The Perfect Storm

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My top horses were having a little time off.  See Silver lining or where is BadEventer for more on that story.

I had nothing to ride and I decided ‘today was the day’ to get on the youngster. He hadn’t been ridden in 6 or 7 months and had only had a few weeks of riding – ever.

BUT I’ve been riding young horses my entire life.


People started paying me to ride their young and problem horses when I was about 12 yrs old.

And being the super experienced colt starter that I am…….. there are some things you just don’t do with young horses.

#1 Get in a hurry.

I was.

#2 Skip the ground work

I did.

#3 Pick a less than ideal day when skipping #1 & or #2

It was the first cold day in months.

When it comes to poor life choices this one is way up there.

I rushed him, I skimped on the prep, and I climbed onto a kiddo that hadn’t been ridden in months….. in a new place…… in the cold.

I’m not really sure how I thought this story was going to end.

I visited a friend recently who also rides young horses. When I arrived he had a broken hand. When I asked about what happened all he would say was “excessive stupidity.”


This was one of those moments.

When I climbed on the baby he had a small panic attack. That was ok. He’s young. Babies make poor decisions, that’s to be expected. During his “moment” he sat down in deep sand and I jumped off.

My first thought was, “Oops let’s do some more groundwork before I get back on.” But before I could get up ( I had jumped off when his tail touched the ground, so I was also sitting on the ground.)

Before I could scramble up he jumped up in super athletic fashion and exuberantly “bounced” towards his paddock.

Right – over – top – of – me.

As many hours as I’ve spent with horses, this was officially my first trampling.

Falling off is nothing compared to being jumped on by a large horse.

As it was happening, all I could think of was Danny in the LandSafe clinic saying, “When horses are coming over top of you make yourself as small as possible.”

I rolled onto my side and that probably saved my life. As many body parts as got stepped on, the only thing that hurt right after was my leg.

I jumped up thinking I was about to get back on & then when I realized he had stepped on my chest and head and pelvis I had a bit of a panic attack myself.

And for the first time in my life, I called an ambulance.

Here’s where the story really gets ridiculous.

I thought I was going to die. I couldn’t breathe, I was sure I was bleeding internally and I called 911.

Sometimes being a doctor doesn’t help – as I’m running through the list of likely injuries:

  • Ruptured spleen
  • Pulmonary hemorrage
  • Fractured ribs
  • Traumatic brain injury

My imagination was going crazy. I got super freaked out, walked into the corner and passed out.

When I recovered mere moments later (feeling much better!) I realized that an ambulance was on the way….. and I was soaking wet and had SAND – in – my – underwear!

In all my accidents I’ve never spent less than 8 hours in the ER, and I quickly concluded that if I spent that many hours sitting around in wet and sandy clothes in an icebox of an ER, as they all are, that I might start out with internal injuries and then end with abrasions in places I definitely didn’t want them and probably the flu!

About then the BadEventGroom who had been putting the youngster away came to check on me.

As I was jumping in the shower I said, “I called an ambulance. Stall them!!!!”

Sure enough moments later I hear a man saying, “She couldn’t wait?!”

I came out of the shower and had a brief conversation that went something like this.

BadEventer: “Should I go to the hospital in the ambulance or have my groom drive me?”

EMT: “Well. If you go with us, and you are bleeding internally. We can save you.

BadEventer: “SOLD!” And I took my first voluntary ambulance ride.

I did feel bad for the EMT because he had to explain to no less than 5 ER doctors why he didn’t strap me to the C Spine board after being trampled by a horse.

“Well. When I arrived she was in the shower, and I had to chase her around the house for 5 minutes to get her to come with us.”

I was getting my jacket, and my purse, and my phone. It was totally legit.

It was an interesting experience because the EMT figured out my injury during his exam in the ambulance. But it took me 6 or 7 hours to convince the ER doc I actually had a problem.

After they CT’ed my head & torso and found no internal injuries, PHEW, I think they decided I was just a hypochondriac.

I told them my only real pain was my leg and I was concerned because there was a lot of crepitus going on.

When the ER doc mashed on it, it made a horrible crunching noise (aka crepitus). She said, “eh, I think that’s a tendon.”

Um. Just a veterinarian here but tendons don’t typically crunch.

Many requests for a leg X-ray later she was mashing on it again, crunching resulting, and she said, “there’s no way it’s broken, if it was you’d be screaming when I press on it.”

I told her I was happy to hear she didn’t think it was broken. I definitely didn’t WANT it to be broken, but that no one I know thinks I have any feelings I’m unusually pain tolerant and in my experience if it hurts, it’s almost certainly broken.

She reluctantly agreed to a radiograph.

And that is how BadEventer broke her leg.

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