I've discovered that if Lucy is being stupid and I tell myself, "I WILL NOT FALL OFF", I typically manage to hang on.
If she's being stupid and I start doubting myself and think, "ok, I am going to eat it in three seconds," then I fall off in three seconds or less, guaranteed.
If you're riding with an instructor and your horse does something naughty that unseats you and may or may not carry on across the ring, your instructor is probably standing in the middle of the ring hollering at the top of his/her lungs at you:
- "SIT UP!!!"
- "GET YOUR HEELS DOWN!!"
- "STEER YOUR HORSE!!!"
- "PICK HER HEAD UP!!!!"
I have had enough instances of this kind of instruction (which is invaluable and half the battle is getting those demands ingrained into your brain and then starting to expect them from yourself) that I am able to silently yell at myself as Lucy is cavorting around.
This came in handy yesterday. The whole time she was going haywire across the ring I was chanting inside my head, "I will NOT fall off. I will NOT fall off. I will NOT fall off." I interjected this chant periodically with reminders to pick her #$*%&$ head up and get this beast under control.
Falling off hurts and it is embarrassing, and all it means is that I have to dig the dirt out of the back of my jeans and brush it off my face and catch my horse and drag her over to the mounting block and get back on and muster up the energy and courage to do it all again. Later that night I get to go home and admire my new bruises, and then I hobble around for the rest of the week like a 80 year old lady. If that's not bad enough, I have to go spend $70 on a new helmet before I can ride again.
The whole buying a new helmet thing is almost persuasion enough not to fall ever again.
So I am curious whether you think your falls are a result of g-forces beyond your control that literally propel you out of the saddle, or if you make a conscious decision to "bail". If you decide mid-buck that you are going to stick it out no matter what, are you able to stay aboard? Or does ponykins override your power and send you packing anyway?