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I hate when you get hurt and you are alone. I hated riding Keno, because on a colt I am usually riding alone, and that horse had so many dangerous things to try and overcome. I just hated knowing no one could help me as he would throw himself down and try and pull me out of the saddle, or run into things. Who wants to run into things?! Boy I dislike even thinking about that horse.

My grandpa told me a story once of breaking his leg badly working, on a team I believe. He had to crawl dragging that leg for a couple miles home in bad weather.

Oh the stories he told me! I miss that man. He gave such a view into the past. Running mustangs, working teams, big storms and so many great things he had done in his life. Stories that people who love horses like we do just crave.
 

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(Sorry, long with pics)
@Knave, I value that toughness that you described in the helmet thread. It's not to be arrogant or anything, but just in a practical way, you know you have to be tough if you're going to be doing the things you do. My family has that same culture. Even riding bikes as kids, we'd drag ourselves in with knees turned into hamburger from road rash and just wipe it off and try to get back out playing again.

It's very unfair and unpredictable how some concussions seem to do nothing, and others cause so many changes. The girl who fell off Amore onto her head was passed out for minutes. I was certain she must have serious issues going on inside her brain. Yet she was completely recovered in a couple of weeks, and month later had no memory problems or anything like that.

Quite possibly some of us will have problems show up later on. It's why now that I'm more educated, I want to avoid more serious hits to the brain if possible. I'm more in the category of your daughter as a post-concussion person, even though I have not had any known issues from concussions. When I was 8, I fell in slippery Sunday shoes straight onto my face, knocked myself out and broke my nose so badly I had to have a long surgery to fix it. As a very ridiculously reckless young teen, I hit my head other times pretty hard, biking and playing rough sports. We played football, volleyball, basketball, every sport known to man. I knocked myself out once attempting to jump over a hurdle at the track just messing around. Stupid.

When I was 18, I had another bad concussion when I jumped off a 3 ft high bridge railing I was walking on, onto black ice. That knocked me out cold, and I felt paralyzed when I woke up, but soon was moving fine. My head got a big goose egg and I bled a lot, but I didn't go to a doctor. I had a bad whiplash though, and went to a chiropractor to get that treated several days later.

That was all before I started riding Amore and getting bucked off. When they say some people are hard headed, they really mean stupid and that is me. I was wondering if having a headache for two days and feeling dizzy and sick was necessary, and that's when it occurred to me that some people ride wearing helmets, and I discovered I could buy one at my local tack store.

I've heard some people have complete personality changes after concussions, mood disorders, and all the memory problems and balance issues you know about too. These things can also happen after viral meningitis, and I've had that as well, but only had some vision changes for a month or so.

I was thinking about the question of how people fall and hit their head. I understand @bsms' point that falling off shouldn't really just be seen as a normal part of riding. But the green horse period is very sketchy that way, and I've had a lot of issues like @Knave with horses losing their footing or doing defensive maneuvers at speed.

A main way I've seen people hit their head is when the horse falls down sideways so fast that the rider is thrown sideways onto their head. In this picture it looks like the rider will hit his shoulder, but I've seen the horse go down so fast the horse and rider are both parallel to the ground and the rider hits shoulder immediately followed by the head. A girl I know hit her helmet on a rock doing this kind of fall, and it cracked but she didn't even get a concussion.


This is the sort of action that happened to the girl who fell off Amore. Except she was a rather secure rider and her legs were down in the stirrups and her seat was on the horse much longer. Both of Amore's front legs went back underneath her, and she fell with her chin flat on the ground. I've rarely seen a horse fall like that. The rider hit the side and back of her head.


Why I always hit my head getting bucked off Amore...she was such a fast twister, and such a violent bucker, that I would end up like this. Somehow with her action and her height, my head would hit first. As in this photo, I would be hard pressed to say that I went off the front of the horse. Sometimes I was closer to the back end, but still ended up on my head.



I don't know, @Knave...I prefer to have my legs down, because even when I've thought a horse was going to endo a lot of times they recovered and then I was able to stay on. I tend to keep my head up, and legs down like this.

My goal is to maintain the ability to spread eagle if necessary. If the horse rolls right over you, it's very bad. But sometimes they end up missing you to one side, or just getting a leg. I've had that happen. Never had one go over me, but it is a fear.


