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Broke my back yesterday.....

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  • Broke my back yesterday.....

    Yesterday was Julio's Second jump lesson ever and he was doing so well! We raised it up to a small vertical and he had a "woohoo!" kind of buck afterwards which I was unprepared for.
    I tumbled over his shoulder and landed in just a good spot to hear my back crack! He stopped immediately and looked at me like "whatcha doin' down there!?" and stood by my side til my trainer came and grabbed him. Unfortunately I couldn't move so we had to call in an ambulance. Turns out I fractured my L2 vertebrae.

    Worse part of all of this..... I have to wear a brace and am not allowed near a horse for 3 months

    I am so mad... I have had so much worse fall than this, like being thrown into a triple bar oxer and into the corner of a table on x-c and a simple tumble over the neck breaks my back!

    Does anyone else have any stories where they've had to cope with being out of the saddle for too long?
    Any advice to help pass the time?
    Eventers of the West
    A Facebook group I created for Eventers in the West Region of the U.S.
    Remy - My OTTB Gelding! Love him to pieces!

  • #2
    No stories, but GLAD that you will mend, it could have been much worse.

    I'm starting to jump my greenie too and although he has been extremely well behaved, I have a "shoulders too forward" issue, which I'm working on- I WILL learn from your experience I promised, so although I'm sure that it doesn't make you feel the least bit better, your fall was not in vain!


    • #3
      I'm so sorry to hear that! No advice, other than to stay on here as much as you can, since you can't go ride, read, etc. But I hope you're on the mend SOON!

      3 months isn't too bad, though. You can do it!
      The Little Red Mare: French Curve

      and my non-horse blog: oh, rebecca!


      • #4
        Are you restricted in activities at all (other than riding)? I was non-weight-bearing for three months, no riding for six after a nasty pelvic fracture. I kept my brain busy by doing schoolwork, learning how to knit and crochet and played a LOT of video games. I meditated on what I would do with my life if I weren't horse obsessed Basically tried to keep my mind occupied and out of trouble. I did keep a calendar and crossed off days. Still not sure if that was helpful or not!

        If you can work around your horse can you do groundwork? Hand graze? As frustrating as it is, if you can't be around your horse and not get tempted to um move up your riding timeline it might be best not to be at the barn. I started riding too early and as a result part of the pelvis (the symphasis) didn't heal quite correctly.

        Best of luck with healing!
        Forward momentum!


        • #5
          Ouch! Take care of yourself!

          ACL surgery here. I was out for about 2 months. Then surgery and out for maybe 6 weeks.

          Grooming and visits helped. And being busy with work and PT kept me otherwise occupied.

          I got back in the saddle while I was still very lame at the walk. A tall mounting block helped me and will probably help your back. Someone should hold the horse unless he's a total saint during mounting. I had someone get on the horse first, then I would get on when he was quiet and do as little or as much as I could. And dismounting was a slow process. With a broken back, dismounting might warrant a helper.

          Good luck on a speedy and full recovery!
          Born under a rock and owned by beasts!


          • #6
            So sorry to hear it! I recently fell and got a concussion, the forced time out of the saddle is no fun. All I can say is that I am finally getting around to all the cleaning, organizing, and paperwork I am always putting off!

            You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


            • #7
              No stories but you wont see me on a horse again.

              Hang in there, it was bad but could have been a lot worse.


              • #8
                Suckville, USA.

                So sorry. I'm just coming back from injury and time out of the saddle is so hard. The only thing that helps me keep sanity when sidelined is to watch as much as possible. You learn a TON about what kind of riding you want to emulate, and what kind you want to never duplicate. Down the road you might actually be grateful for the chance to do this (way, way down the road )

                Volunteering is a great way to pass the time!

                Happy healing.
                Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                The Grove at Five Points


                • #9
                  So sorry for your fall and back but glad it was not worse. Hopefully, the time will go by fast for you.
                  Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.


                  • #10
                    So sorry to hear about your accident. Hope you are feeling better soon and the hiatus goes faster than you think it will.

                    When I broke my leg I took the time to read anything I could get my hands or mouse on and watched lots of videos. It actually made me a better rider.


                    • #11
                      yuck...it does really suck, and you are allowed to whine...but then shake it off and count your blessings rather than focus on the crappiness. You will ride again.

                      3 months will pass faster than you think...and if it is 6...you will deal with it fine. And give yourself time to get strong.

                      READ--Here's a good book list but read some good non-horsey books too


                      Hope you feel better soon!
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                      • #12
                        I'm about to have major knee reconstructive surgery from a stupid little fall I took 14 months ago. I cannot walk for 8 weeks after it and then it's an 8 month rehab. Nothing lasts forever but it will be very hard!

