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  1. #41
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    Oct. 25, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by iccir View Post
    AndNirina, wow, thank you! Your words really help.
    What might help is to rationalize this into the "sh*t happens" category of random pratfalls. People can catch the same or worse every day in ordinary fender-benders, stepping off city curbs, or falling in their house somewhere and no one thinks anything of it. The people who say that few of us would forever avoid driving because they had a car accident are right on!

    If your husband is making a Big Deal out of it because he'd feel more secure if you didn't ride, now that he's seen what can happen, I'd use exactly the car analogy above. Just say hey, it happened, it was a random bit of bad luck (no one's fault), there's no permanent disability and life will go on as before. Say that to yourself also until you believe it.

    VERY importantly, even while your collarbone heals I'd keep up your routine of going to the barn as others have said. Walk your horse around, hand-graze, groom one-handed if you can, or failing that just go and talk, watch, and hang out. I'm not sure reading or hearing dozens of Wreck of the Century stories is really a good idea--that just may stoke the fires of fear and provide justification for avoidance that you may subconsciously be seeking. You have to be honest with yourself to avoid being pulled in directions not your own due to other people's pressures.

    If riding is TRULY a part of your life you can't imagine living without, you'll get back on (and you'll want to!) when your shoulder is healed. If, on the other hand, you have different priorities in what sounds like a demanding life right now, that would be fine too. Just don't deceive yourself in either case.

    Best of luck!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #42
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    Jan. 3, 2013
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    I had a similar experience when I was in high school. A freak accident where I didn't actually break anything but landed with a lot of force on my hip where all of your nerves are. My butt was flattened for over 6 months and I couldn't walk or get on a horse for 2 months. I found out later that my hip was actually shifted up and rotated but since nothing showed up on the xray/cat scan my treatment was ibprofen and an air mattress lol. In retrospect some physcial therapy would have worked wonders. Make sure to listen to your body. I ignored back pain for years until it was so bad I could barely walk/sleep let alone ride. It took awhile with a chiropractor to fix it and it was caused by the misalignment of my hip and could have been prevented. Now I go every year or so to get my back cracked and I don't have any more pain. It will be a long slow process but know that you can get back to what you love without the fear. My trainer put me on a packer that I clicked with and let me get back to riding at my comfort level. She was there to push me and encourage me when I needed it and to back off and go to basics when I needed that. Most importantly if you are working with a trainer communicate. I still have some fear issues today and I found that if I don't explain my whole past to a trainer before we start jumping (where my fall happened) they don't understand and the lesson doesn't go well. I can no longer ride different horses without some level of fear but I purchased a horse that is still fun for me to ride and jump but is very safe so my fears have gone away with him. I can't imagine my life without horses and am so glad I got back on and pushed my way through my fears. I also get anxiety easily in my personal life and dealing with it while riding has helped me deal with it everywhere else. In fact my mental image to calm myself down is a nice slow canter on my horse through a field with flowers. Corny but anytime I feel myself getting worked up if I close my eyes and picture that while counting one two one two as if I'm riding I calm down.


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  3. #43
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    Jan. 19, 2000
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    7 years ago (has it REALLY been that long?!?!) I came off a little mare after a simple crossrail and broke my back, fractured my hip, and busted up my shoulder pretty well...I too grew up riding, had some success as a pony and junior rider and have taken my fair share of falls and ambulance rides bit this accident shook me to the core.

    Once I was cleared to ride again I took a serouse step back. My first show back was a local show and I did the adult crossrail division on a steady eddy school horse.

    From the day I sat back in the saddle I made a choice...no more greenies, no more "stupid", and no more training rides, period. Granted, my fall was a freak thing like yours, I had to decide how much I was willing to gamble.

    I took thinks slow...some lessons I would simply get on and walk the entire time...others I would join in with the group. The physical act of climbing aboard made me sick and that took a long time to get over...but once it was gone, it was gone...unless I was getting ready to settle onto the back of a horse I wasnt sure about. At that point I decided I had paid my dues, I was a good rider and didnt need to prove to anyone, including myself that I would ride a 4yo OTTB...I was over it. THAT was hard too, making that choice. My husband and parents were as supportive as they could be (my mom was there when I fell).

