Saturday, September 28, 2013

Glad I Was There . . .

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.

15 comments:

  1. I'm glad she's going to be OK - at least physically. Agree totally about the helmet.

    Dan

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  2. At our place, no helmet...no ride. So glad you were there to help her.

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  3. That is really scary. You just never know. I'm glad you were there to help and she's going to be (basically) OK.

    It was also nice of Red to be a good boy for the trimming too!

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  4. Perhaps her horse took a jolting stumble with her & caught her off guard. One of my worst falls happened when a horse tripped with me at a canter and I did a horrible faceplant. That was quite a long time ago.....and I purchased a helmet soon after because of that fall.
    I don't get involved in helmet debates simply because people will do what they want regardless of what I think. I guess I feel that they should WANT to protect their own brain...
    Admittedly, I got a bit lazy about wearing mine over the winter this last winter since Griffin is 25 and we mostly only walk.....but then it really did start to feel awkward not having it on (and then i remembered my original fall while not wearing one and the fact that it was a simple mishap and the horse I was riding did nothing wrong...) Needless to say, I am back to wearing mine.....even when we are only going for easy walks.
    I hope the gal at your barn is ok -- and maybe rethinks the helmet in the future....

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  5. Yes, you never know what will happen. Good thing you were there to help her! Helmets don't prevent wrecks, but they do prevent damage.

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  6. I'm glad that you found her, and that she is going to be okay. Yes, wear a helmet - always.

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  7. It's so great that you were there to help, you are a good egg Kate!!

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  8. My hubby & his riding partner encountered an in-ground yellow jacket nest on their ride Friday. Nobody was hurt, but everyone got stung at least once, if not more. If this rider fell near the gate that would be my first guess (because that's where we often find nests), but you'll probably never know for sure. Glad you were there to help. I've found the best approach to trying to get someone to wear a helmet is to encourage them to at least consider wearing one when they ride outside the arena .... then start to encourage them to wear one every ride from there on. Start small, and like someone else mentioned, eventually they might see the wisdom in it or it will just feel weird not to wear one after they've been using one for awhile.

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  9. Accidents happen all the time, no matter how experienced you are or how safe your horse is. Wonder if she will start wearing a helmet now? Glad you were there and she's going to be ok. Helmets are andatory in my barn. Like Lori said...no helmet- no ride.

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  10. It drives me crazy that only one of the trainers at the barn wear a helmet. It doesn't set a good example. That piece of equipment was the very first item I bought when I discovered I was bringing Ashke home.

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  11. So glad you were there and happy she is going to be ok. Also, so glad her horse is alright too. Hopefully since the reins were intact the bit wasn't jammed into the mouth before the horse was collected.

    As unusual as my current riding ethics are now, I always wear a helmet. Always. I have had years without a fall (which makes me terribly nervous by the way because I am long overdue!) but I hit my head daily on limbs and branches and I am so glad I have the helmet for trail riding protection.

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  12. Oh, I am glad you were there for her (and her horse), too. She's a lucky lady in many respects!

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  13. Glad she is ok. Now I know why you push wearing helmets every ride. You never know when something like that will happen.

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  14. Glad she is going to be ok, and how fortunate that you were in the right place to see her.

    I won't get on a horse without a helmet these days, I feel naked without one.

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