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I did everything wrong, except wearing my helmet

It was one of those times when you just want to shake your head and ask "what was she thinking?" I got a new riding horse about a year ago. He is a 16.2 Friesan cross - a magnificent being. He was so big that none of my saddles fit him. So, while I researched and shopped, he enjoyed a year of pasture and oats. I was so excited when my saddle finally arrived. I gathered all of my gear, caught my boy, and headed for the round pen. A quick brushing, and on went the saddle.

He was stunning. I was so excited that I did not lunge him - just clambered up, asked my partner for my cap, and away we went. We made it around the pen a couple of times, and he blew up. I remember looking down at his shoulders - the most powerful set I'd ever been up on - and thinking "I'm going to die."

Have you ever heard a blow? I remember hearing something hit my back. I remember hearing myself land. And then my world exploded into pain. My back is fractured in 2 places. I had 6 vertebrae fused. It wasn't until I got home from the hospital that we looked at my helmet. An EMT friend of ours was over, and asked to see it. Dead center in back just above the edge is an indentation that my skull would not have survived. I have always worn a helmet - even when riding western with people who made fun of me. I am so, so grateful for my Troxel.

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