    I have since had a child and am pregnant again and I still stick by my choice. I have a 13yo gelding I bought two years ago...and while he is no where near push button and he has his issues, he is "safe" and I know all of his moves. I do not ride anything without knowing how it goes, I dont warm up other horses at shows...I ride my own horse or those I know, period.

    The hardest part for me was coming to terms with the fact that I COULD make the decision on what kind of horse I rode...riders can be so mean and the idea of thinking others would think less of me because I wouldnt ride "so and so" or do whatever was hard...then I adopted the motto that I had paid my dues and ridden more "crap" than they could possibly know, I KNOW I am a good rider and I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself...

    I have a healthy respect for the ground and I know that at any moment I can end up there and I do my best to remove the factors in that happening.

    Take your time and go at your own pace...dont let anyone push you beyond your comfort level...if that means walking a lap and getting off twice a week for a month, so be it.
    Busy Bee Farm, Ellijay, GA
    Never Ride Faster Than Your Guardian Angel Can Fly
    Way Back Texas~04/20/90-09/17/08
    Green Alligator "Captain"


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  4. #44
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    Aug. 5, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by relocatedTXjumpr View Post
    From the day I sat back in the saddle I made a choice...no more greenies, no more "stupid", and no more training rides, period. Granted, my fall was a freak thing like yours, I had to decide how much I was willing to gamble.
    ...
    The hardest part for me was coming to terms with the fact that I COULD make the decision on what kind of horse I rode...riders can be so mean and the idea of thinking others would think less of me because I wouldnt ride "so and so" or do whatever was hard...then I adopted the motto that I had paid my dues and ridden more "crap" than they could possibly know, I KNOW I am a good rider and I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself...
    RelocatedTxJumpr- this is exactly where I'm at, well, trying to be at!!
    Twice A Secret, pony love, 1991-2011


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  5. #45
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    Oct. 11, 2007
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    If this just happened last week, it's probably a bit early for you to think rationally about it -- especially since it sounds like you had a concussion.

    I had a similar injury back in 2008; I fainted while going at a pretty good clip between two jumps, and fell, landing on my left shoulder. My collarbone pushed together -- think two knives, placed point to point overlapping by about 3 or 4 inches -- I had 5 broken ribs, and a partially collapsed lung. The pain was terrible and I ended up getting the collarbone put back together with a plate once my lung had healed enough.

    Like yours, this accident did not happen because the horse was naughty. I think that really helps psychologically. I wanted to be around horses right away and luckily had people to take me to the barn. By 4 weeks out, I so desperately wanted to ride that a friend put me up on her very gentle pony -- it took 3 people to get me there -- and led me around. After 5 minutes I was exhausted but I knew I'd keep riding.

    Lots of good advice here. Take things slow! I also really like Jane Savoie's "Freedom From Fear" materials.
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    Proudly owned by Mythic Feronia, 1998 Morgan mare; G-dspeed Trump & Minnie; welcome 2014 Morgan filly MtnTop FlyWithMeJosephine


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  6. #46
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    Dec. 25, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by iccir View Post
    I really need some feedback, primarily from adult riders that responsibilities and children at home.
    Here are the facts
    I am a 30 Year + rider came up throught the junior medals, hunters on the A circuit.
    I had a lot of success the last two years in the 1.0 m jumpers and jumper medal on my own horse.
    I took on a new challenge this year with an opportunity to ride a very very nice 4 year old mare and go back to the hunter ring. This mare is 16 2, great feet, recently vetted getting the all clear. She is smart and super laid back and friendly.

    Now the problem
    Out of no where last week I was warming up, relaxed trot down the long side then the next thing I know I'm on the ground. I don't remember what happened but I have been told that she tripped, I got launched forward, she tripped again, I came off and then she went down on me with her shoulder pinning me against the wall. I couldn't get up in terrible pain having trouble getting a good breath. Coach called 911, I was put on a board and transported to the hospital. I have a badly broken collar bone. Apparently I would of died if I hadn't been wearing my helmet.

