Crash Bang Ouch

Should’ve stayed on the horse!

I suppose the pain surging through my left side from hip to shoulder is my own fault. If I’d just stayed on the horse, it would never have happened. And in all honesty, it was totally my fault that we parted company in the first place. So, today I have learned that it’s usually wiser to remain stuck to your horse’s back and go in the same direction as him.

In all fairness, it’s probably quite sensible to be more decisive about turning the horse earlier than the point at which he’s already turning in the opposite direction. But hey, there you go. It’s a real shame things ended with me smacking into the fence and breaking it, because Tarzan and I had been doing so well up until then. We were jumping, and pretty well to be honest. Sonya had set up a bounce and then a three stride distance down to an upright, pretty cool stuff. After my first attempts at bounces with Lucky last Friday, I felt slightly more confident about it today and we figured it was safe to assume that Tarzan knew what he was doing over it. Which he absolutely did, so I got to ride a bounce properly today which was really fun.

On the whole, we got some pretty good turns going on down to the jumps, and once I’d sussed how to sort my position out over the bounce, we were getting some nice jumps as well. Tarzan was working well for me, and I felt in control and happy. I was even managing to help him decide which leg to land on after the final jump so that we could change the rein each time. I just thought “RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT” or “LEFT, TURN LEFT” as appropriate, and must have subtly shifted my weight and position to influence the way he landed and turned. Sonya seemed quite impressed with how well I was doing with landing on the correct leg for the direction, and I was happy with what Tarzan and I were achieving together. I should have quit while I was ahead.

We had just come down the jumps beautifully and turned the correct way at the end. It was all brilliant, Sonya was happy, I was happy, Tarzan was happy. Happy dappy. And then I decided (stupid girl) to go again. I should have stopped and ended on a good note. But I didn’t. I got a bit too blasé and over-confident about the whole thing. Well, I’d just done it perfectly, so what could go wrong…right? Pah. My timing was off from the first jump and I ended up in front of the movement. I didn’t sit up quickly enough after the bounce which meant going over the final jump I was already too far forward. I didn’t direct Tarzan early enough and thanks to my less than secure position, when he decided to turn right, I ended up carrying on into the arena fence without him.

Fortunately I curled defensively rather than allowing my body to splay, so I went into the fence with the left side of my back rather than face first. The crack of my impact was crazy loud. I thought I must have hit my head at first because it was such a huge noise in my ears that I figured it could only have come from hitting my head. But I hadn’t, it was just from smacking my back into the fence and cracking it. I’ve never been more grateful for health and safety than I was at that moment. Because as I sat there, focusing on breathing deep to control my reaction to the sudden pain I felt, I realised that without my body protector I would have broken ribs at the very least. After making sure I was okay, Sonya then looked at the fence and said “Well, you’ve broken my fence haven’t you?! And my A sign!” I turned around and say the somewhat concave letter ‘A’ dressage marker, and the large crack in the arena edge. “Ooops…sorry Sonya!”

After sitting still for a while, checking myself over and making sure I could move everything, I stood up and tested my ability to bend and twist. It hurt, but not to the point that I couldn’t do it. Sonya then asked what I wanted to do next and agreed that it would be fine, and a good idea, for me to get back on and have a walk and trot round. I wasn’t particularly shaken by the whole affair as I knew it was so totally my fault that it needn’t happen again because it was so easily preventable. Tarzan, however, seemed somewhat confused by what had happened and as he’s an older horse I really didn’t want him to lose his confidence. So we had a bit of a trot around and I let him know it wasn’t his fault.

I think the shock must have worn off a bit later on because I suddenly felt like a plug had been pulled on me and every bit of energy I possessed was drained through my feet. I was doing Fox’s rugs at the time and ended up standing there, leaning my head on his neck for a minute until I got my bearings again. Bless that horse for standing still and quiet, only reaching his head round to nuzzle my shoulder and breathe out into my hair. Bless that horse a thousand times for his patience and understanding at that moment.

As the day wore on, however, I have gradually got to feeling worse and worse. My grandmother has been lovely, making sure I’m well fed and bringing me cups of tea so I don’t have to move too much. Even sitting back against a pile of soft cushions is agony. Urgh. I’m such a wuss when it comes to physical pain anyway, this is just horrible. And I can bet I’m going to be stiff as a board tomorrow morning. Not looking forward to that, at all!!

I’m hoping it doesn’t take me too long to heal up, because injuries are so terribly inconvenient. I’m not cut out to be hurt; I need to be well and fit and healthy so that I can get on with my life! Not some pathetic invalid who can barely get out of her seat.

Enjoy your day friends, whatever you may be doing! Don’t fall off a horse or anything; leave that to me, I’m a pro see.

This…this is what I like to look up at…


8 thoughts on “Crash Bang Ouch

  1. Sorry to hear about this! Ouch. Where I live there are Asian foot massage spas all over. In addition to doing reflexology on your feet, they massage your back and shoulders too (for about 1/4 of the price of what a massage at a fancy salon/spa would cost). If you have access to something like this or to a massage therapist or chiropractor you should try to see them. I’m not clear on the falling and replacing your helmet “rule.” Is it only if you hit your head or any fall can compromise the integrity of the helmet? That might be something to look into as well.

    • I’m quite lucky in that my Grandmother is a masseuse and acupuncturist so once the bruising goes down I’ll get a treatment from her to help things relax again. At the moment I don’t think I could bear to be touched, it’s so very tender!
      From what I’ve been told I shouldn’t need to replace my hat as it’s only if you hit your head. So that’s lucky. My panic was that I’d have to buy a new body protector but apparently they’re differently designed to hats so they can take plenty of hits before you’ll need a new one. Phew!!!!

      • I’m curious to know more about body protectors! Where I live, not a common thing to see. In fact, I’ve never seen anyone wear one in real life (unless they were eventing).Is that something you wear every time you jump? Is it a barn rule?

      • Yeah our college has quite strict health and safety rules for students. We have to wear a body protector anytime we want to jump, whether in the arena or cross-country stuff. I didn’t have to wear one at all while I was in Ireland for the summer, so I guess it just depends where you are and what the rules are. Must admit that yesterday I was very grateful for it!

      • Mine is fairly comfortable. They feel very restrictive at first but once you get used to it they’re fine. You do get a little warm underneath though. Which is fine in winter, but less pleasant when it’s very hot. Can mean the difference between bruised muscles and broken bones though, so definitely worth it I think 🙂

  2. Oh dear!
    Well done breaking the fence instead of you. And welcome to the “I broke a dressage letter” club. I have only taken out E so far but who knows – maybe I’ll collect the set 😉
    Best of luck with your recovery.

    • Thanks very much. Hahaha I didn’t realise there was a club for that, but I’m delighted to be a member. I thought I’d start with A and work my way around. Next stop…K. Haha. A complete set would be pretty cool. It could be like bingo! 😀

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