Life is full of inexplicable accidents. It doesn't matter how safe you try to be or are.
I caught a virus and it paralyzed my GI tract. What are the chances of that? One in 10 million? I was young, healthy, didn't smoke, and didn't drink, with no major health problems.
Certainly it is not fair when you are the ONE who happens to have misfortune. My dad was hit by lightning once and my mom was bitten by a black widow spider. It amazes me we can survive all these rare and unusual misfortunes, but still cannot manage to win the lottery.
Some of it certainly seems to be random chance or just plain bad luck. I read a story the other day of a child who was killed by her horse. The horse she rode every day, who seemed child safe. For some reason, the horse flipped over on her when it spooked at something. Her parents wrote the story in her memory. Very sad.
I do wonder how much of what happens is just random chance? You just happen to get on the wrong horse on the wrong day? Your horse just happens to be in a mood, too hyper, or seasonal? Because you were five minutes early to work, you just happen to get in a car accident?
I had to drive a fellow rider to the hospital after she took a spill off of her bolting horse. She broke 2 or 3 ribs and was in severe pain. Not fun! It certainly shook me up. For whatever reason, her horse spooked and bolted, when all the other horses just stopped and stood there.
Whatever that virus I caught did to my GI tract, is probably far more damaging than anything my horse will ever do to me. Broken bones heal, even if you break a hip or need surgery to repair a broken leg.
I keep riding, as I figure I will probably get taken by some disease and not from some horse related accident. Look at the statistics for cancer. Chances are you are going to get it, at some point in your life. You might as well enjoy life while you can.
I ride with a much older group, and we recently had a fellow rider come down with bone cancer. His horses are all sold, and he is too sick to ride. His property now sits empty.
I do not want to live my life with regrets. I will continue to ride even though I have arthritis started. I will continue to ride even though my horse has arthritis and lameness issues. What sort of life would she have if I retired her? I do not particularly think retired horses are happy. They never get to go anywhere, don't get much attention, and must surely get bored. I even try to take out my old mare who is too lame to ride. Even if it means walking down the street.
You cannot let fear prevent you from living life to the fullest.