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Two things that saved my life...

I wanted to share my story with you though as I am certain your helmet saved my life the other day.

I don't often wear one, but something told me to Sunday. It was a beautiful day, a few of us got together and trailered our horses to the beach just north of the Tijuana border. It was my OTTB's first trail ride (he'd been swimming with me at Fiesta Island before but I'd never trail ridden him) and I decided to wear a helmet just to be safe. Turns out it was a pretty stellar idea...

He was a bit worried about things on the ride out to the sand and got a little iffy when we approached the bridge over the creek, but he crossed it okay after the first little jump he tried. The dead seal at the opening to the beach didn't help matters and the waves crashing were enough for all of the horses in our group to come a little unglued so I hopped off and walked him down to the water. Since we'd gone swimming in the ocean before I knew once he was in he'd be okay and he was. Big dufus took a big gulp and mellowed out after that and we waded around in the breakers for a bit. Now I had to get back on him. Not so easy considering the dead seal was about 10 feet from the fire pit I had to use to get a leg up (he's 17.3h) but finally I managed. Then the dried kelp was scary so we danced around that for a while but made it back to the trail head okay and back over the bridge without incident. That was until someone had the bright idea to take a side trail before heading back to the trailers. It was okay until we got to the mud. One of my companions was on a blind Arab behind me and apparently the mud frightened him so he decided to jump his way out of it which unseated his rider - when he rocketed off the trail that spooked my big guy and as my horse leapt forward and to the side my left rein broke at the bit (brand new set too!) and I came off - there was no hope of staying on at that point (this is what everyone tells me as the last thing I remember is taking the side trail).

Apparently I landed on my side and rolled over onto my back and stayed there for about 45 minutes to an hour, Troxel helmet still in place, moaning. Once I finally regained consciousness, they said I didn't know where I was or how I got there and could not recite ABCs or give phone numbers, etc. I kept asking the same questions over and over again. Hallmarks of a concussion I would later learn. My horse was led away, but kept trying to get back to me and gave them a pretty hard time because of it. Bless his big heart. I couldn't understand why when I'd gotten up on my own and walked over to them (I didn't know I'd been out for so long at that point, I guess I was still a bit fuzzy) why on earth were there 4 handsome firemen/EMTs fussing over me? What on earth was I doing on a board? Why the sirens, I was awake damn it! What happened? This is silly! I was really pissed that the trauma team cut my clothes off when we finally made it to the hospital (lol - classic me). I felt like it was an awful lot of fuss when I was just fine, damn it!

Later when talking with the trauma doc she told me I'd suffered a massive concussion and if I hadn't been wearing that helmet I would have suffered severe brain trauma or death. I will miss my old school Mickey Mouse Troxel helmet, it's got Goofy riding a cartoon horsie on it. Wish I could attach a pic. Thought you'd like the story, though I don't remember the accident or events immediately preceding or following it I won't forget the day or that a helmet saved my life. One thing we learned from this is that it was a really good thing that I'd programmed 'HOME' in my GPS so that my friend could get my rig and horse home safely. But it would also have been helpful to have had a list of emergency contacts tacked somewhere in the cab of my rig as she couldn't find my phone and didn't know how to contact anyone. Thought I would pass that on. I'll be doing that now. Thank you Troxel - I wouldn't be here without you.



  • September 04, 2012