Thursday, October 27, 2016

a strange anniversary

Those of you who have been reading long enough to remember (and hey, maybe even some newer readers!) must be sick and tired of me beating this same drum. But. My blog, my rules.

This week marks one year since failing to stick the landing after stepping out of my trailer, and breaking my leg in the process.

And wow. It just really sucked. And I have all kinds of personal feelings wrapped up in the injury - sometimes considering it to be a somewhat pivotal moment for me (considering just about every aspect of my life looks different now than it did then...).

Of course the timing was unfortunate as fall is maybe my favorite time of year to be out and about competing! Not that the injury stopped me from at least spectating lol, since I still managed to haul Brita and Wick to their awesome BN debut less than 24 hours after the injury. Pro tip: maybe don't do that.... Tho it was totally worth it haha. 

And naturally the injury couldn't stop us from some good ol' fashioned halloween fun. Who could forget this truly horrifying costume? I, for one, shudder every time I see crutches lol.

Mostly it was just a tough time for me bc spending time with horses felt damn near impossible. Getting to the barn was something I could do at most once or twice a week - usually to haul my barn mates to our weekly lesson at OF. And covering myself in barn cats as par for the course. Bc naturally. (also there are THREE cats in that pic - do you see them all?) 

At least being crippled opened my world up to certain amenities - like when Loch Moy loaned me a gator to "walk" the cross country course with Brita and Kaitlyn (they refunded my entry too!). 

It's funny looking back on that moment bc being a non-competitor at shows felt so alien to me, so unusual. And obviously after the way things unfolded with Isabel this year, I'm pretty sure I attended more shows this year as a spectator / provider of moral support (and/or transportation) than I did as an actual competitor. Ahh how things change...

Another fond broken leg memory was spending my birthday in the pet emergency room with my darling kitty Martini, who really really had to pee but just couldn't. Poor dude. Carting his ass up and down the stairs to my third floor apartment while on crutches just about did me in.

Fortunately he recovered just fine, and with a change of diet has not suffered any relapses. So again. It was worth it, I guess haha. 

The injury definitely came at a bad time for Bali. You all remember Bali, right? God how I loved that horse. Despite the crutches and impending winter weather, I managed to make it out a couple times to watch him and his lease rider lesson with Dan.

Sometimes I wonder if I had more saddle time with Bali, if he would have worked out for the lesson program. Given the result of his x-rays tho.... probably not. As it was, he ended up landing softly at an easy going trail home. Probably for the best. Le sigh. 

Anyways, I actually didn't even get to see Isabel every time I made it to the barn, since she was usually out in the field. She was sweet when I did see her tho. Doubtful that she missed the work... but maybe she missed the candy canes? lol.... again some of the parallels to today are remarkable. Mare still doesn't miss it! 

And as fellow equestrians, you all know how it goes. Getting back on the horse earlier than recommended and whatnot.... What can I say, I wanted to ride!! This was probably around 7 weeks post injury. 

And it felt GOOD. Never mind that Isabel was kinda rude and rowdy on the trail - up to and including actually running my bum leg into a tree... It just felt like coming home again, and was the shot in the arm I needed to stay patient and keep healing. 

Getting off the crutches to walk freely while still booted helped tremendously too. Especially since so many friends at the barn were helpful in bringing the mare in from the field for me (bc those fields were a touch too treacherous for cripples lol). Isabel obviously appreciated coming out for grass breaks too, given how unseasonably pleasant it was despite being winter

Then, of course, the moment I had been waiting for: finally ditching the boot to ride in normal shoes again!! Actually this was a little premature, since I ended up being downgraded to a different brace that fit into tennis shoes instead of going cold turkey on ankle support... All the same, it was a great day! 

Notice how loose that tall boot is on me? Fun fact: my calves are still wildly different sizes to this day. Crazy. 

dramatic reenactment
So. One long and meandering trip down miserable memory lane later, and it's the closing of another October. And I'm still not competing and actually still haven't really gotten back to where I was pre-injury. Lots of stuff changed haha, and this summer really didn't play out the way I had hoped after all that time off last winter.

It's cool tho. I'm not going to go all "things happen for a reason" on you. Bc for fucks sake, please don't ever let this happen to you lol. Talk about a stupid ridiculous way to wreck yo'self....

