We all have our "always wear your helmet" stories. Or perhaps we learned by not wearing one. This is mine...
Today I started doing small courses with my mare. We have been jumping consistantly for several months and moved up to 2'6 a few days ago. Well, things were a little weird to begin with. Everyone who has seen her jump says it is obviously that she loves it. Today she kept running out. She was fine on the flat, listening to my transitions and seemed to be moving just fine, so I ruled out pain. Even a small crossrail she didn't seem interested and kept running out. Natrually I was not going to stand for that and ended up looping back around and eventually taking it. I've been building my own confidence over jumps to move up that high. It took quite alot for me to jump it a few days ago, but she did it just fine, no problems. So I was just about done with my ride and my friend convinced me to do the 2'6 again. It started out badly and just got worse. She ran out. And then ran out to the right. Then to the right. So my friend stood with her horse on the right side to 'block' her in. Natrually she went left and even though I suspected that would happen, somehow I didn't control her right and I fell off.
I was scared and irritated. My leg hurt, but nothing horribly so, so I got back on and tried it again. I don't even know what happened. She did some weird jump to the left of the jump and twist thing (not actually even kind of going over the jump) and I fell off for the second time in the row. The only thing was this jump was somewhat near a fence, so as she dodged around it, She took me right next to the fence. I can't even remember what happened but my friend said I hit the fence. All I remember is falling to the left side of her, banging something and feeling my entire head jostled and I was dazed and confused for several seconds.
Had it not been for my helmet, I def would have had a concussion if not something worse. I ended up with a super bruised butt, Basically the start of my butt and a circular around around it hurts like hell and hasn't stopped hurting since I fell this afternoon. Has anyone experienced pain like that? I really hope I didn't break/crack anything and it just a huge bruised area.
Regardless, people, wear your helmet!!! Even if I wasn't jumping, it is always a good idea. It truly does protect you from pain.
As a side note, and as is very common, I'm now terrified to jump. I got back in the saddle for a whole 2 min and dismounted because it hurt to sit. I was never very confident to begin with, but I had improved so much. I was only doing 18" cross rails until a few months ago. BEFORE this, 2'3 was super fun and my fav to jump. The 2'6 we had jumped only a few days prior and only about 3 times, so it was still scary. Now I feel like I can't even do a cross rail. I'm not afraid to ride again, flat work is fine, but the idea of jumping that mare again is....terrifying. I know what the basic is of just go slow and do cross rails until I get my confidence back, but I don't want to be stuck at low heights for a long time. It doesn't help that it took EVERYTHING I had to jump before. I was learning to trust my horse and just go for it. Now all that is changed. Now is the after. Now is my time to make or break it. Half of me wants to quit. Half of me is angery this happened because we were doing SO well.
(We think my mare is in heat and just having one of THOSE days. Before that jump she was finally jumping ok and not running out. I'm not asking for "how to school my horse" help or "what I should/shouldn't have done. This is strictly a please remember to wear your helmet slash I need to know how to boost my confidence quickly post. Thank you.)