Day Nine: 30 Day Challenge

Day Nine: Any injuries you’ve gotten from riding

My digits and my head have taken most of the abuse caused by my love of horses. My poor, poor toes are all messed up from when I first started riding and didn’t have good boots. I didn’t have a good concept of keeping a safe distance from a horse and without a steal toe to protect my little piggies…well…let me just put it this way. I have only gotten 2 pedicures in my life because I am so grossed out by how my toes look and I don’t want to make anyone else have to look at them!

My most recent injury was when I broke the ring finger in my left hand. I tried to find the x-rays to take a picture of and post here, but no suck luck. I can’t find the x-ray’s anymore. Not even the cd version. I am knocking on wood right now because this is the last serious injury I sustained (if you can even call it that) and it happened over 3 years ago (I didn’t blog about it so I know it happened even before I started writing this). I actually broke it because a horse I was riding, Charlie, freaked out as I was walking him from his field to the barn. I could be wrong about this, but I wonder if this happened when Gen was hurt? I can’t think of why else I would have been riding Charlie.

Anyway, so he freaked out and pulled back. I had been casually holding the lead rope and refused to let it go. Clearly I was holding it improperly because the lead wrapped around that finger. The more he pulled back the more determined I became that he was not going to get away. Eventually he did stop and right away I knew something was wrong. My finger HURT. Not one to be easily dissuaded from riding I went back to the barn to show everyone my rapidly growing finger. One of the boarders told me to get x-rays, but it didn’t feel that bad and I don’t think I had insurance at the time so they made me a vet wrap splint and I went on with my day, including riding. When I took the vet wrap off that night my finger was crooked. Clearly it was broken.

I put off going to the doctor for another two days but the thought of any future husband putting a ring on such a deformed finger finally scared me enough that I went to the doctor. It was like $800 all told to get x-rays and get seen by the doctor. The orthopedist took one look at my finger and the x-rays said that he could put me right. With no warning HE RE-BROKE MY FINGER IN HIS OFFICE. Sadist! I nearly passed out from pain and shock. He splinted me up and told me I needed to give it time to heal. I remember how mad I was because I was working at a barn at the time and no work meant no money. After going through all that I decided to go against my better judgment and heed his advice and take a break and do you know what I have to show for all of that trouble? I crooked ring finger. Sigh. Can you tell that injury still drives me nuts?

The only other horse related injuries were concussions. My poor head. All three happened within a 3 year span on two different horses. I still can’t remember the day my first one. I was wearing poorly fitted helmets all three times, which is why I am so crazy about making sure helmets fit me (and my friends) properly.

Out of the few times I have fallen off (knocking on wood again) I have ended up in the hospital half of the time. The only non-brain hospitalization came from spraining my back after falling off Heart into a ditch the day before I went back to college one year. Why did I fall off? Well I had packed all my good clothes to go back to school so I was wearing swooshy pants (you all know the type…shiny athletic pants popular in the 90s that made sounds when you walked) and took Heart for a hack bareback. Well after a summer of me grooming and loving on her she had the most healthy, shiny coat. Shiny coat + Swooshy Pants + bareback = sliding right off when she spooked. Lesson learned!

As you can see most of my injuries were because I was doing something wrong or not in appropriate gear. What about you all? Do you find that your injuries are because of your own mistakes as well?

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3 thoughts on “Day Nine: 30 Day Challenge

  1. I don’t think riders can call themselves horsemen or horsewomen unless they have had their toes stepped on several times. It literally goes with the territory. ;o)

    My other injuries have been relatively minor (though they hurt … a LOT). I came off my horse about three years ago and cracked two ribs. I have come off a LOT (not only slick horse, slick breeches, but horse moving before I was “set” ;o) This was back before he knew to stand still until I gave him the okay to move off. Ah, memories ;o)

    I came off the horse thanks to two kids, bicycles and a dog. They popped up from behind a large bush (I was riding in a field). I was concentrating on the 20m canter circle to the right. Horse zigged left, I kept going and flipped 360, landing on my back facing away from the horse. He freaked out and ran home (about a quarter of a mile). Neighbors were driving by; she dropped husband off at my gate where the horse was waiting for someone to let him in–horse was obviously NOT clear on the concept of WHO would be there to let him in, poor thing. She came back, picked me up and took me home, too. I felt pretty crappy for a couple of days but by the end of the week, I felt REALLY crappy so went to the doctor. The cracks were so minor it took the radiologist to affirm that ribs were involved.

    I am also a helmet freak. I found a helmet that not only fits but is very comfortable. THAT is the key–to get one that fits and doesn’t slip back. I bought a cheap one online that would slip back and the harness choked me. There was a lot of strap left after I’d get the harness adjusted and I read somewhere that the “excess” meant it wasn’t adjusted properly. No kidding. Happiest day of my life was throwing that thing away (I had it on when I cracked my ribs). Talk about a “happy accident.” I sent away for a more expensive model but it wasn’t built for someone with the shape of my head–it was straight on the sides | | and MY head is shaped like ( ). Another happy day when I sent IT back and got a credit on my credit card ;o)

  2. All my really bad injuries have involved me and/or the horse crashing through a jump. And yes, they were definitely my fault. I made a mistake on the approach to the fence that was just too big for the horse to cover for me — either because the horse was green and didn’t have the experience to work it out safely, or because it was that big of a mistake… live and learn! The only time I’ve gotten hurt on Tucker (knocks wood) was when something spooked him really badly directly behind him, and he jumped the last jump at a full gallop and then went leaping and bucking immediately upon landing and flung me through the air like a rag doll. Not his fault — he was genuinely scared — and the mistake I made was that I should have turned him away from the jump instead of trying to jump it at a full gallop. Once again, live and learn!

  3. Ouch!!!

    I broke my jaw and collarbone, dislocated my ankle twice, and have been concussed repeatedly.

    No fingers yet, but I’m sure it’s coming.

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