I've often had horses fall sideways and ended up next to the horse like this. Sometimes on my feet even.


The number one way I've fallen off horses, over and over and over again. I fall to the side, and land on one hip or the other.

Hind end is heavy, it takes a moment to get legs and arms clear of the horse, hind end hits the ground first. 99.9% of the time. Either right hip or left hip, depending on which way the horse went.
 

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@gottatrot it does seem just odd to me, how some concussions end up fine, some end up in epilepsy, and some like her. I am coming home now from a dr appointment with her.

The more I think about the neuro appointment, the more I don’t like it. Obviously she showed zero short term memory, and other issues. She wasn’t having headaches bad at the time, but now they are worse. Her emotions are out of control, and that’s all the neuro focused on. Maybe that combination with the twitches had her recommend a neuropsyc, which is fine, but when I went to make the appointment they are strictly an autism clinic.

I wish she’d have done another mri or something. Her general memories are getting worse by the day… and her physical symptoms. Oh well, we focus on the emotions right now.

Ugh, enough venting I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,644 · (Edited)

That is an example of where, if someone is not riding for max performance, the fall should never happen. Mia turned far harder, sharper and with less warning - but long legs in an Aussie saddle, or long & active legs in a western, and one should stay on.

This is more of what I fear. Not from jumping, of course, except on a rough trail at speed if a horse clips a rock with a hoof...or would it take more than that? I've gone face first into the ground jogging when my toe clipped a rock, but I have 2 feet and Bandit has 4. And not jumping, his body would probably be more level at the start of the fall. I honestly think Bandit could recover from most situations like this if I stay balanced and out of his way.

What causes a horse to fall sideways? The son of my rancher friend (the one who left in a blizzard once) had the trail collapse out from under him one time. He threw himself sideways uphill, hung on, and the horse bounced 50 feet down. To his surprise (and the horse's he said), the horse was alive, well, and once he got down to the horse, he rode away.

I'm not criticizing anyone else. Just trying to figure out how I should approach things with Bandit. He's never going to go full bronco on me. I fully understand wearing a helmet with any horse likely to go full bronco. That MIGHT have been Bandit in 2015, but it sure isn't him now. And I try to give him freedom to adjust his speed, without asking, if he feels the need. He's actually an experienced horse and part of my belief is that an experienced horse given some freedom of decision-making isn't likely to fall because HE doesn't want to fall. And knows how not to fall, if he's had a chance to learn.

That's why I'm finally exploring things on Bandit that I wouldn't have tried on Mia for $5000. There is an innate sense of self-possession and good sense to Bandit that Mia never had and, frankly, Trooper will never have.

And that gets back to why helmets ought to be an individual choice. I rode Trooper this evening. Wearing a helmet. He did well actually. Took him out in the desert solo. It was easier to do it on Trooper than on Bandit. He's more inclined to just obey - but Bandit is more likely to tell me "Nope! I want to live forever and this is not the way to do it!" I have less confidence we'll go on a straight path with Bandit. He might want a few detours. But I trust Bandit to get to the end goal in one piece. And so will I - if I listen to him and if I can stay out of his way. Not interfering with the horse is one of those things I think instructors ought to emphasize, but it seems most of the riding world wants to emphasize control! And...not interfering is harder than it sounds..... 😕

@Knave , I really wished I trusted doctors. But I don't. I get the feeling many of them walk into the room with their minds already made up. We aren't individuals to them. Just cases. Or maybe that is just here.
 

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I think that here too. I didn’t realize she also was a psychologist, and so I think she grabbed on to that aspect and neglected some of the other pieces. I do think getting her emotions under control is extremely important, but I also know who she was before the accident. She was not this person, and it is worsening. I will give the ssri’s a shot though, and then see what is left, hoping she doesn’t get worse in the meantime.

A lot of things will trip a running horse, but to some extent they seem better able to focus on their footing and the momentum helps. Of course, I endoed Chagrin at a dead run, but there was hidden wire in the brush. The other horses have all been at a slower lope.

I have only tipped a horse sideways under the condition you discussed that I can remember. Oh, I did tip Runt sideways barrel racing due to bad footing. I tipped on Bones when his boots had no traction on a very steep sidehill. I thought there was no way he’d get up without us rolling down the mountain, but if I moved I would certainly roll him down it. We balanced, and it took him some time, but he got up. Man is that horse an athlete!
 

