember gal pal Hollie and I being worried about the 2 horses trailering together for the first time, and then both loaded up like nothing at all. We got to the farm and did our ground work and it seemed like we were all having a good day, and seemed to be ready to ride in about 20 minutes. About a 3 months ago now (Feb 2015) I finally remembered the rest of the ride. We got one and started off along a field, Jack acting a bit sketchy at first. I tried to correct he’d pull a bit more. We continued on, the farm dog got to following us, I turned around chased first, came back up to Jack trying to fight to run, corrected again while Hollie tried to chase off the dog. Jack humped up, the beginning of a buck, I finally had enough of his shenanigans pulled the reigns hard to right and started kicking to get him moving forward and into a circle so he would quit. 1 hop, kept pushing with my feet to move him forward, second buck a little harder, got some clearance of my seat, pushed my feet into him and my butt in the saddle as much as a could still trying to turn right. 3rd buck gave up on feet cues, worked on hanging on and riding out the bucks. 5th buck I lost my seat completely, mashing hip bone against the horn , then over it. 6th buck, on his neck, and getting nervous, we’re getting aimed on the hillside I will lose. Jack knows he’s almost done with me. He firmly moves his back end up the hill, head sloping down and bucks 1 last time and off I come. I tucked my chin, but still managed to smack the upper back part of my head on the ground, followed by my back and butt and legs. My first thought/ view was fuzzy. Not in the can’t remember kind of way, but in the blurred vision sort of way. Hollie jumping off her horse Gus in a very slow motion matrix kinda way, trying to grab Jack’s reins as he was starting to much on the grass having successfully told me where to shove this riding craziness. Her coming to me, me being worried about the stupid horse, and arguing with Hollie that I was gonna show that son of a B!#/@ for throwing me and that I had to get back on him, and how she knew it. Me getting in Hollies face that she wasn’t gonna stop me from getting back on him to correct this. Her throwing my heavy ass saddle to the ground so I wouldn’t get back on, me getting in my grandfather in laws face because he wanted me to go get checked out. Hollie promising me that she and Gus would work the shit outta that stupid horse if I went with grandpa and met up with Aaron and went to the hospital. Me asking Aaron every 10 minutes what happened and why we were at the hospital. The god awful MRI from head to hips. Asking Aaron again what happened. Him making a crack at me doing ten second Tom impressions. Me finally coming around to full cognition about 730PM, as they were moving me to a room at the hospital for observation during the night. Me calling Hollie to talk to her and get the recap of what at that point I still didn’t remember. The next morning, me calling Jack’s previous owner to turn him back over to her, because of the wreck. The problem is now, 8 months later, and I’m still not very confident in my riding, despite having a nice little mare now that blew me away on her first ride out, also my second ride total after the wreck had a few kinks, but stuff to be expected after not being ridden for years as a broodmare. She’s kind, amazing with the kids and seems to get that I’m still not right. She’s testing me now though, and I can’t seem to shake the sudden anxiety that hits going into a correction. And am so scared of something terrible happening that I can’t hardly bring myself to go for those nice long trail rides away from home, much less out of the pasture hardly. Like all those years of riding and being a confident bad ass are just gone. I know I need to cowgirl up a bit and get myself right. I know what I should be doing when she misbehaves. But my body can’t seem to take the knowledge I have and use it without panicking. Summer’s here, and I want to ride so badly, but I need such time to get right with my head, with my mare, and everything in between.