Sunday, December 7, 2008

When Mr. Murphy strikes

It always happens when you least expect... that silly man Mr. Murphy strikes. And when he strikes, he strikes hard. You may know him better as Murphy from "Murphy's Law".

The day started out fine. I had a nice grooming session with Jack and even got all the knots out his tail. I don't know about the rest of you but I find grooming a horse a tad boring. I'd rather just hang out with a horse in a pen or in the paddock then spend ages grooming. That's not to say that he gets neglected. Once a week I'll have a big grooming session and I'll go over every square inch of him. Usually I'll just pick out and oil his hooves, check for cuts (of which he gets many) and brush where the saddle and bridle goes. I noticed that he had some rubbing on his chest where his breastplate goes so when I saddled him up I decided to leave it off to give him a chance to heal. I thought I wouldn't need it since I would only be walking around the paddock. This was mistake number 1.

One of my many names for Jack is Fidget McFidgety Monster because as soon as the saddle and bridle comes out he starts to fidget. Doing up the girth is always a mission as he moves constantly and I really need someone to be standing at his head to get him to stand still... that or I need 4 hands. He always puffs out when I do the girth up so I have to tighten it up about 3 times before I get on. I forgot to do this just before I got on. Mistake number 2.

I got on and we started out 35 minutes of walking. I decided to stay close to my car since I had left it unlocked and a random guy has been stealing from cars at the pony club. Keeping this in mind I walked around the nearest paddock for about 20 minutes and then decided to move into the arena for the last 10 minutes. Jack always gets spooky in the arena, I'm unsure why he does because he is fine in the paddocks but the arena really gets to him. Taking him into the arena where I knew he would spook was mistake number 3. He spooked a couple of times within in the first 5 minutes but his spooks tend to be in slow motion which are easy to sit and deal with so I wasn't too bothered.

But then it happened. He spooked at a chair that we had already walked past 1/2 a dozen times and spun. He then bolted. He's taken off before and I can get him to stop relatively easily but this time he took off straight towards the edge of the arena. He galloped towards the arena wall and jumped. The wall is only about 60cm high so it was easy for him but as he jumped my saddle slipped to the side. He landed in a full gallop on the gravel drive way but by now it was a blinded-by-fear bolt where nothing can stop a horse. I could feel the saddle and myself slipping to the right and I tried with all my might to pull him to a stop but he was out of his mind. I remember calling "woaahhh Jack" to him but it was no use. I knew I was going to fall but I didn't want to hit the gravel. I stayed on as long as I could, hanging off the side of him and then I let go. My head and neck took the brunt of the fall and I skidded for a couple of metres. I saw stars but I was on my feet within seconds. My head pounded as I watched Jack gallop around and around the paddock, straight through the wash bay and back onto the driveway. He was out of his mind with fear as the saddle flapped under his belly. He finally calmed down enough for me to catch him. Both the stirrups had fallen off so I retrieved them and saddled him back up. I got on for about a minute and then got off. I just needed to prove to myself that he hadn't scared me from riding again. He hadn't.

Since no-one else was at Pony Club I called my parents and asked one of them to come get me since by now I was feeling nauseated and had a bad headache and I didn't think I should be driving. My neck and shoulder was aching a lot as well. While I waited to be collected I fed Jack and settled him down. He had a small cut on his hoof but it wasn't bad. Once Jack was settled back into his paddock my dad took me to my doctor. Since I was still coherent and could remember my name and address I didn't need to go to A&E. The doctor did some tests on me to see if any of my nerves were damaged or if I had a skull fracture which thankfully I didn't. I only had mild concussion thank goodness. He dressed the nasty graze on my arm and sent me home to rest. I managed to get a appointment with my chiropracter and he had to do quite a few adjustments. He also found that I had torn a muscle in my right shoulder.

It could have been a lot, lot worse and I thank God that it wasn't too bad. I'm not allowed to ride tomorrow but I will be back on Jack on Wednesday. This time I'll triple check the girth and make sure he's wearing his brestplate. I would have been able to stay on if either of these had been used correctly. But I'm alright and can't wait to get back in the saddle.


Beckz said...

Oh man that was gory as. Stupid horses eh.

Chris said...

Sounds like an eventful and rather scary day! I was cringing when I read about your head/neck taking the brunt of the fall - ouch!