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From Perfection to Destruction

At the end of March 2012, I went on a 3-day trail ride with some family friends. My horse, Cody, and I had been looking forward to the weekend for some time and now that we were finally at the campsite, we couldn't stay still.

Our riding consisted of trail riding through creeks, galloping up hills, inching our way down gravel coated hills, swimming through deep water, jumping over fallen logs, you name it, we did it. It was nothing new, we always competed in cross country courses. Cody always listened to me and ignored everyone and everything around him. The first day of trail riding, which was a Friday night, was quite interesting. We had just finished coming up out of a ravine when all of a sudden, Cody jolted forward and began to gallop. I wasn't ready at the time, but I held on and he eventually stopped at the top of the hill. Cody never takes off on me. He knows better than to do so. But I just pushed it aside. He's a horse, right? Horses have their crazy spazzy moments where they feel as if they have to shy at everything they see. Saturday, we rode for 6 hours straight. I had never seen Cody act as he did. He was absolutely perfect. He took his time going down hills, he warned me when he was about to jump, he didn't go in water that he thought was too deep for us. He listened to all of my aids that I gave him.

Sunday, was a different story. It had rained the night before and the trail was so muddy that my trail pal's pony got stuck in knee high mud. It was absolutely horrible. Cody and I came to a spot at the bottom of a little dip where the rain had turned the dirt into sticky mud. Cody was cautious about walking through it, which I thanked him for. But as soon as he got out of the mud, he leaped over an unknown object and took off at a full gallop. After recovering from whiplash, I leaned forward to grab his mane. I lost my balance and toppled off.

It took me about a month to finally remember how I fell, where I fell, and what happened before all of this. I had fallen straight on my head and almost was knocked out completely. I bruised my left pelvic area severely. My helmet cracked into two pieces. After standing up to look around, I saw what cracked my helmet: a razor sharp rock that was sticking up out of the muddy ground. I had always wore a helmet before this incident, but after what happened, I will never EVER ride without one. Yes, I know that in the summer they are hot and itchy. They flop around and get in the way. But what's more important; your comfort while riding or your life?

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