But idk. I feel more hopeful now than I have in a long time. So many things have changed since this time last year that I didn't necessarily anticipate, and who knows what will happen going forward. But it'll probably end up being ok!

(But seriously tho, don't be like me. Watch your step!!)

56 comments:

  1. It's funny you posted this because last weekend i took my new (to me) trailer on its maiden voyage. The door is high and has a weird little lip and every time i stepped out I thought "damn, i am so going to fall out and break a leg like Emma". It was a horrible experience for you, but you ended up with Charlie, and I think you're going to do great things together!

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    1. WOOO congrats on the trailer, that's awesome!!!! But yea for serious tho, be careful!! I keep a small plastic mounting block in my trailer and use it for a step stool now. Highly recommend!

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  2. Isn't odd how one event has such an effect on everything downstream? Glad the ankle healed well without surgery and that you are in a good place now.

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  3. you have NO idea how hard i relate to this. i will probably be writing a very similar post in april about my goddamn pinky... because boy did that thing change my life.

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    1. It's crazy right?!?! Like idk how it happens, the injuries are a horrible PITA sure but like.... How do they turn everything so upside down? Ugh haha

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  4. Fun fact: It's been nearly 4 years since I broke my ankle. My calves are still different sizes!

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    1. Oy. So you know all about it. It's definitely frustrating!!!

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  5. You sure made the most of bad situations and in the end have one of the cutest OTBs ever. I am deep in the broken bones/ruined plans stage but I know next year will be a great show season (if I manage to keep my face out of hind hoof range!). :)

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    1. Yea I can imagine how you might be feeling right now too. Not good!! And yes, no more kicks please!! But also yes : it probably will eventually be ok again. Thank goodness!

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  6. What a weird year you've had since you broke your leg! It's so crazy how these kinds of 'minor' setbacks can change the trajectory of our lives! Very happy you are healed up and have a Charlie in your life as a result, though :)

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    1. "Minor set backs changing the trajectory" --> what a PERFECT way to describe it. That's it exactly and it's so bizarre to look back on it now

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  7. I severed my achilles in 2009 and my calves are still TWO inches different, like WTF!!

    I agree with Alli though, crazy trajectory that ended up pretty badass

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    1. Ugh yea tell me all about it. I haven't measured the difference yet but it is definitely visible in certain boots. Tragic....

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  8. Because of you, I always use my step stool to get in and out of my tack room. Except when said step is at my stall being a mounting block... then I'm just OMG BE CAREFUL!

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    1. YAS omg be careful!!! Sometimes I feel like an idiot with that step still .... But it's definitely worth the extra care!!!

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  9. Well at least you hit that anniversary without anything else majorly terrible happening to you I think... those things are crazy. I think on or around the one year anniversary of my wreck on the hell mare, I'd moved in with a trainer and listed her for sale. Sometimes those horrible things are the kick in the pants we need to get headed in a new direction.

    But regardless, they still suck a lot.

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    1. Yea it definitely moved me in a new direction lol. Maybe not as expected and maybe not directly bc my trailer was smelted in hell like maybe that pretty little mare of yours.... But yes. Crazy indeed.

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  10. It always seems weird to look back at where you were a year ago, but in your case especially weird! I am happy that you are optimistic and exciting about where you will be in another year. Cheers!

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    1. Thanks!! I still feel a lot of uncertainty about the path forward, but having experience this past year really helps me feel confident that I can keep on chugging along and keep on enjoying my horse time even if it doesn't always look the way I imagine.

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  11. I really hate the phrase "All things happen for a reason" so shitty

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    1. I equally hate "Life only throws at you what you can handle." No, shit happens, and you handle it or you die.

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    2. Yea I tend to be a little existential about this kind of thing. Just a little tho. Like shit happens and maybe nothing really matters in the long run. Maybe it's meaningless trying to figure out the "whys". Idk. I just try hard to figure out how to keep going (and not be miserable in the meantime lol)

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  12. It's already been a year?! Insane.

    So much has changed - but all in a good way. Funny how life is like that.

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    1. Yea it's hard to believe it's been a year when my leg still hurts haha. But yea. Most changes are positive.

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  13. What a year. It's weird to look back down the path we've come on and see where we were a year or two or six ago.

