On July 31,2012, I was taking my weekly lesson with my 12 year old son. This lesson was a practice for a barnyard competition we were to have that weekend. We all know that horses know when they are competing and they act differently.
All was going well. I barrel raced around three barrels and held my horse to a trot because I've never done this activity before. We crossed the finish line, and I heard my instructor say,"Good job, Michelle." Okay, it's time to slow my horse down. That is all I clearly remember for the next-who knows how long. I didn't realize I fell off until the doctor in the emergency room said,"So you fell off a horse; is that right?" "Oh, is that why I feel so weird?", I thought. After speaking with those who were present during the accident, I do recall certain things that occurred, but other things are not in my memory. Apparently, my horse did her "victory roll" which is to turn suddenly to one side. I fell off like a sack of potatoes; I didn't try to grag onto anything or put my arms out to break the fall. I hit the ground before I even knew that I lost my balance.
I suffered a moderate to severe concussion with a brain bleed. Thank God, I am doing well. I do have an issue of pressure on the bridge of my nose and through my head as I get fatigued, but the doctors think that will go away in time- a long time. I always wear a helmet and have my son do the same; and I encourage all to do so. Here's the remarkable point- Knowing that a helmet should be replaced after a fall such as I had, I tried destroying my helmet by wacking it with a hammer. I could not get it to crack at all!! Thank you Toxel Happy trails to all you equine enthusiasts! Michelle from Smith Mountain Lake, VA