                        I am putting plans in place now -- I have trained my young horse to the round pen so I can keep a topline on him while I just hop in a circle in the middle, LOL. A wonderful friend has agreed to give him the occasional schooling ride. It will majorly suck and I don't think we'll get a spring season at all. All I can say is, you are not alone!
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                        We Are Flying Solo


                        • #13
                          I broke L-3 14 months after having the whole right side of my face crushed (by a hoof), therefore 2 extended periods out of the barn within a short period of time!!! I, too, was in a brace for the vertebra fracture, and wasn't allowed to sit...lying down or standing up were my only options! As soon as I was allowed, I was in the pool and swam a mile plus every day, since that was my only real form of exercise...I just couldn't push off the walls, which made my turns really interesting to say the least! Time will go by faster than you think, but it really does suck and I feel for you.

                          kateh below has great advice below. I forgot how hot and uncomfortable the heavy plastic "girdle" brace was. I wore a plain white t-shirt/undershirt under the brace and my other shirt on the outside. No matter, it all looked silly! I wore the brace from August 16 into December, so it was a long haul.
                          One thing you can give and still keep is your word.


                          • #14
                            Poo! I fractured my T12 in March of last year and probably had a similar brace. Get one of these so you don't have to bend down for every dropped sock. There was a lot of weird maneuvering during my 3 months of Xena Warrior Princess Armor. Like the pregnant lady squat to pick things up, the elbow scooch to get up in the morning, and very, very awkward showering. I had to wear something under mine to keep it from rubbing, which meant that I got really hot and sweaty partway through the day. So I would suggest bringing around an extra shirt to change into if you'll be out all day. But if your brace is anything like mine...I found out it supports dry erase markers! So that's kind of fun and entertaining.

                            Regardless of what the docs say, I would maybe stay away from ground handling at least for the first few weeks. I remember even with the brace on if I got twisted or jostled it hurt like a b!tch. Hell I probably would have had problems opening a heavy stall door, let alone handling a feisty greenie.

                            I was really busy writing my thesis, so that took up a lot of time. I also read a LOT, watched a lot of movies, and made some cooking experiments. And if you don't think it would be too painful (emotionally) you could volunteer at events or audit clinics.
                            "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

                            Phoenix Animal Rescue


                            • #15
                              That sucks... I've got that t-shirt too, unfortunately-- mine happened while hacking at a walk, horse freaked and I popped off and shattered my L1. Was in the hospital for 2 weeks and had the brace for 3 months-- 24/7 the first month which really sucked! Mine was just like kateh's. I found that the wifebeater tank tops were the best thing to wear under it to prevent rubbing.

                              I slept a LOT while on the pain meds at first and then read a ton while I was laid up. I was pretty worthless for the first month. I started walking every day which helped, built up slowly to a mile a day. I missed a full month of work and was on half days for two months after that. It took me 8 months to get back in the saddle but my doc gave me the ok after 6 months.

                              Hope you heal up fast, but don't try to push yourself too hard!!!


                              • #16
                                Ouch! I hope you heal quickly and perfectly.

                                I don't wish for it to happen, but there are a good number of things that are semi-permanently on my "back burner" because I simply don't have the time. If I were laid up for whatever reason I would trot one or more of these things out:

                                Finish the needlepoint belt I started months ago
                                Get years' worth of family photos in order
                                Tackle any of the dozens of books I'm forever wanting to read
                                Take a class or four (www.coursera.com has free ones you can do on line!
                                Grab some picture frames and do some decoupage for gifts
                                Teach my puppy some tricks
                                Clean and condition my tack within an inch of its life

                                Everybody must have a list like this, yes?
                                Click here before you buy.


                                • #17
                                  be glad you didn't break your neck...

                                  Or damage your spinal cord as I did. Gave me 40% chance of walking but I was walking after 6 weeks, driving after 2 mo's and riding w-in 7 mo's. Key is working very hard in rehab. Muscles atrophy quckly and building them back takes ridiculously long amount of time.
                                  Relatively speaking you did get lucky and I'm very happy for you!


                                  • #18
                                    That stinks, but glad no comment about spinal cord injury. Take the time heal!
                                    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                                    Courtesy my cousin Tim


                                    • #19
                                      So sorry, but glad you're going to come back. Read up, do a lot of visualizations, and treat yourself well!
                                      --Becky in TX
                                      Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
                                      She who throws dirt is losing ground.


                                      • #20
                                        I got a T-12 compression fracture after a friend's horse reared up and fell over backwards on top of me.

                                        I spent three days in the hospital doing re-hab and learning to walk with a walker. I was told that I could not ride for 6 months. I was given permission to get back on my horse after 4 months. I rode in my brace for a couple of months to support my back. I did not feel up to trotting for a couple of weeks, so I worked my mare on getting more supple at the walk.

                                        Your brace is much more evolved than mine was. I will say that wearing it did improve my posture.

                                        I did not have to worry about having stuff to keep me busy, because my DH and I travelled to Brasil to adopt our sons, three weeks after I got out of the hospital. Flying nine hours, while wearing a brace, is not fun (especially when you get seated in the smoking section!) In 1991, International flights still had smoking.

                                        As another poster said, do the rehab exercises daily. It will get you back in the tack sooner. I am sorry that you are having to go through this. At least, your spinal cord was not compromised.
                                        When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!