    I have a job, I have two small children. I have a husband who is trying to be supportive. I have a true deep passion for this crazy sport we do. Now I'm scared to death to ride. Even just flat work. What the heck to I do. The barn is my happy place, my social life, a good part of my identity.

    Has anyone else been in this situation? What do I do???Help please.
    Too lazy to read all of the replies and this may have been answered, but what kind of saddle were you using?

    Well blocked like a PJ or slick as glass like a Crosby PDX?



  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by cssutton View Post
    Too lazy to read all of the replies and this may have been answered, but what kind of saddle were you using?

    Well blocked like a PJ or slick as glass like a Crosby PDX?
    I'm at the point in my life where I probably won't ride in my slick, old PdN. I just feel safer with the Wintec Pro that's faux-suede, with blocks. Helps keep my fat ol' butt where it belongs.

    I don't have as many wrecks as I did when younger, as I no longer ride unknown, rank, or in need of a tune-up horses, but the falls I do take hurt more & I have more at stake.
    Last edited by rivenoak; Mar. 7, 2013 at 04:52 PM.
    ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~



  8. #48
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    Jan. 18, 2004
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    Western WA
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    Excellent responses here. Like many others, I had a devestating injury when I was 25. Warming up over an X (go figure, ended up breaking my back, and all the muscles & ligatments torn away from my lower side of my spine. If was a completely fluke thing, another of those that 'couldn't happen in a million years' type thing. Much like yours.

    Tons of physical therapy, some counseling, a really good trainer, and a wonderful horse brought it back. But facing your own mortality for the first time is a sobering thing.

    Like the others, I'm careful about what I ride. Just get on a walk around. Use a western saddle if you're more comfortable in that. You may find you want to change disciplines. You're in control of what you do. There are many other ways to be around horses than jumping.

    My choice at the time was to continue to jump. But I hedged my bets. I ended up with a wonderful old campaigner who would let me make a mistake, keep me safe, then show me how it was done when I got clutched up.

    After another injury about 6 years ago, the old fears came back, and my trainer (who didn't have lesson horses) and I found a lesson horse program for me to start back again. It was perfect. I could take my time and get confident on wonderful safe horses. Then there came a point where I wanted more horse again, and off I went.

    Now, 25 years after the accident, I don't jump anymore, and am riding saddleseat. The horses are always the same. They nicker at you, and like being scratched and getting carrots, and I'm enjoying a new discipline.

    Who knows? You may decide to take up driving! The point is, 1) heal up. 2) face your fears in a realistic manner. If that means counseling, go fot it - it does help. 3) Have somebody you trust help you back on. 4) Find a really safe horse (and a safe enviornment). and finally 5) find something with horses that you just really enjoy and makes you feal secure. It may be H/J again, or it may be dressage, or western or driving. Who knows?

    There are a lot of options open to you. By all means ride, but you be in control of the decisions on where to go from here.
    The truth is always in the middle.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  9. #49
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    Mar. 6, 2007
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    delaware
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    I had a bad fall last summer. My trustworthy, lazy, sweet TB suddenly took off with me during a lesson. I don't know exactly what happened as the only visual witness was the instructor. Her story was quite different from what I remember and what one person walking to the ring heard. Regardless, I could not stop him and eventually he went left and I went over his right shoulder into a kickboard on the wall. I broke 4 vertabrae, 5 ribs and had internal bleeding. I took a chopper ride to Shock Trauma and vowed never to ride again. A very good young rider at my barn asked if she could ride my horse while I recovered. We found out he was hurting (could have caused the spook???), we got him fixed and then she rode him regularly. He looked amazing. Six weeks later, I was back at work. Two weeks later I had a sympathetic friend lead me around on my horse. No fun. I asked her to let go and I walked and trotted. Slowly but surely,we worked up to cantering. I am NOT taking lessons and doing much better. He feels amazing after having the other rider work him. There is still some fear but, this horse has proven himself. A herd of deer ran right up to the ring where we were cantering and he never flinched! I also wear a safety vest. Go slow and go with your gut. My feeling is that my horse got his tongue over the bit, a habit he had and that's why I couldn't stop him. My trainer said if he was dumb enough to do that let him. I have since fixed the issue.



