I was at the barn early this morning to ride Dawn before the farrier came for our trims. Dawn was excellent - lots of nice canter work and also some really lovely collected trot work where, instead of my doing things to have her become soft, instead I just waited for her and she did it all by herself - much more satisfactory.
One of our boarders - a woman who is a very experienced rider with a nice, steady horse - also uses the same farrier, and had gone for a trail ride before he was due. While she was gone, I went out into the far pasture to collect the boys - they came with me although they were a bit reluctant at the start. As we topped the rise about 200 yards from the barn, I had a view of the adjacent pasture, which is the route to the trails. Over near the mounting block near the trail gate, there was a blue blob on the ground - I couldn't really see what it was at that distance. Pie and Red and I kept walking, and as we got closer, I thought "that looks like C's jacket" - C was the one who'd gone on a trail ride. Just then, her horse came thundering by in the adjacent pasture, dressed in bridle and saddle but sans C - uh oh.
Pie and Red and I made it to the barn, I stuffed them in a pen, and went to check on C - it was now clear that the motionless blue blob was her. By the time I was out in the pasture, she had sat and then stood up and was slowly walking back to the barn. I met her and helped her come in. She was pretty woozy and disoriented - she'd clearly been knocked out as the blue blob had been motionless for some time. She didn't know what day it was, and couldn't remember what had happened. The left side of her face and body was dirty - that's where she'd fallen. And no, she wasn't wearing a helmet . . . my helmet police mode is on hold for the moment but will be back in action later . . .
I got her into the barn, and sat her on the mounting block. The other boarder who was there called the barn owner and also an ambulance - C was in a lot of pain and having some difficulty breathing, and felt as if she was going to faint. The ambulance came quickly and she went to the hospital - fortunately she's going to be fine - a concussion although not a terrible one, and no broken ribs or collarbone but a broken scapular - the big shoulder bone lying along our backs. She was able to go home and I talked to her by phone this evening - I'll be checking on her horse and picking his feet until she's able to.
After she left for the hospital, I retrieved her horse from the pasture - he was fine and hadn't even broken his reins, which was fortunate. Then we had our farrier appointment - 6 horses total but it didn't take too long - all 6 are barefoot. All horses were very, very good for the farrier and Red gets a gold star for perfect behavior - he's come a very long way.
It's not at all clear what happened - her horse is very calm and she was actually back inside the pastures and not outside on the way to the trail when she fell - fortunately. Her horse may have been spooked by something or stung - we may never know - but she's a very competent rider so it's odd that she came off. We just don't know. I'm just glad she wasn't hurt any worse, that her horse is OK and that I was there to help. It just proves that you never know what may happen when you're riding, no matter how good a rider you are or how calm your horse is. Wear that helmet every single time, no excuses.