Sunday, August 1, 2010

Looks like my stop, don't wanna get off

Last night my mom fell off of Sovey. She is doing well this morning, but she is going to be sore. She is 66 years old so any tumble is rough.
I tacked up Sovey about 6:30 pm and just put a bridle on Pie so I could ride bareback. As I was leading Pie out into the forebay, a huge insect kept landing on his big round rear. The thing looked like a Palmetto bug and it was buzzing and apparently biting every time it landed. Pie was understandably upset and he was doing his signature half-rear/buck combo. I was still on the ground and I just went with him in circles out on the driveway and in the grass. Mom and Sovey were in the forebay and Sovey was worried about his friend. When the bug left were we able to get on and as we headed out we were laughing about how difficult it would be to stay on Pie's "bug bucks". There would be no way.
Come to think of it, during the whole ride we were talking about falling off. Maybe we jinxed ourselves. At the far corner of our big field we were letting the boys graze while we talked. I was facing my mom and something scared Sovereign from behind. He bolted forward and skittered a few steps toward me. I saw my mom almost come off as she was surprised and left behind his quick forward motion. She stayed on though, and we kept on riding. We walked down the east side of the field and into the woods. We kept talking about what a close call she had just had. I said that I felt physically sick watching her almost fall off. I had had two too many desserts (as in 2 desserts!) after dinner and the combination of the food and her "almost-fall" was enough to make me sick. She and Sovey were leading in the woods and she was saying that she is going to fall off sometime - it is just a matter of time. I knew she was right, of course. You can't ride without falling off sometimes, but I just try not to think about her going off. While still in the woods we started talking about how injured she got two years ago in a rollerskating accident. (I never worried about her skating and then, in the Spring of 2008, she took a fall right on her face/head and was terribly beat up for a while.) We popped out of the woods into a grass inlet of the larger field. Pie was leading and we were still talking about falling off. Mom was saying that she rides by balance and that she should grip a little more in her legs. I was thinking that both of us ride a little too loose. Our relaxed style pays off more times than not because it keeps the horse calm. Sometimes, though, we are too relaxed for our own good and a sudden jump or side-step leaves us on the ground! That is what happened right then. Pie was in front and skittered to the side. I was hanging off the side of him with no reins sure that I was going off. I looked over at Sovey and he was skipping over toward us in a bolt/dash maneuver. I saw my mom hanging on and then tumble off the right side of him onto her back. Pie twirled around which actually kept me on, but I couldn't see anything else of my mom and Sovey for a second. I slid off and Sovey was beside me so I grabbed his reins and turned around. No Mom anywhere! The grass was super tall and I could just hear her moaning. I walked a few steps forward and saw her on her back saying that she couldn't breathe. I think the wind was knocked out of her. I had the urge to scream, but I couldn't scream or I knew the whole pack of us would lose it completely. I couldn't reach down to help her up because I thought the horses might wheel their backends around and step on her. If our farm was fenced in I would have just let the horses loose, but it isn't so I held on to their reins and slowly started counting out loud to ten. The horses' faces were tight together and we were all watching my mom. After the first count of 10 she stopped moaning. After the next count of 10 she sat up. After the next count she rolled over and got up. Relief! She walked over and put Sovey's stirrups up, but she said that she didn't think she could lead him because her back/hip was hurting too much. My mom is not a quiet, silent person. She is a talker and when she is injured, she moans and cries loudly. The horses were fairly worked up about the fall and the moaning, and I didn't know how I was going to walk them back to the barn in this state. Sovey was so great, allowing me to walk single file through the woods with Pie in front and he behind at Pie's flank. Pie, though, was upset and nervous. He was crunching and grinding his teeth, a habit he does when wound tight. He reared a couple of times and did not make the double leading very easy. Mom came out of her house with an ice pack on her hip and hobbled over the rest of the way to the barn leading Sovey. I untacked him and stuck both horses in the pasture. They seemed puzzled and worried. Later, after making sure my mother was comfortable, I groomed and grazed each horse so that they knew that all was ok.
This morning my mom is walking and driving, but not bending too well. I have had some time to think about how lucky she was to have landed in the tall grass. She didn't land in the woods on a rock or branch or on the hard road or driveway. And, she was lucky to have landed on her back rather than her head, hand or face, like the skating accident.