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    1. So weird!! I mean, comparing oct 2014 to oct 2015 really wasn't all that different - we were just at a more evolved and advanced stage, by still working in the same style. This year tho? All different haha

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  14. You've got the right outlook. Hope that next October's look backward is much more fun, although some of these pictures are really adorable and there were definitely some good times in there too!

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    1. Very true - we certainly tried to make the best of it last year and still have fun!!!

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  15. I'm in the injury stage right now but god I hope it doesn't change my course anymore then it already has. I really hope to be out competing at the same level next spring. Please god! It sucks it majorly sucks. More than I ever really thought a broken could suck. I'm at 8 weeks and just now cleared for 50% weight bearing for 4 weeks and starting physical therapy. My goal is to be walking crutch free by December. Ugh just sucks

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    1. Ugh I feel your pain loud and clear!! Fingers crossed you keep healing on track and without complication :(

      Regarding the impact the injury had on my life, I wouldn't worry too deeply about a similar effect for yourself. One major facet of the change was that having a broken leg (and therefore limited interface with horses) made me think that I could in fact handle the lifestyle change associated with the new job I ultimately accepted. This has proved to be true - I do like the job and it is working out in the balance with my horsey habit, but it was a giant change for me and put into motion some other differences.

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  16. Please please please don't make this a yearly occurrence! Also just think about this year as the year of Charlie and forget all the other crap. :)

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    1. OMG no - I have zero plans to do this again!!! (Even tho I totally almost did in the same exact manner not very long after I had officially been deemed healed...). Three cheers to the year of Charlie!!

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    2. +1 for 2016 being Year of Charlie :)

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  17. As someone who has had 3 knee surgeries, I kknow all about different size calves (a full half inch difference). What is better is my right knee is 3/4 of an inch bigger than my left. So, you are not alone :(

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  18. I only feel slightly better about my foot that I was at least on a horse when it happened lol and crutches belong in hell

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    1. haha yea there are certainly better ways to wreck one's self than how i did it!

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  19. Wow I can't believe it was a YEAR ago! It simultaneously seems like it just happened and it happened forever ago. Glad that this October is going much better!

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  20. Happy anniversary! I have a question - how do you get off the horse without jarring a broken leg? I would worry about shattering it when I hit the ground.

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    1. well.... first step is don't get on the horse until the bone is fairly well knit back together again. for instance, i didn't get back on until i was fully weight bearing in the leg (tho admittedly still in the boot). for getting off, she is a 14.3 horse and i would slide gingerly and slowly down, landing mostly on the uninjured leg first.

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  21. Has it really been a year? I don't believe that things 'happen for a reason' but things happen and you have to figure out how deal. You are an inspiration.

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    1. thanks! and agreed. there's really only one thing to do in that type of situation, and it's just keep on keepin on. granted i spent my fair share of time wallowing in self pity (still do, occasionally haha) but life goes on i guess

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  22. Our new trailer has a bad step off from the tack room and I think of you every time I nearly fall stepping out. I'm now convinced I'm going to break my leg just like you did. And as much as I like you, I don't want to do that. Anyway, happy anniversary?

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    1. ha thanks - and yes, please do not follow my example in this here situation!!!! save your legs, use a step stool!!!!!!

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    2. hahaha, yes I totally think of you every time I'm not paying attention and almost face plant out of my dressing room. "Thank god I didn't just pull an Emma!" So educating the blog world for the better or something? Although I guess it would only be for the better if I just fucking paid attention in the first place.

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  23. Holy hell that was a crazy ride. I'm so glad you've recovered and it sounds like you learned a ton during the process. That's life - always teaching us lessons whether we like it or not

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    1. Thanks for the tip you've left on my blog! I'm game to try a variety of different methods and be patient with it

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    2. that's basically the best we can ever do for our horses! good luck :)

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  24. For Halloween this year, can you please wear that same costume while riding your horse?

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  25. I would definitely enjoy coursewalking more with wheels! Just as long as they don't come with more ailments :(

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  26. I think of you every time I step in and out of the trailer where my saddle is stored.

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  27. This whole blog entry gave me chills...... thank goodness that is behind you!!! love the pictures of you and Iz.

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  28. I can relate to the joy of getting back in the saddle. I didn't have the lengthy "on the mend" journey, but I did hurt my back, wind up at the ER and just yesterday rode for the first time in a couple weeks. It was ten minutes of glorious fun. Glad you're past that Era.

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