To Make A Long Story Short
On one of our horse searching trips, I witnessed a woman get hit in the head. It happened so fast. I don’t know if it was the horse that got her, the stirrup on the saddle. It happened that fast. One minute she was standing up. The next she is sitting with her head in her hands and her head bleeding. She ended up going to the ER, we ended up not seeing the horse go that day.
A Vivid Reminder
I have been telling everyone that the accident its self hadn’t scared me that much. I never spent a lot of time thinking about how it happened. Focusing on what I could do to recover was what I have been doing all along. Not being stuck on how I got hurt.
I was wrong about the accident not scaring me. Seeing that happen to that woman was like me having my accident all over again. Watching happen right in front of my eyes was terrifying. It literally made me feel sick to my stomach and light headed. It was like all those initial feelings came flooding back.
It Took Me A Few Days To Get My Comfort Level Back
After seeing that happen. It took me a couple of days to get my comfort level with the horses back to where it was. I still feel anxious around them since I feel like I cannot make a quick reaction to get out of their way. Generally speaking though, going out to the barn, teaching lessons and being within reasonable distances of the horses I’m okay with.
The Second Time Around
The accident we had witnessed was just that. An accident, so it is not like we had ruled out that horse or anything. Once her owner was healed from her injury she invited us back to see the horse go.
The mare went really well. I think she would fit in well in my program and be great for my more advanced riders. The horse didn’t disappoint!
This Got Me To Thinking…
Watching the girl work around her horse the second time around she was totally different. She was tense, anxious and the mare could tell that something wasn’t right.
If I hadn’t seen her interact with her before I probably would not have noticed it. The first time she was super relaxed and comfortable this time she looked terrified. Terrified when she was tacking her up. Then terrified when she got on in the round pen to ride her.
The mare didn’t do anything wrong, but I could see the tension in every ounce of that girl’s body. She obviously knew how to sit on a horse and was probably a good rider. Her whole demeanor had changed though. She had no confidence in the saddle at all. Because of this, she wasn’t assertive with the horse and so the horse was super lazy.
She admitted that she was afraid. I think it is good, the only way to fix a problem is to acknowledge it.
Will That Be Me?
Walking without my walker and being able to work with horses on the ground and ride seems so far off to me. I dealt with the initial fear and anxiety when I first went back to the barn. It was tough but I got through it. I feel like I regressed a bit after seeing what happened to me happen to someone else. Since then I have come to terms with it again and I feel back to the baseline comfort level I was at before seeing the other girl’s accident.
Seeing her so scared, freaked me out. It never occurred to me that when the time came and I heal fully (when and if that ever happens) that I might be afraid of the horses. Part of the reason I was a successful rider and instructor was that I had a calm, confident energy around the horses. They listened to me and respected me. I never sat around thinking about worse case scenarios when riding or in the barn.
After all of this will I be able to get that same confidence back I had before? This whole experience has totally changed me in so many ways. Mostly good ways! Seeing how something like what happened to me affected someone else makes me wonder. Will I feel the same way? Will I ever get back my old confidence, trust and a healthy respect of the horses?
I hope so, but I’m not sure. It just never occurred to me until seeing that accident right in front of my eyes how badly my confidence and demeanor with horses has been damaged. It has been affected much worse than I thought it was.
Crossing That Bridge When I Come To It
I wonder if I will ever be able to trust the horses again to be as confident, assertive and trusting as I was before. I just don’t know! What I do know is that I won’t be handling horses or riding horses anytime soon. Seeing what happened to me happen to someone else. Then seeing how scared and tense she afterward gave me a rude awakening I guess you could say.
For now, I have a lot more rehabilitation to do before I need to worry about dealing with this issue, so I’m going to put it aside for now, and cross that bridge when I come to it. Whenever that may be.