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ChemE 03-29-2012 09:16 PM

Broke my leg
Hi everyone. I have been through a lot since owning my own horse. I've been ridding for a year now, progressing very well, very confident with a good seat. I know I have a ton to learn, but think that I made good progress for never riding before in my 38 years. I bought a wonderful 15 yo TB last summer with great ground manners and experience on the trails. We are in a training program and jump cross rails and very small verticals. I was also hacking him the other days we weren't in a lesson. Anyway, he was lame for 4 months due to white line disease. We started riding again in January and he was getting into great shape. I thought that we may enter a local teaching show this summer. Well, during a lesson we took a turn after a small jump and I became unseated and fell off. Don't know what happened, no one saw. Maybe he tripped or slipped. Needless to say, I hit the ground just right to compound fracture my tibia and fibula. Have plates and lots of screws now. I've been at home in bed with my leg elevated 23 hours a day for a month now. Still very painful.

Wondered if anyone on here had same experience and how long before you rode again? I'm getting really depressed and suspect that it'll be a year before I can ride again. Also, anyone have advice on how to fall? I'm really athletic and used to be a gymnast where I have learn to vault and land. I pushed off the saddle to clear it when I knew I was coming off. Landed on my left foot okay, but the angle and speed broke my right leg.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks for reading.

texasgal 03-29-2012 09:20 PM

I just wanted to say that I am sorry .. Heal quickly .. ride soon!

autumnheart 03-30-2012 08:59 AM

Oh no! That stinks! So sorry to hear that. I really hope you start feeling better soon. I would be very discouraged if I thought it would be a whole year or more before I could ride again, so I can imagine you must feel very down about that.
I've never been seriously injured before, never broke a bone or anything, so I can't say I've had a time where I wasn't able to ride. Hopefully someone else will have their opinions on how long you'll have to wait.

BlueSpark 03-30-2012 11:20 PM

i broke mine brushing a stallion. He was stung by a bee and jumped backwards, catching my leg. Didn't need any platees or screws. A few months after I was on the old dead broke gelding riding stirrupless. Be optimistic, it will get better :)

ChemE 03-30-2012 11:56 PM

Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement. This is just another test that we're going through right now and we'll make it through. It may be a long road but I will learn a lot in my journey. I tell myself to be patient but I miss riding everyday! I guess I'm having withdrawals.

BooBear 03-31-2012 12:16 AM

Well, I'm not exactly the voice of reason, but here's my experience:

Back in 2007 I broke my ankle falling off of my guy when he spooked. The doctor told me no riding for 6 weeks. I was back on 3 days later. It probably wasn't a good idea, but I felt I was ready and I guess I was. Just listen to your body and you'll know when it's safe for you to get back on. Having metal plates and screws might make it take a bit longer, but listen to yourself and trust yourself to make the right decision. =)

smrobs 03-31-2012 12:29 AM

Wow, that's a horrible way to end a ride. I've never broken my leg (yet), but I have broken both arms.

When I was 9, I was riding a horse that a doctor friend of ours was considering buying for his daughters, who were younger than I was. My brother and I were loping down a road when the horse I was on saw the boogeyman in the bushes and he darted left. I didn't and when I landed, I shattered my left arm. My story is very similar to BooBear's. 1 pin, 4 screws, and an external fixator later, doctor said absolutely no horses for at least 8 weeks or until the fixator was removed and I was put into a normal cast.

Within just a few days of getting home, though, I pestered my parents enough to let me back on my old bombproof horse.

With it being a leg, though, that's different as you really need to be able to use it to ride. I would want to wait until I could at least walk around on it without the aid of crutches, then, when I started back riding, I would do it slowly and probably ride without stirrups for a while.