  10. #50
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    Jun. 20, 2008
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    I think some falls - especially depending on their nature can freak us all out a bit and damage our confidence. I fell off once breaking my ankle - about a year on crutches. Not once did I feel like I wouldn't ride but I certainly was not ever going to ride that horse again. Flsh forward about 15 years, still riding and I had a horse go down on me too - fortunately it as a sliding type of thing but he did decide the best way to get up was to roll over me. Fortunately all I suffered were some amazing bruises.. Flash forward another few years, bad spill on my steady eddy horse- that freaked me out and really did a number on my confidence. Never spooked before and man did I get launched. I guess it helps that the confidence goes along w/ age. You have a family that relies on you and thus no doubt some guilt if something happens to mommy. My sister had a bad spill and broke her pelvis. She never falls off, I think maybe 3 or 4 times in her life and she was okay about it under the dr. told her she was lucky no internal bleeding etc. Then she kind of freaked. It took her about 5 years to get back in the saddle. It was off my horse - we moved him to another barn where for whateve reasons he's not as spooky (calmer envirnoment I think) and now you can't get her off!

    So take your time, and take it slow. You might find that you get right back into the swing of things fairly quickly or you might not - if its the later don't beat yourself up about it - take as long as you need to feel confident and comfortable.



  11. #51
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    Sh*t all these stories make me feel nervous, I had to stop reading!

    Truth is we all have *that* fall at some point, unless we're very lucky. It forces you to evaluate and decide whether to carry on, mitigate the risks, or stop altogether.

    I believe in mitigating risks because I love my horses and riding too much to do otherwise. There are some very good ideas on here. My view is...
    * Ensure there is no veterinary or training issue that caused the tripping. If she doesn't normally trip, good.
    * helmet. Always.
    * a vest, if you can stand it at all. (My Tipperary bothered my back.)
    * a reliable horse
    * a good, sticky, supportive saddle. A jump saddle can work, but a dressage saddle is even safer.
    * training focusing on a strong, secure seat
    * nice footing that isn't too hard!
    * proper management of your horse to reduce spooking and behavioral issues
    * knowing your limit!!

    Allow yourself to heal before you make any important decisions.
    Born under a rock and owned by beasts!



  12. #52

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    Boy, do I hear where you are coming from, and I'm so sorry you are in this position. Came up the junior/eq ranks and started riding and showing again five years ago (I'm 32). Around 18 months ago I was just trotting along when my old, half-lame gelding decided to spin and buck -- I landed smack on the top of my head and broke my neck. (Helmet saved my life.)

    I did get back on. I rode an steady eddy dressage horse a couple of times about a year ago/6 months after my accident. Same as others -- walked and trotted and planned to only ride dead quiet horses. But first time I picked up the canter, my saddle slipped (this was a round barreled horse I had not ridden before the accident, and my saddle just didn't fit right -- everyone now rides her with a grippy pad), and I hit the ground. I was fine, but I'll be honest that this did remind me that you can try and make this sport as safe as possible and things can still go awry. But the important thing: I didn't break. It's so important to remember that there will be so many flukes when riding, but only very rarely do these flukes end up with you where you are now.

    I'm not riding right now. My husband is very, very nervous about me riding, and the couple weeks I rode he was up at night with nightmares, which were only compounded by the fall once I started riding again, and I couldn't keep putting him through that. I miss riding terribly (hence my constant Chronicle forum trolling), but tell myself that I'm not riding "right now." Which I guess is a roundabout way to say getting back in the saddle isn't a binary decision. You can decide to get on, and then decide you aren't ready and take a break. You don't have to make a final decision today, or ever. I fully believe I will ride and compete again, but am waiting until the trauma is a little more behind my family. I'm just on a break.