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For us, sideways falls have mostly happened on wet grass around a sharp corner. A couple of other times on wet clay that was shallow. That stuff is slick. I've also been in arenas that had very slick footing and had horses fall. I suspect the horse in the surf that had fallen sideways stepped in a hole. I knew a couple people who liked to run horses in the shallow water, but I always thought that was too dangerous, because there can be drop offs and holes under the water.

I'm always amazed at what horses can recover from. I've had horses trip and almost go down many times, but with their four legs they nearly always catch themselves.

Horses with a sense of self-preservation are far safer than others. I also have to say that I've ridden so many horses that are almost difficult to come off of if you are a decent rider. Hero is one of these, even when he has bucked and been a little wild. I've rarely come off of him in the worst circumstances. Certain horses like Amore are so easy to come off of, and so spooky that you really should wear a helmet. With Hero, I don't feel it is so necessary. But I should be smart and try not to get any more concussions.

Doctors are often like police officers. They have a hard time keeping an open mind and seeing people as individuals rather than as a category they have dealt with before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,647 ·
I hadn't thought about "slick", Southern Arizona doesn't have a lot of "slick"! Although Bandit and I had a brief dispute the last ride where we cantered moderate fast in the wash we normally do, but I didn't ask him to slow because I planned to keep going straight and I realized almost too late that he was expecting our normal 90 degree turn to a short-cut home. I went to two hands on the reins and kept him straight with about a second to spare. He wasn't happy about it. He'd have tried the turn in the sand.

Maybe he'd have made it. But there are rocks under the sand and maybe not. Given how aware (and how interested he is in self-preservation!) I suspect it would have been OK. We weren't flying at that point anyways.

I've watched Mia slip and fall sideways running by herself in our corral. She was an example of a horse who needed more experience. And who sometimes just lost her mind with excitement. I almost always wore a helmet on her and 100% would have made more sense. I've seen Trooper slip and fall in mud. Once. In 6 1/2 years, I haven't seen Bandit slip or fall anywhere, although he's tripped and gone to his knees walking or slow trotting in our arena. I think from boredom and not paying attention. I could imagine him slipping wearing hoof boots on pavement, which is why I wear a helmet any time we do so.

I'm certainly not ANTI-helmet, but it bugs me to hear, "EVERY TIME or you are an unthinking, uncaring idiot!" There are lots of variables. What I choose for 60 minutes of riding is different from what I'd choose for 12 hours. If we ever DO move to Utah, I'm certain any riding I do on Bandit in the mountains or in the San Rafael Swell will be helmetless:


 

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It’s not stupid @Txshecat0423! I forget not everyone talks like me. It means you summersault your horse. End over end…
@Knave:

Ahhhh thank you! That makes sense when explained, but when googling it,
I was “Well, pretty sure that’s not what it meant”!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I really wished I trusted doctors. But I don't. I get the feeling many of them walk into the room with their minds already made up.
I feel very strongly that way also. I tell my kids, "Medicine is an inexact science. Don't expect doctors to know what is wrong with you." But, I really wish we had some answers. I wish you had some answers too, @Knave. I hate that you are going through this.

Just last month, Aci stepped in a super deep sideways gopher tortoise hole and went down sideways with me under him. I was kinda banged up, but happily, I was able to re-mount and get home. Isabeau was the champion rear-up- hurl-herself-sideways-in-a-rage mare. She only caught me under her once, and I was on crutches with a bad ankle for a week. I lied to my family and said I just woke up injured. I didn't want them to know I was riding such a dangerous mare. When I was a kid, my horse was galloping, stepped in a hole and endoed big time. I don't know how long I was unconscious, but it was a while. My mom didn't know, and I didn't tell her because she wasn't keen on me riding and would gladly have stopped it. I was lucky because I came home and slept all afternoon. I didn't know sleeping after a concussion was bad. No ill effects from that one. Helmets weren't even invented for riders in those ancient long-ago days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,652 ·
I don't mind wearing a helmet for the short (60 min) rides I do. I prefer my cotton hat but since I've been trying to add some speed work with Bandit...a helmet helps my confidence, even if it is no guarantee against serious injury.
That photo was taken along a section Bandit and I raced along yesterday (in the opposite direction). I tried crouching IN the saddle instead of a half-seat. Don't know if it was more comfortable for Bandit or I was just a bit more forward or what, but he flew around that curve. Unfortunately, I'm talking about 20 seconds, maybe less, because once around that curve it goes downhill for a rougher 50 yards and then turns 90 degrees. And I wanted him slowed before we hit the downhill.

