Our day started out like a typical day for a nice ride. Bella, is my eight year old Tennessee Walking horse. She has been coming along quite nicely and loves trail rides. Everything was great until we came to the street, where a large semi was coming up the road. We could not see this until we were already around the corner. The trail there was narrow with a block wall. I thought surely we can still make it across the street. However, looking behind us, the cars kept coming down the street. They have ZERO respect for horses here in our community. I looked southbound and saw the truck still coming and felt my mare tense up due to the air brakes and other rattling noises this truck was making. I turned her nose so she would kind of be in an emergency stop mode, but while I was doing that, she decided to get out of dodge and do it quickly. So, she bolted going north bound up the trail-full speed mind you. She had lost it and the truck was now going the same way we were and he did not stop. She was freaked out, no emergency stop would work at all because she would have flipped over. A busy street was less than 50 feet away and I had to jump...yes, jump. I did not want her to get hurt and felt if I jumped off her back she would stop. Otherwise, it was a busy street with a blind corner, we would either end up on the hood of a car, or much worse, metal shoes don't do well on pavement.
I was so worried she would fall down and break a leg, or I would have major injuries. So, the lessor of the evils was to jump at full speed. I don't know if any of you have ever had to do that, but it is not fun. Anyhow, I jumped and landed into a block wall because of the motion. I felt my head smack against the wall and my body.
There I was laying there, and I jumped up to see Bella had come back to me. It worked! She does not want to be away from me thank the good Lord for that. I was able to move all my parts and so I was happy. I grabbed Bella and started walking home. That semi was long gone he never stopped to help, nothing. However, 2 men came running over to be and said I should go to the emergency room. They wanted to walk me home, but I told them I was okay. My leg was bloody and swelled up like a loaf of bread on my front of my leg. Never thought my leg would ever look that ugly and it was so scary to see.
So, I did take Bella home, unsaddled her, went to emergency and they put my leg in a soft cast because they thought I broke my leg (later on it turned out they were wrong), I have a concussion, but my helmet really saved my life. I have always thought of myself as a pretty good rider. You have to remember pretty good riders get hurt all the time. Things happen in an instant. I never thought my day would turn out that way. I was just going out for a nice ride for an hour or so. I cannot tell you how many people ride without helmets. It is my brain bucket. And, I want to tell you this is my second bad accident where my helmet saved my life. My first Troxel helmet was cracked as well when a thoroughbred race horse bucked me off about 10 years ago.
So, accidents happen, that's why they are called accidents. Streets are slippery, horses are huge, you cannot always control them when they are scared. They can be the best horses and take a wrong step and go down with you on them. I have had that happen as well and was trapped under one of my friend's horses for about 5 minutes. That was scary. You just never know, look at a helmet like insurance for your brain. I highly recommend them and Troxel has saved my life now numerous times. Thanks Troxel!
- February 17, 2011