So on Sunday morning while the rest of the barn horses were eating breakfast, I decided that I would spend that down time going on a ride with my Icelandic gelding Skuggi. He is still green broke, but is doing very well. This was our first ride by ourselves. I usually ride with a buddy of mine, but she was out of town at the time and I wanted to see how he would do by ourselves. Mistake number one on my part. He had just had his feet trimmed a couple of days ago, so I didn't want to ride him on the gravel road we normally ride on. I decided to ride him in one of the empty pastures that I have ridden with him one time before.
Mistake number two on my part. He started to relax and seemed to be enjoying our time together. I started to relax and not pay as much attention as I should have. Mistake number three on my part. All of a sudden from the tall grasses I hear a rustling sound and then BAM! I am on the ground.
We had startled a deer and in the process it jumped up and spooked Skuggi. His reaction was so fast that I had no time to even think about staying with him. One minute I'm on his back and the next I am hurtling towards the ground. Which incidentally was hard packed dirt and lava rocks. I landed on several rocks, have a shredded shoulder, and a huge crack in my helmet from where my head hit a large rock. I held onto the reins at first but quickly let go of them when I realized Skuggi was more freaked out about the fact that I came off of him than anything else. This was the first time in all of our rides that I had come off.
I let go of him and just lay there for a moment, assessing how my body felt. I didn't seem too bad, so I got up walked over to Skuggi and walked him back to the barn where I then got back on him and rode him a little ways up our normal ride on the gravel drive. I didn't go too far, just enough to calm us both down a little. I got off and walked him back to the barn where I proceeded to take off his tack, groom him and then put him back out to pasture. It wasn't until after that that I realized my shoulder was bleeding quite a bit and saw the crack in my helmet. I have quite an array of cuts and bruises and my left shoulder is tweaked from where I held onto the reins, but I am relatively okay.
I always ride in a helmet and I am thankful that I do. When people who don't wear a helmet ask me why I do, I always tell them that I don't have any brains to spare. I have a new sky blue spirit helmet on the way. Thanks Troxel for making quality products. I have been and will be a loyal customer for many years to come.