You never know what’s going to happen when you spend your days working around horses, but it’s wise to assume that life’s going to throw the odd unexpected injury your way. Horses are wonderful, noble, majestic creatures, but let’s face it, they can be a touch flaky and a tad unpredictable at the best of times. The occasional bump or bruise comes with the territory and if you have a problem with that you should probably find yourself a different sport.
So, what does one do with the knowledge that your next “incident” has the potential to decommission you not only as a rider, but as a functioning person? It’s a sobering realization and one that many riders deal with every day. Our sport is full of mishaps, both major and minor, and it’s no surprise to any of us that when we settle our butts onto a saddle, we run the risk of having our beloved horse launch us right back out! This is not a sport for the faint of heart or the brittle of bone.
Back in the day, people never paid much attention to injuries if they weren’t gushing blood or bones weren’t poking out. To most of us, concussions weren’t that big a deal and they certainly wouldn’t keep a person out of the saddle. The bumps and bruises were considered a valuable learning tool, a horse’s way of teaching you the riding ropes and imparting a little rider savvy along the way. It was all part of living and learning. Thinking back to the number of times I’ve been run over, knocked down, and thrown to the ground it’s a wonder I keep coming back for more, never mind that I’m able to put pen to paper in an attempt to chronicle the journey! But as the saying goes: Life is better with horses.
I’ve had a lot of “advice” this past month from concerned parents (mine and other peoples’), friends, and fellow riders. Their concerned advice seems to funnel itself into two distinct groups: 1. Those advocating for continued riding with an increased degree of caution. 2. Those fighting for a swift end to my life with horses.
For now, I’m keeping an open mind, but I’d love to hear from anyone who has had a similar experience or who has worked their way through the resulting life questions for other reasons.
To ride or not to ride, that is the real question.