It felt good to me, though, so I went back with Bandit and did a sweeping turn around in the desert to try again. He obviously understood because as soon as we joined the trail, he took off. I have almost no experience with galloping apart from Mia's bolts, and I wasn't paying attention to anything other than trying to stay alive during those. But I think Bandit was an easier ride because he was galloping instead of cantering. Hard to analyze when the distance is so short! I got him partially slowed before the downhill but we did a good trot down it and...got him slowed - or maybe HE slowed himself - in time for the turn.

I wouldn't have tried it without the helmet. Realistically, though, if Bandit slipped sideways going around the curves (there are two in 20 seconds) or clipped a rock and endoed...well, it would be bad. "Whether the stone hits the pitcher or the pitcher hits the stone, it is going to be bad for the pitcher!" I guess if nothing else the helmet was less likely to blow off. He was kind of excited so I insisted he walk a couple of acceptable speed spots on the remaining ride home. It would be so much nicer for both of us if I could experiment during a mile run instead of being limited to very short bursts. I think Bandit would like to open it up and just GO too. But this is an unforgiving land and I'm old!

And yes, even trying this on Mia would have been suicidal. Her mind would have blown and stopping would probably come at the end of the fall.
 

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...I was lucky because I came home and slept all afternoon. I didn't know sleeping after a concussion was bad. No ill effects from that one. Helmets weren't even invented for riders in those ancient long-ago days...
FWIW, it's not that sleeping after a concussion is bad. It's actually good to sleep after a brain injury to help with healing. The problem with sleeping is that when someone is asleep you can't notice if they are having symptoms because there is bleeding in the brain. So if they start getting confused or delirious, or lose consciousness because of pressure on the brain, no one will notice because they're already asleep. If someone has a scan and it looks like there are no problems, then sleeping is OK. It's only when a person doesn't know if any damage has occurred, because they haven't been to the hospital that sleeping can be dangerous.

My cousin's girlfriend fell down the stairs while my cousin was gone, and then went to bed. When he came home he thought she was sleeping, and it took many hours before he realized he couldn't wake her up. She had bleeding in the brain, and it almost looked bad for my cousin because she had bruises all around her face. But other family members reported to the doctor that there was blood at the bottom of the stairs, and verified that he had been out working, so it was not viewed as suspicious. After a few days when the swelling in her brain was better, she actually remembered falling. She had a long recovery but is doing well now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,654 · (Edited)
Bought a truck:
Unlike my 2008 F-150 6 cylinder, this one can tow 10,100 lbs. Unlike my F-150, it was NOT $13,000 out the door! The Costco price on this model was $500 below MSRP, which on the current market is as good I as could really hope for. The local dealer has such limited supply that they require an Arizona driver's license to buy. They were getting buyers from California and they decided the only way to keep any stock for repeat customers was to limit purchases to Arizona residents. Even so, they only expect to get a dozen or so more in before the 2022 models start. And the next year models will abandon the big V8 approach to meet government gas mileage standards. Twin turbo-charged V6 will be the only engine. For bulletproof reliability, I prefer a very well tested big V8 that loafs along. Maybe I'll be wrong, but...

I doubt I'll ever break towing 7500 with it. I want to get a small stock trailer but that will probably be next spring at the earliest. And a two horse size will be enough, regardless of Trooper's issues. Trooper is putting on weight, but he's starting to have colic almost weekly after never having had it for the 13 years we've owned him. My wife thinks she can feel some lumps in his neck. That would be in line with many of his siblings, now dead from cancer. We're doing what we can and will see. Maybe she is wrong. Or maybe he'll reach a point where we'll need to end things. It remains to be seen.