    Take your time. Remember not only the thousands of good rides, but some of the bad ones that you walked away from just fine. Rest up, get better, watch lots of Netflix on demand, and don't be too proud for pain drugs.


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  13. #53
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    Sep. 4, 2012
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    I'm still recovering from a bad fall I had over 2 months ago. Several people have asked if I'm going to give up riding. But, I've been riding for more than 40 years and this is only the second time I've ever been injured seriously enough to have to go to the hospital - and the first time, back when I was a teen, was the result of absolute inexcusable stupidity on my part. So, I'd say those are pretty good odds.

    I am going to make some changes, though, because I'm getting too old for this $hit - my doctor said "fractures at your age get you an automatic bone density scan." I've purchased a protective vest to wear while riding. Of course, I already wear a helmet every time I ride. And, I won't be riding the horse I fell off anymore. I'll stick to my slow-reaction-time draft cross.

    OP, I wouldn't make any decisions about anything until you're feeling better. Then, just play it by ear. Like plenty of people have already said, you can do a lot with your horse without riding. And you can work back into riding as slowly as you feel like you need to do it. I expect that my first rides back after this injury will be at a walk inside a very small pen, where I will feel safe. And, if I feel the need, I'm not embarrassed to get a friend to come over and lead me around a little bit. There is no need to rush anything or feel bad about starting off with baby steps.



  14. #54
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    Dec. 23, 2010
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    I actually had a similar experience. I know my mare is difficult, but we had always said she's not "unsafe" or anything, then at a show this fall, after fence 5 in a jumper class, I fell off and sustained a mild concussion with no recollection of what happened! The jump was good and I felt like she was going well, we apparently just parted ways after it.
    I took a lot of flack from my parents and non-horsey friends after that about riding being too risky now that I have a kid, but my answer to them is that I need to ride MORE to get stronger and more balanced again since I never fell of when I was younger and rode 5 days a week instead of 3, and I used to do the Junior/AO jumpers. I can tell you I was terrified the next time I entered the show ring after that, but once I got around I was fine for the rest of the show. I'm sure I'll be terrified at the first show again this year! I have been fine riding since then in general (even bringing back my wild mare this month after the winter off). If that fear ever takes over though, or if I have another concussion, I think I'm done. The bad thing is that even cutting back to hacks and trail riding, a freak accident can still happen...so for me I think it will have to be all or nothing.
    It's an individual decision for each person though, and you really have to go with your gut. If your gut is saying stay away right now, spend that extra time with your kids! Especially if you don't own the horse you were riding and aren't locked in to doing something with her. When you are ready to get back on, do what some others said and start out on a steady Eddy until you are confident again.
    I do think sometimes these issues are just in our head and we can overcome them, but I also believe there's a little bit of good ole self-preservation in all of us that's there for a reason!
    Best of luck to you in whatever you decide!



  15. #55
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    For me, it was important to start going back to the barn pretty quickly after the incident. Not to ride (couldn't anyway) but to see my horse, brush him, turn him our and hand walking. I was very nervous the first few times and eventually it got easier and more comfortable. Once I was healed physically and able to ride again, I started slowly and did as much as I could to make sure everything would go well - lunge first, don't ride during feeding time or with other people on feisty beasts, etc. I started out just walking and then eventually increased what I did as the nerves went away. Taking time off just gave me more time to think about it, worry, and get more nervous. Going to the barn and having consistent good visits helps you build your confidence and for me it prevented that dread of going back to the barn building up and getting worse every day that I didn't go. Staying away made it more of a "big deal" to go back in my mind.
    It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got.

    www.sararoxannephotography.com
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  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by relocatedTXjumpr View Post
    From the day I sat back in the saddle I made a choice...no more greenies, no more "stupid", and no more training rides, period.

    At that point I decided I had paid my dues, I was a good rider and didnt need to prove to anyone.

    I do not ride anything without knowing how it goes, I dont warm up other horses at shows...I ride my own horse or those I know, period.

