Scary Accident...Feeling Guilty - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-08-2011, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Scary Accident...Feeling Guilty

I went over to my trainer's today for a group trail ride. My mare was feeling a little excited this morning (I took the younger one), but, you know, she's not dangerous or aggressive about it, and I managed.

Some of the ladies were riding a couple of the trainer's horses. I was one of the first ones tacked and went out into the yard and mounted up. The trainer helped another woman get on her horse. This horse is supposedly usually dead quiet, the trainer's boyfriend who doesn't ride always rides this one, and the lady is older, and a bit heavier. Well, the two of us were riding around the yard, the group of guys was hanging around the wagon over by the arena, and both our (riding) horses were a little antsy.

I didn't expect my horse to stand still and I would be stupid to have expected a young, fresh horse in a relatively new place to stand still. I could feel her back humped, and though she is not usually a bucker, I kept her circling and bent so that she wouldn't be able to get any leverage and any nasty ideas.

I was busy focusing on circling, but I looked up just in time to see the other woman's horse give a little buck. Then the rider began yelling: "Whoa! WHOA!" and I think she panicked a bit. She pulled straight back on the bit and just kept shouting. The horse gave one or two more of the little bucks and though she didn't bolt, she was trotting/jigging quickly. I remember looking around desperately to see if anyone else was noticing, and then all I could do was just...sit there, and watch.

The horse headed for the barn door and though the woman bent over, it wasn't enough and she...cracked her head on the top of the door (didn't have a helmet) and then disappeared inside. At this point, I heard the guys over by the wagon swearing and people came running. The trainer's boyfriend called the ambulance. I put my mare in a stall and went to see what I could do...the woman was laying on the floor by the wall, but she was talking to the trainer and several other ladies and was conscious and seemed oriented. The ambulance arrived a short time later. My trainer said she came through into that part of the barn to see what the woman was yelling about, just as the horse charged through the door. The woman apparently hit her head on the cement wall again as she fell. Most people agreed that one of the multitudes of wasps flying around had stung the horse, because usually the mare is a saint. The woman was taken away to the hospital and the rest of us solemnly commenced our ride.

I was the only one who didn't share my account. I may have been the only one who saw fully what had happened in the yard, and I...feel guilty. I should have done something. I should have told her to circle the horse, or one-rein stop, or...something. Instead, I just sat there gaping and silent. I said to my trainer on the way home: "I feel like I should have done something", but didn't say just how much I saw. She replied: "Naw, it all happens so quick. There's nothing you could have done." I know there isn't, but...I still feel bad and like I could have somehow prevented it.

I've seen wrecks and accidents happen, but they still shake me every time. And something I chose not to dwell on too long was: it could have been me. That was not a young or crazy horse, something just set it off, and if it was a wasp, then it could have just as easily been my horse. Of course, I would have circled or done a ORS to get things back under control to the best of my abilities, but...I don't know.

I'm just feeling kind of disturbed and guilty and horrible. I couldn't have done anything, but at the same time I wonder: couldn't I have? I told my mom about it when I got home, but she doesn't understand; she doesn't know just how bad I feel about it.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-08-2011, 08:14 PM
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Don't beat yourself up over it. Things happen. With horses, things happen a lot more. Most likely even if you had said something, it sounds as if the woman was panicked, she probably wouldn't have been focused enough to take direction anyway.

Was it her horse or was she a customer/outside rider? Curious as to why she wasn't wearing a helmet. I personally don't wear one, but anyone else who puts a leg over a horse on my property has to or they don't ride.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-08-2011, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters View Post
Was it her horse or was she a customer/outside rider? Curious as to why she wasn't wearing a helmet. I personally don't wear one, but anyone else who puts a leg over a horse on my property has to or they don't ride.
It wasn't the lady's horse; I'm not sure what her relation to the trainer/property owner is..

I don't know why the trainer doesn't require everyone to wear a helmet..every other horse training/boarding farm I've been to does. It seems a liability waiting to happen, but I won't judge her. She must have her reasons.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-08-2011, 08:36 PM
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Pinto, it sounds like the lady was already in trouble so quickly that there wasn't time for you to do anything once you were aware of it. There was nothing at that point that you could do. And, yes, it could have been you -- so were you wearing your helmet?????

I can tell you that - based on my own personal experience with an out-of-control horse - it's not likely that there was anything you could have done or said that would have changed the ending. In fact, staying out of the way and keeping relatively quiet and still was probably the best thing you could have done, so that you didn't spook the horse or make it more anxious. If you'd moved your horse toward the other horse to try to help somehow, the chances are good that the horse would have moved in a different direction and made it even harder for the lady to stay mounted.

Don't feel guilty - This is just one of those things that happens with equestrian activities and we **all** accept the risks when we ride. It's normal to feel really bad after something like this, but don't let yourself dwell on it.

PS - I hope the lady recovers quickly!
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-08-2011, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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I just feel like: if I had time to stop and look around, to sit there and watch, I should have had time to say something.

I hope she recovers as well. She didn't seem very out of it, just sore...but then again, with head injuries it's hard to tell. One of the ladies we rode with was going up to the hospital to see her this evening.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-08-2011, 08:52 PM
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You know, it happened in may have seemed like you had time to sit and watch, but it would have been all over in seconds,. not minutes. You're to be commended for not screaming or something else...

I still say that if you'd said anything, there is a good chance that it would have only excited the horse more and it's unlikely that the lady would have/could have heard you and processed what you were trying to say to help. I can tell you that when I've been on my way to the wrecks I've had, there is nothing I'm hearing except for my fast pulse/blood pounding in my ears..
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-09-2011, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks both. I actually feel a surprising amount better and less guilty.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-10-2011, 08:42 AM
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How is the lady doing? Any News?

I really just can't imagine what those who don't wear helmets are thinking every time they mount up.

Would be interested in hearing from those who don't WHY they don't....just out of curiosity.

My son is 20 and still wears his helmet, even without me asking him to. It's just the way it is.....he does it willingly and without question....probably because he's been through three of them, one was cracked in two places....and he sees the necessity and wisdom of wearing it. His worst accident occured when his lesson instructor bought some used tack at a shop. His normally sane paint lesson horse suddenly bucked him off during the start of the lesson and he flew through the air and his head hit the wooden fence rail. Thank GOD his helmet was was dented in two spots and had two small cracks and lots of paint scraped off it. It would've been a nasty injury....but he walked away from it with nothing but muscle aches the next day. The horse bucked because the saddle pad she bought at a used tack shop had a nail purposefully and carefully hidden embedded in it. When my son mounted up, his weight caused the nail to dig into the horse's back...hence the bucking. We were all astounded that someone would do such a horrible thing. Especially since if my son hadn't rode that horse and had cancelled his lesson, the NEXT rider was a child!!!! There are some really evil people out there. The horse, btw, had a nice sized hole in it's back from the nail....
I really hope this woman is ok. It's sad when things like this happen because it shakes everyone who witnessed it up, and can have devastating mental effects on the one who experienced it, resulting in the victim no longer wanting to ride or have anything to do with horses.

Last edited by Beauseant; 10-10-2011 at 08:45 AM.
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