But I don't foresee needing to transport more than 2 horses at one time, and a two horse trailer with 2 sub-1,000 lb horses won't be over 6,000 lbs. Probably less. We also want to start renting a camp trailer sometimes, but a 20-25' trailer won't come close to 7,500 lbs. Probably 6K or less, according to the Internet. So 10K towing capacity should be well over my need. The 2008 F-150's 3600 lb max tow weight (as configured) wasn't going to do the job. This one will suck fuel, but Lord willing it will be the last truck we'll ever need to buy.

Not much room for hay in the back, but I'm finding our little utility trailer does a wonderful job at hauling hay (or yard waste, to the dump). Easier to load and unload. I think it is very likely we'll be in this house for at least 2 more years and maybe longer. If I could tow 2 horses to the Chiricahua Mountains a half-dozen times a year, it would help me put up with living so close to Tucson. And if we could take a trailer to central Utah once a year, and maybe go camping at Mt Graham sometimes.....

 

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Discussion Starter · #2,658 ·
I'm worried that prices won't come down much even a year from now, @whisperbaby22. To meet average mpg requirements (government), manufacturers are being forced to make more exotic trucks - like going to a double turbocharged V6 in the Tundra, with some being hybrid as well. More aluminum, etc. Chevy has a feature that kills the engine when you come to a stop light, and then restarts it. Saves gas in government tests but.... 😕

So yes, I'm glad I got this one. I've also been doing some research on trailer weights. These two websites give both generalities and specific model weights:



What surprised me was that bumper pull three horse trailers are almost all under 4,000 lbs empty. My three horses would then put me < 7,000 lbs. With 2 horses max (and the only time I'd load all three would be if we bought a house in Utah), I'd be under 6,000 lbs. That is good news because it means I can look for a 3 horse trailer. Even a stock trailer that can hold 3-4 horses. And still not come close to maxing out the truck! The two horse trailers around here are few and far between and mostly in poor shape unless new. Bandit would load easily into a 3 horse. He doesn't mind entering but he'll leave his rear feet outside with my current (used to store hay) two horse trailer. He would need to push up against the front edge with his chest to fit in. And....he doesn't think that is reasonable. But I'd bet he'd enter a 3 horse in nothing flat, particularly if there was some chow waiting for him at the far end!

If I could take him even 5 miles from here, the trails would be entirely different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,659 ·
This is part of what I'm worried about. Heard about it on the radio driving home from our vacation. China has a top down economy. When the people at the top set goals in one area, they don't worry much about the impact elsewhere. It is one of the reasons, IMHO, a top down economy cannot - over the long haul - out produce a free one. Anyways, they pointed out certain provinces in China were burning more coal than allotted, and producing more smoke than allowed. Depending on the province, they were ordered to go from 6 days a week of production to either 4 days...or TWO.

"When you get into your car in the morning, you probably aren’t thinking about what materials actually go into its construction...Now, it may have an impact on the entire industry. A global shortage of magnesium could result in a near-total shutdown of the auto industry — one that experts say could come by the end of this year....

Essentially, you can’t make cars without aluminum. You can’t work with aluminum without using magnesium. And as of December, you may not be able to work with magnesium much — if at all. Amos Fletcher, analyst for Barclays, put it succinctly: “If magnesium supply stops, the entire auto industry will potentially be forced to stop.”...

China is also the world’s primary supplier of magnesium — 85% of the world’s supply comes from the country. The most prevalent magnesium-producing town in China, Yulin, just ordered 35 of its 50 production facilities to shut down. The remaining 15 have been told to scale back operations by half, leaving production drastically reduced...
".

I worry that our "supply chain" problems are long-term and systemic. Heck, I'm assuming no one bans the sale of gas in the next 10 years....

AND, most of our hay in Arizona comes from California. By truck. It seems by regulation about half of all truckers in the USA are now banned from operating in California. I'm hoping THAT supply chain doesn't break or I'll have dead horses! But I'm betting hay in Arizona is going to go up in price.

BTW - We're now starting to think Trooper's colic issues may be due to a hoof supplement I've been giving him for a long time hoof crack. We're experimenting, hoping it isn't throat cancer. Fingers crossed, but it is looking like there is a correlation between giving him supplement and issues of colic. The other two horses have no problems. But they are a BLM mustang and a half-mustang, and mustangs seem to have tough guts. Anyone who can eat dried tumbleweeds and smile... 🙄
 
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