Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hit the Ground - Bounce Back

 Does this magpie make me look fat?

Well, Misty, with or without the magpie, you look fat. It's because of your leisurely lifestyle.
Misty and I have not ridden together since a July 11th trail riding mishap. She spooked big; did an abrupt 180 degree turn and bolted. My girth had become loose, my saddle rolled a little to the right, and I couldn't regain my balance to ride out the bolt.

 I hit the ground hard!

I got back on after we found Misty, who galloped across a big meadow and disappeared into the forest. I rode the rest of the day, not realizing how injured I was.
  •  Broke my left arm at the elbow joint (radial head fracture).  It has healed with a minor deformity.  I'm doing physical therapy and I'm slowly regaining use.  Today, I was able to release my own passenger side seatbelt, but still can't buckle it on my own. Baby steps.
  • Injured my left shoulder which was diagnosed yesterday as "frozen shoulder".  Doc gave me a cortisone shot and prescribed physical therapy.
  • Destroyed nerves and tissue on my right leg; had a huge hematoma from above my knee down into my toes.  Doc is ordering an MRI on my knee because it is still swollen and sore 12 weeks after the fall.  Hoping to rule out a meniscus tear.
  • Smacked my head hard, but my brand new Tipperary Sportage helmet protected my noggin well.  Wear a helmet, every ride, every time.
It has been frustrating to miss the best riding weather of the year, but I've learned from this experience.
  • Misty and I need to strengthen our relationship so she looks to me for leadership more. I need to increase my confidence, to be that leader.  Misty was a little agitated that morning. I was having a hard time getting her attention and helping her relax.
  • Check my girth more frequently. I had it as tight as I ever do, but surprisingly it loosened a lot, as Misty became sweaty and kind of sucked in during the the ride.
  • All the pain I've experienced these last 12 weeks has motivated me to take better care of my health through diet and exercise.  I want to feel good and be fit to ride well into my senior years (crud, which aren't that far away).
  •  I'm going to focus on dressage when I'm able to ride, to improve communication with Misty and work as a team.  I'm interested in Western Dressage and hope to compete next year. Started fundamental dressage lessons last year and was surprised how much I like it. I like it because Misty loves it!
I'm slowly bouncing back and looking forward to riding again. By the time I can climb back in the saddle, the temperature will be lingering in the 30s and 40s F on sunny days.  But, hey, I love shopping for winter riding wear!
What have you learned from riding mishaps? How have you overcome them?