    The hardest part for me was coming to terms with the fact that I COULD make the decision on what kind of horse I rode...riders can be so mean and the idea of thinking others would think less of me because I wouldnt ride "so and so" or do whatever was hard...then I adopted the motto that I had paid my dues and ridden more "crap" than they could possibly know, I KNOW I am a good rider and I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself...

    Take your time and go at your own pace...dont let anyone push you beyond your comfort level...if that means walking a lap and getting off twice a week for a month, so be it.
    I paraphrased the above quote, but so many of these statements apply to me. I am 49 years old. I have nothing to prove to anyone. I have the opportunity to get a been there, done that former regular working hunter, who can do at the most 2'6". He is a lazy warmblood with auto changes that knows his job. No prep is needed. I figure that deserve it.


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  17. #57
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    Another thing. It is unfair for another family member to give you a guilt trip about wanting to ride again. My husband crashed his road bicycle and broke his collar bone and had severe road rash. While I was nervous about him racing again, it is his passion and who was I to deny him. Accidents happen to everyone. If you want to ride again, go at your own pace and see where it leads you. While you may not be the rider you once were, horse and riding can still be part of your future.


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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by PonyPenny View Post
    Another thing. It is unfair for another family member to give you a guilt trip about wanting to ride again. My husband crashed his road bicycle and broke his collar bone and had severe road rash. While I was nervous about him racing again, it is his passion and who was I to deny him. Accidents happen to everyone. If you want to ride again, go at your own pace and see where it leads you. While you may not be the rider you once were, horse and riding can still be part of your future.

    You remind me of a story.

    A few years ago, I developed A Fib.

    One of my methods to defeat it, in addition to blood pressure medication and a beta blocker, was to get a bike and ride it regularly.

    I had a regular route on the road and I rode it between the house, the kennel, the barn, the equipment shed and the mailbox, which is almost a half mile from the house.

    The area is hilly and it really got the respiration and pulse going.

    One day I was carrying a trash bag to the garbage container, nest to the mailbox so about a half mile from the house.

    The last half of the ride is over gravel.

    The trash bag was slipping out of my right hand so I sort of juggled it so as to get a better grip.

    As you know, it instinctive to grip with the left hand when the right hand is trying to work out a crisis...and my left fingers were on the front wheel brake handle.

    Well, that hand locked down on the brake and I flipped the bike, went right over the handle bars and landed on the gravel, full force on my left shoulder, gravels dug into where the collar bone joins the shoulder.

    It was one year before I could put my left hand in my wallet pocket unless I first stood up. That meant that paying the check in a restaurant was a real problem. First I had to stand up, get out in the floor away from the table and contort like someone doing one of these crazy dance moves you see nowadays.

    Anyway, I junked the bike.

    If I am going to die broken up, it will be on a horse, not on a damn bike.

    I guess the moral to the story is that you can get hurt no matter what you are doing. From the moment you get out of bed, you are at risk.



  19. #59
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    Jan. 18, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatDinah View Post
    Calm down. If you were driving and skidded on ice and had a wreck, would you be thinking, "OMG I have to give up driving forever."
    I don't know.. any help for me on that one because I'm still feeling like that from a month ago. Car doesn't have snow tires on it and I went off the road into a ditch (thankfully it was full of snow so my car didn't wreck but only popped the front fender) after it lost traction not once, but twice going down a hilly road. Now every time I'm out on the road every time I hit a bump or the wind pushes the car, I feel like I'm losing control. This isn't just when I'm driving my car. I sure wish I could stop driving..



  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by cssutton View Post
    I guess the moral to the story is that you can get hurt no matter what you are doing. From the moment you get out of bed, you are at risk.
    ^Isn't that the sad truth! And, even the bed isn't safe - I'm thinking of that poor guy sleeping in his bed in Florida who got sucked down a sink hole -- and his poor family

    I do think it is important to minimize risk as much as you can - using things like a helmet & vest and making thoughtful decisions about the horse(s) you ride. Just like wearing a seatbelt and not using the cell phone or otherwise being distracted while driving.
    Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing



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