On August 31st, 2010, I was riding my 2 year old paint filly, for the first, and last time. I had, by witness accounts, been riding her for a little over an hour, when a stray dog, came charging at her from out of the neighbors field. The dog jumped up and grabbed onto her tail, spooking the filly. She did a sidestep and kicked out, knocking the medium sized dog loose. The determined mongrel, regrouped himself and came at the horse again, this time attacking her underside, already frightened, the 16.2 hand horse did a bronco-like twist in the air, rising with all four legs up off of the ground, startling me and unseating me, tossing me into a nearby tree.
My mother was standing nearby and stated that she say me hit the tree with the right side of my head and the my right shoulder, bounce off of the tree and then slam into a concrete edge of a long buried drive under my gravel drive ( I was tossed out of my grassy paddock by the horse) with the left side of my head.
I don't remember anything of the accident. In fact I don't remember bits and pieces of my life for many years, moments of my childhood even, leading up to the accident. I suffered a right temporal fracture, a left temporal fracture, a subdural hematoma requiring a evac of the blood surrounding the brain, all of my stapes (inner ear bones) on my right side were thrown from my ear upon impact causing immediate deafness in my right ear!
One year later after many surgeries I do have some hearing back in my ear, I have seizures and black outs. I struggle with both long term and short term memory loss. Cognitive skills come and go as they please, especially math. I do ride horses still, but it took much physical recovery. But there is one thing that I do not go without now a HELMET!! Up until my accident I had NEVER put on one. At age 29 I do not go near a horse without one now. No one is allowed near or on my horses unless they put one on. I keep several in each size in my tack room at all times just in case a rider does not have one of their own! I learned the hard way, it always better to be safe than sorry!!!
Note: This rider was not wearing a helmet at the time of this accident.