Okay, so on Wednesday I had a fairly serious horse-related accident. Thankfully, it was NOT involving my horse.
Now, please don't flame me for what I did. It may not have been the brightest thing, but I would much rather it happen to me than the older BO because I can bounce back from an injury FAR better than he can.
So, here's what happened...
We have this lady at our stable who bought a 7yo mare from a rescue. She was told the mare is "pure paint"...to be quite honest, after seeing this horse move, she looks like a gypsy cob/TB cross. She's a black and white paint, which is the SOLE REASON the lady bought her. She was told that the mare was broke and had been ridden quite a bit, but hadn't been ridden in a while. She bought the mare as a horse for her 11yo daughter who has a blood disorder that has made her extremely frail (she weighs about 40lbs and looks like one good sneeze would do her in). This lady says she had horses about ten years ago, but I am pretty sure I've FORGOTTEN more about horses than she's ever known! She couldn't even halter her mare at first.
Anyway, the lady asked my friend and I if we would help her saddle the horse and ride it. Since we were led to believe that this mare was broke, we said sure. The barn's trainer was busy and the BO was off trying out some QHs he'd just bought. So, we saddled her up. She was an absolute angel, even when my friend was putting the hackamore on (what we were told she rides in...yeah, right) and lost her grip and dropped it off the mare's face. We got her all tacked up and took her into the round pen where I started working on lunging. We were also told this mare could lunge. Yeah, not even close. She charged at me several times when I went to swing the lead rope to get her to move. I have NEVER felt uncomfortable around a horse, even in the round pen, but that horse made me EXTREMELY nervous.
Well, I asked my friend to come in the round pen with me and we weighted the stirrups to see how the mare would react. She didn't even flinch at all when we leaned as hard as we could into the stirrups. So, we decided that I'd climb on and take her for a ride around the round pen. My friend counter-balanced the stirrup and I swung up after a couple of bounces to get momentum. Again, she didn't even stir, nor did she feel tense. I leaned slightly forward to catch my right stirrup and the mare threw a little crow hop buck at me. I pitched forward slight in the saddle, but didn't even remotely come close to coming out of it. Now mind you, we had been warned that this mare was rope shy (the trainer at the rescue said she accidentally dropped the reins on the mare's neck and she FLIPPED OUT), so I made sure I kept the reins as far off that mare's neck as I could manage and kept a firm grip on them so I wouldn't accidentally let them fall.
I moved back to put my butt back in the seat and try to catch my right stirrup again because she STILL didn't feel tense when the mare's ears snapped back, pinned down, she jerked her head to the right so she saw me out of the corner of her eye and BUCKED. We're not talking a little crow hop this time. This was a full-out rodeo bronc BUCK. I went flying and flipped over her neck, but my left foot tangled in the stirrup before jerking free. I landed on first my butt, then my back, then cracked my head on the ground and blacked out for a few seconds. Apparently the mare bucked so hard she flipped herself over onto her side, rolled OVER the saddle (luckily the tree didn't break!), and came to her feet with murder in her eyes. As soon as she was up, she came after me with both front feet. She would have been on top of me trampling me if my friend hadn't jumped between us and kept the mare at bay until I regained my feet, which was VERY quickly. There was absolutely no way I was going to be caught DEAD on the ground with that mare in the pen with me.
My first thought when I came back around after blacking out was "Where's the horse?" My second thought was "OMG! My left ankle hurts!" My third thought was "Where are my glasses?" (thankfully they were still on my face). After figuring out where the horse was, I got up and immediately realized something was off with my ankle, but decided it was probably sprained. We walked the mare out of the round pen (I held the lead rope...I may not have been able to get back in that saddle [not that I WANTED to with her!], but I wasn't going to let her beat me!) and over to the hitching rail so we could untack her. She wouldn't let us take the bridle off for a good five minutes, but just stood there like a calm, lazy lump the whole time we took the saddle and pads off.
I walked around for four hours with the pain in my ankle getting progressively worse until finally I asked my friend if she could take me to the ER (there was absolutely no way I could drive my truck since it's stick). At the ER, the PA who saw me was expecting my ankle to be pretty much shattered with the way we described what happened (almost exactly as I have here, just without all the details), but he was pleasantly surprised to find that I "merely" have a hairline fracture on the front of my left tibia, right where it meets my ankle. So, I'm splinted up right now and should be getting a hard cast sometime this week.
So, I know what I have to do right now to heal. My questions are about after I heal and I can ride again. I'm anticipating Aires being ready to ride by the time I'm out of my cast (he's already had two rides on him and he ALREADY responds to leg pressure!!!). Since it was my left (mounting) ankle that was fractured, should I have the trainer teach him to mount from either side so that I can get on him from the ground without worrying about stressing my ankle too much (I figured out that if I have someone weighting the stirrup, I can mount with no problems)? I'll probably ride my friend's dead-broke arab mare (even though she's a little small for me) the first couple of times out, just to get a feel for how my ankle will handle riding. Do you think I should wear a brace when I ride? Right now, I am not in ANY pain from the fracture...at all...and I'm not taking any pain meds other than some ibuprofen every once in a while (only had one dose today and took 400mg). I do have an EXTREMELY high pain threshold (the BO kept telling me my ankle couldn't be broken because I was walking on it lol You should have seen his face the next day when I showed up with my leg in a splint and on crutches).
Anyway, the only good thing to come out of this is that when I hit the ground with my back, I must have jarred loose some scar tissue that was limiting my range of motion on my left shoulder from where I injured it moving stall panels last year (more than likely tore my rotator cuff, but insurance wouldn't fix it), because now I have almost full range of motion back in that shoulder and it's relatively pain free. The only pain I feel in it right now is from hauling my 180lbs butt around on crutches all day! Lol
Oh, and I am TOTALLY not scared to get back up on a horse. I was ready to get back on one that day, just not that mare again. I think my friend was more freaked out about what happened that I was, to be completely honest.