  1. Oh my heavens, I came to your site to thank you for following and to tell you how much I enjoy your vintage look horse posters, and found this scarey story. I'm so glad your mother is okay. She sounds like a real trooper.

  2. So glad she is okay. How scary. I'm amazed at your mom and that she does trail ride! I'm a bit of a trail scaredy cat from living through my TBs antics. Ironically I hadn't fallen off in years until I was riding my quiet Morgan lease mare down a dirt rode last summer and a dragonfly went right toward her eye and BOOM the next thing I knew I was hanging off the side of the saddle and about to land on the ground. She was calm as can be moments before. I have her back this summer (one week ago) and will start the property riding/trail work slowly to build up both of our confidences!

  3. Ouchie! Good thing it was on her back and she didn't do to hers what I did to mine a month and a bit ago. My sciatic nerve still gives me trouble from that.

  4. Your poor mom - I'm so sorry and hope she feels better soon! Falling's never fun, and the older you get, the harder the ground is.

  5. Carol - Thanks for coming over and visiting. Sorry that the first post you saw was scary - we usually have perfectly safe rides!

    equestrian_librarian - Sounds like a good plan of building up your confidences (yours and hers) with your sweet Morgan lease. I like heading out to the trails a little distance at a time. Unfortunately, I quickly become too relaxed out there and let down my guard. Mom does too!

    Sydney - it is so funny you say about your fall because the first thing I thought of when I was walking the two boys back was "at least this fall wasn't like Sydney's on the road/farm track!"

    Kate - My mom has been telling me about the ground harder with age thing for a while now. She is doing amazingly well(noon Sunday).

  6. Must have been the day for old ladies flipping heels over head. I flipped backwards over a 2 ft. high concrete bench and hit head to buttocks - flat, splat. John compared it to "clipping" in football. John felt all my "joint places" before agreeing to lift me up -- he was so certain something surely broke. But unlike your mom, in my case there IS plenty of padding. Oh but do I hurt today. Sore from neck to rump. Tell mom we're too old for this. :-) Cousin Glenda

  7. OH MY GOD!!! I cannot believe this tale! I mean, I beleive it, but it read like an adventure story! I hope your mom continues to heal. I know all about being too relaxed sometimes. Because a ride really isn't over until it is OVER. And to hear you mum moaning in the grass!??? I don't know what I would have done!! This post sure had my eyes open wide! I was reading it with my husband nearby and I kept sucking in my breath with each sentence and he kept saying IS EVERYTHING OK????? But I have to say: 66 and still in the saddle? YYEEEEEHAW!!!

  8. Glenda!!!! I can't believe you fell on the same day! Oh no! I hope you are feeling better soon - she'll call you - take care - hugs!

    baystatebrumby - You are so right - a ride isn't over until both feet are on the ground (with a planned dismount)! I hope I can keep my mom in the saddle now...she is too stiff to think about YYEEEEEEHAW!

  9. I am so glad that your mom wasn't seriously injured! That must have been so scary for you and her!
    I hope she can get back into the saddle (or bareback) again with you real soon!!

  10. oh no...your poor Mom! Falls really do suck, especially when we are out of the fearless teenage stage and beyond. Your Mom is brave. You are brave for handling that..I'm sure it was very scary. I hope she heals quickly and wants to ride again soon.

  11. Oh man...having read the healing version of the latest day..I read this and once chuckled(knowing it was coming and not actually believing HOW MUCH you chatted it up about it happening!) No disrespect mean't...Jules. It is soo great that it was a "good fall" for your mom! Good falls hurt..but are not ones that have permanent damage. Bad falls makes us HAVE to stop life as usual..for long periods of time.
    But good falls. dent our confidence up some. They also can put another check point on the lists of riding behaviors we assume when you said..sometimes we can get to the point where too relaxed is potentially harmful!

    Counting to 10...outloud, it would be calming in a is what I do with Wa mare for a rhythem and controlled speed.

    Woo...Still so glad that she got up and walked away. Bless her heart! And Yours!

  12. Oh no, I'm sorry to hear of your mom's fall. Glad she didn't hurt herself badly. She sounds like a resilient woman. Yes...good thing there was fluffy grass all around.


Thanks for taking the time to visit Honeysuckle Faire!