Thursday, 13 January 2011

Getting my Big Break

I thought I would share the story of my big break......It was a spiral fracture of the left humerus. That's the big bone the that joins your elbow to your shoulder for the not so medical amongst you, and I can tell you there is nothing humorous about breaking in two.

The unusual aspect of my own particular horse riding injury is that it was entirely self inflicted. There was no fall...I didn't come, I jumped.

At a flat out gallop, and I might mention on a 16-something hand former racehorse. What madness, you ask???

It is a strange one, as I have never, before or since, felt a need to leap of a moving horse...think Indiana Jones leaping off the horse onto a train, only with a little less panache, and landing with a stomach sickening thud onto the frozen field at the near to the yard and staggering up to emit the kind of scream for help that instantly makes your throat feel raw.

A moment earlier I had come into  the small  field on a gloriously sunny day, shut the gate over behind and thought 'lets have a little canter'. He understood things differently and it was as if the starting gate had opened, walk to gallop in an instant. Once going at a gallop, a sharp tug in on the reins meant 'slow down a bit, you need to save yourself for the last stretch'.

He wouldn't pull up and there was no room to turn at the speed he was travelling.

In a split second I had a vision of myself coming off badly, foot caught in the stirrup iron - no safety in those days - on the concrete yard very soon and fearing what felt inevitable I undertook what I now know to be called the 'emergency dismount'

Right or wrong thing to do, there is no way to know, but when instinct kicks in, you do what you must.

I was lucky not to get pinned but it took a year to heal. Time is a good healer psychologically, but I still suffer from the hacking jitters and have a love hate relationship with open green spaces.

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