The horse I was riding had slowed to a walk and seemed to be considering what to do next. The other horse and rider in the arena had halted as per usual when a horse becomes rider-less. Loose horses can raise havoc in a barn.
My barn-friend who was untacking her horse in the aisle quickly strode across the arena and grasped the reins of my horse holding him still.
My trainer reached me and said ‘holy crap, are you ok’? We burst into laughter. Really, getting tossed off a horse is ridiculous. I nodded and laid still for a second, wanting, but not wanting, to move and reassure everyone that I was ok, including myself.
I like the horse and have been riding him regularly for several months. He’s a tall German warmblood- usually phlegmatic, but the winter chill had brought out his friskiness. While cantering, I had asked him to reach further underneath himself with his back legs and become more round. It’s a dressage thing. His answer to my question was immediate ejection. With one very high and strong buck he threw me out of the saddle. A long-time rider, there’s a first for everything. This wasn’t my first fall, but I had never been thrown. I was surprised.
I pushed myself to a sitting position and said, through gritty teeth “I didn’t hit my head!” This was important. With 6 ( or 7, I can’t remember)- concussions in my life, I know I can’t afford another head injury.
While I would rather have laid in the cool, damp sand for a bit, I felt obliged to demonstrate my fine state of health and pushed myself upright, avoiding putting too much weight on my throbbing left leg. I was disappointed to note that it didn’t feel better to stand. I chatted briefly with my trainer and decided to get back on. Getting popped off, particularly without warning, is disconcerting and can be the source of unwanted feature aversions. Not unreasonably.
I had difficulty walking to the mounting block and used the horse to steady myself, and my right leg to pull myself up the stair. I held the reins and a bunch of mane with my left hand, swung my right leg over and let my left leg dangle next to the saddle. At a walk I attempted to leg yield out of a circle as the final exercise of my lesson, but the pain was distracting and I wasn’t effective.
Done with the lesson, I slid off the horse, ran the stirrups up the leathers, and brought him back to the aisle to untack. The pain and stiffness was incredible and I walked with a very pronounced limp. I couldn’t stand on my left leg. I brushed him out, put his blanket back on and although my barn friend offered to put him away for I refused, thinking that the walk would help with the muscle pain. Limping and leading the horse, I left the arena and shuffled down the dark icy lane to his stall in another barn.
When people ask me if it was painful, I must say it was more impactful. Like a slap across a wind-blown face. If pain was a sound, it was like the deep reverberation of a church organ. You can’t ignore it, even if you plug your ears. But I did. I walked on the broken pelvis for a day before I finally went to the emergency room.