You just take your time and get well, you're horse will still be there for you no matter if it takes you 3 days or 3 months. If you want to ride, then by golly, go ride. Just take it slow and only do what you feel completely, 100% safe doing.

ls6firebird 03-31-2012 12:47 AM

dont be stupid and ride with plates and screws in your leg!!!! it takes a long time for all that to heal right. i shattered the lower part of my tibia and my ankle (at work, not horse related). i started with 3 screws and had 2 more added later with an internal bone stimulator. i ended up with 5 surgeries total. i never did anything to hurt the healing process. just wanted to make sure ya realize that if theres screws and plates, its not just a simple break that they throw a cast on and call it good. like i said, i never did anything i wasnt supposed to with mine, and it still didnt heal back the way it was supposed to and i ended up losing my leg below the knee

ohmyitschelle 03-31-2012 01:30 AM

I have a very similar experience. In 2009 I was riding my mare with another horse, and we had a freak accident which made my mare bolt. On a sharp corner back to home I managed to lose a stirrup and fell off landing completely on my right leg. I broke both my tibia and fibula cleanly and have a metal rod right down my and two screws. I can COMPLETELY sympathise with how you're feeling right now as I was there also. It took me eight months to walk full weight on that leg (with crutches as aid) - but don't be alarmed - I had a previous weak right leg from an ongoing knee injury, and so this did contribute. My recovery was incredibly slow to a lot of medical politics and not as much support as one would hope for. I pray for you that you're getting the right kind of support and physiotherapy from your team over there. Are you getting any help with the muscle groups in your leg? It's incredibly important in the upcoming weeks to slowly improve with medical supervision. I was given the wrong information in the first 8weeks, and didn't attempt to walk because of it. I had little physiotherapy support to keep the muscles from weakening further, and thus was in a wheelchair for some time. When time to see the specialist, he asked why I wasn't walking - his advice had been not to! Anyways, with your own healing ability aside, it relies heavily on your willpower and motivation. I'll be honest with you. Everything was a mission. I became depressed watching people around me being able to walk themselves to the darn toilet or shower by themselves. Not being able to look after my horses (I had two at the time) also got me further in the dumps and it led to eating extra - not a good idea!

In the end I snapped out of my depression and put in the hard yards. It was blimmin' hard work and three years later I still suffer from the cold with the metal rod freezing my leg over in winter or feeling irritated in the summer. Sometimes I feel incredibly weak through that leg, and still can to this day feel the fracture line aching even though it's healed! But after 8months, I started to walk with a limp for short bursts, by 10months I could walk for much longer. I was able to ditch the crutches around that time too. About 11 months after the accident I rode a mare who I used to own who I knew inside out and was safe as. A few days later I rode my mare I fell off of and I'm so glad I stuck at it to get to that point. It took a further two years to convince myself I was actually okay to ride, and apart from being in and out of the saddle, since Jan this year Honey and I have been rather solidly making our way back to where we were pre accident.

I have to say being back around my horses, even on crutches was the BEST medicine for my injury (okay maybe second, I quite liked that morphine drip I was attached to in the first two days in hospital, would have LOVED to have taken it home in the first two weeks back at home which were hellish for me haha :lol:). If you can, try and visit your horse - when you're moving again. Even being able to groom him in the future WILL lift your spirits and give you a sense of 'returning' to your responsibilities as a horse owner. Be diligent in your recovery but don't overdo it - I had a couple of setbacks because I tried to do too much. Allow your body to dictate, but don't ignore your mind too much... sometimes it pays off to push a little harder, and sometimes you're just being foolish. You are the best at knowing your own habits to judge this.

Good luck with your recovery, I'm wishing you a much better one than myself! If you want any more info or support, please contact me. I'd be happy to be there to help in any way I can, as I know what you're feeling all too well!

Susan Crumrine 03-31-2012 02:42 AM

Well I also got bucked off and broke my tib/fib
It was a very bad break and I have a titanium rod, plates and screws.
I was in a wheelchair because I had broken my right ankle the year before.
It hurts some every day. I don't mind, some days, when I limp, I just think about Dr House, he makes the limp look good. HAHA>
Just take your time and follow the Dr's orders and in no time you will be riding again!

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