My debute pro run in Yuma was not anything close to what I hoped for...
Moon went down on the backside of the 1st barrel. Not all the way down, but it was close. As close as it comes and I hope it never happens again. I didn't have time to be scared but I was looking for a spot to land and knew that when I hit I had better just keep on rolling because Moon's body was coming in the same direction.
We were the 10th and last runner in the Saturday perf and Moon hit hardpan. I saw the hardpan just as Moon's front feet landed in that spot and I thought, 'Oh hell, I better pick him up.', but it was too late, his front feet just skittered out from under him. I ended up almost upside down on his inside (right) shoulder and I'm pretty sure the only thing that kept me from going all the way off was my spurs sliding up under the saddle blanket and stopping my forward motion.
Moon is a quick footed bugger though. He caught himself, lunged forward and then took off running for the 2nd barrel. I wasn't exactly back in the saddle yet and had no reins (they got jerked out of my hands when he lunged up and forward) so when he took the 2nd turn, he threw me forward again. This time I felt the rubber band on my left foot pop and I lost that stirrup. After that, I was basically just desperately trying to right myself in the saddle and hold on. No reins, no stirrup and a horse that is panicked and flying. Not a fun ride!! I had no way to control him and he ran into 3rd barrel, sent it flying and had to jump it. You know it's bad when you see people jumping over the fence as you are racing toward home because they think they are going to have to stop a runaway horse. Luckily, Moon is really good about stopping at the fence. I just kept telling him whoa and trying to get set up in the saddle.
I couldn't figure out at the time why I couldn't get ahold of the reins. They were right there. But after we got out of the arena and I got off, I realized I couldn't loosen his cinch either. At first I couldn't feel my fingers on my left hand, but then the pain set in. I must have whacked my hand on the saddle and my fingers were not working. Two days later and they are still sore. Of course at the time, I thought that was the worst of it, but the next day is when the rest of it set in. I tweaked the heck out of my back. Particularly the muscle on the lower left side.
Moon seemed to have faired better than I did. I went over him thoroughly the next morning and he does not seem to be sore at all. THANKFULLY!! I swear, I worry more about that horse getting sore or hurt WAY more than I worry about myself (or anything else I have).
I had a couple of people come up to me afterwards and ask me if I was okay. One lady (another barrel racer) said she didn't know how I stuck with him and marveled at how Moon managed to regain his feet. She said she thought we were toast. LOL. Bless her though, I was rather mortified over my debute pro run, she just shrugged and said, 'It happens to all of us at some point. You just got it out of the way early.'
You know, I have to say, I was rather looking forward to being a long ways from home and being able to hopefully get a few runs in 'anonymously'...but that didn't seem to be the case. I was really weirded out by the fact that as Moon was running in the gate that the announcer knew my hometown AND Moon's name. Seriously? The only info I gave the WPRA was my current address and I did not have to fill out anything in regards to my horses. That just sort of freaked me out to hear that info coming from the announcer...of course then everything went to hell in a handbasket and the whole time, I'm thinking, 'Oh great...I'm 1500 miles from SD and I don't even live there anymore and this guy won't shut the hell up about it.' LMAO. Lord knows why such things go through your mind in times of total chaos.
So anyway....it's over and done with. It's one of those disposable runs. There is nothing to think about or analyze...it just was what it was and you move on to the next one.