Taken a Tumble

I have fallen off horses, and specifically Amber, so many times that I have lost count. But this one was the worst to date. Before this one my injuries were mainly whiplash and a bruised ego. Although I have also fractured my finger while horse riding on holiday when I was in Grade 9 (didn’t fall off but caught it on a tree while galloping through some low branches), torn ligaments in my foot (Amber trampled me in the stable), and torn ligaments in my knee when another horse (Cracker Jack) slipped and fell on me.

This was honestly the worst in terms of pain and discomfort but I didn’t have to go to hospital this time as per the three times mentioned above.

Maybe it’s because I am getting older; one’s recovery time gets a bit longer the older you get.

This is what happened:

Three of us went on on outride a good couple of days into my holiday – Louise on La Brie; Anne on Vivaldi and me on Amber. Mark decided not to ride cos he didn’t want to trot – sigh. It was slightly overcast – perfect weather for riding.

It was a pretty awesome outride. We went the other way around the plots; from the pylons around. We did a lot of trotting and had some awesome canters! I even had to hold Amber back as we went up the newly graded road!

On our way back to the stables on Leopard Road, two cars passed us at some speed and we all went up on the embankment, which we don’t normally do. They had just fixed the electric fence which had been damaged by a fallen tree a few weeks back.

Louise saw the some excess wire on the ground and told me to watch out; it was too late.. It happened so fast; Amber had already stepped in it. I tried to stop her before she realised she was caught up. If I had got her to stand still she would not have panicked and I would have jumped off and untangled her before she freaked out. It was past that though. She was caught up and realised it and started bucking and spinning around. The other horses reacted too. I got scared and then in split second I knew I was going to fall and there was nothing I could do. She tried to move across the road, bucked, I couldn’t hold on and fell on the tar. She spun around me and I was half sitting up and stood on my shoulder as she jumped over me and headed home.

I was instantly sore. Very sore. I was winded. The tar is flipping hard. She galloped off. Louise went off to catch her. Ann was by my side. I got to my knees, was hyperventilating. It took a while before I could get up. Once I caught my breath I told her I was ok; just my back was sore. I took off my helmet and my shirt. It was touching my back and it hurt.

A car came up the road and the people said they had seen me fall off and offered to drive me back to the stables. I was grateful that I didn’t have to walk. There are some really nice people in the world. It was a bumpy ride though.

I got back before Ann, Louise and all three horses. Amber seemed ok. And she didn’t break any of her tack – thankfully. One of the grooms untacked her for me. I took off my chaps and my boots. I folded up my shirt cos I didnt want it to touch my back. I knew I had some roasties but I couldn’t see what they looked like. Louise said I should take my shirt off completely. I was wearing my sports bra so it wasn’t revealing or anything. At that point I didn’t really care anyway. There was blood on my shirt.

I phoned my mom and asked them to come fetch me and drive my car. I couldn’t drive. I just told them I had fallen off – not too many details. I drank some water and ate some biscuits and then tried to figure out a comfortable way to sit, or lie. Eventually I lay on my stomach on a blanket on the grass with my ribs on a pillow. That helped, except that the flies kept sitting on my roasties.

Ann and Louise waited with me til my parents arrived. I gave Ann and Louise the rest of Amber’s carrots for the horses. I had a feeling I would not be back for a while.

As soon as my parents got there, I wanted to leave. We packed up. My dad drove my car and I climbed into the back of Raven and lay down all the way home.

I could not wait to get home. I took some pics of my injuries before jumping (aka climbing very slowly) into a hot Savlon bath. It hurt like hell but it also was slightly comforting. My dad put mercurochrome (spelling) onto my roasties and I had a bit of a nap. I also had a huge bruise and scraping on my shoulder.

The next couple of days was agony. I battled to sleep as no matter what way I tried to position myself, it hurt in some way or another. At least I got some strong painkillers and on the third day decided to wrap bandages around me which helped considerably.

I rested a lot as I couldn’t do much else. I couldn’t even sit and read in bed.


After a few days I decided to go to the doctor as my ribs were now more sore than any of my other injuries. The doctor checked me out and said he thinks I fractured/cracked a couple of ribs. It must have happened when she stood on me and pushed my shoulder towards my stomach at a funny angle. Sigh.

So he booked me off for a week and gave me some more pain killers and anti-inflammatories and told me not to wrap myself up in bandages permanently as it could cause bronchitus. And no horse riding for at least 6 weeks.

So that’s me. Not much of a holiday. Lot of resting. Lots of discomfort. And all I want to do is ride again. And get better. So I can ride again.



For more about my riding adventures visit www.mysaddlefund.co.za

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