Getting Back in the Saddle

Erin on her new horseI got thrown off a spooked horse in a full run back to barn. I was trying to slow him down and he decided he needed to dump me and went into a bronc and I went flying. I landed on my head (wearing a helmet) but smacked my chin to my chest, pulled a muscle in the front of my neck and sustained some bruising and landed on my lower back. I laid on the ground unable to feel my legs and waited for some pain to kick in so I knew I was ok but hurt. I was ok! A very bruised tailbone, lower back pain and bruising for weeks and unable to comfortably walk, bend over, and move my head for a few days.

This all happened about 1 week before my wedding day. My now husband was not thrilled and forbid me from riding again before the wedding, like I could anyways.

The accident was not on my horse. It was was my friends horse. So I tried to get “back in the saddle” with my trusted steed. I got up and just sat there for about 2 minutes waiting for my heart rate to slow down. I was terrified!!! She felt taller than I remember, she could bolt at any moment, I felt vulnerable and I had to get down.

I did a fun 8 mile ride with her and we had a great time. But every time I went to get back on I felt scared.

One ride, my horse just didn’t trust me going down that trail. I had to get off. I didn’t have the ability to push her forward like I used to. In my mind she would bolt and run off to the house (a good 2 miles away) and I would be dumped off and injured again. The thought consumed me and I walked her instead.

I finally decided to get a trainer with a lesson horse in an arena and start all over again. I have had two lessons and each time I get stronger. Having someone on the ground to watch me and remind me to relax is important right now. I feel safe, I feel comfortable and I feel that I am learning to be a better rider. And not just for me but for my horse as well.

Every rider will fall eventually and some can just get right back on (I used to be that person) but when you have so much to lose and the pain was too great, you have to decide when YOU are ready.

I will be ready again soon and my horse will be waiting for me.

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