Tuesday, April 23, 2019

savage studs

Ok so.... This is kinda a cautionary tale. A bit of a reminder that, with horses, nothing is guaranteed. Obviously we do everything we can to mitigate the risks associated with climbing aboard these giant animals and pointing them at fixed obstacles while traveling at speed. But... At the end of the day, it's still a dangerous sport. And things happen fast.

Also, consider yourself warned -- there are graphic images below, tho I blocked out the worst of it.

this mare is so freakin athletic tho. obvi it's hard to tell from a still image (tho there's a gif below) but the degree she rotated her shoulders and spine made it basically impossible to stick, tho obvi my friend tried her best!
Anyway I texted my friend last week about some upcoming fun opportunities, but she sent a somewhat shocking response, plus the image below.

It wasn't even really the fall that got her (tho yea she was a bit bruised and battered) -- honestly not really the worst fall by any measure. More than likely would have been perfectly fine to hop back on and continue the lesson. Except, the horse fucking stepped on her. While wearing studs.

it wasn't really the fall that got her anyway
Which like, dear god the moment she told me that, I instantly just assumed she'd be going in for surgery. Because every single story I've ever heard about riders getting stepped on with studs has ended with gnarly tales of splintered bone and shredded sinew.

Luckily that doesn't seem to be the case for my friend - she has some strange kind of luck in that, aside from the (massive) wound, it looks like her foot is going to be A-Ok.

horse people are so crazy, my friend was SO EXCITED to see this slo mo gif haha....
But like, it's crazy, right? Apparently the paramedics were kinda laughing about how insane horse people are, and about how they get called in to Windurra no fewer than a dozen times every month. And about how they knew they'd get yelled at if they didn't at least try to first get the boot off without cutting anything (thank god for zippers nowadays, amirite?).

My friend also said that even as she was just beginning her lesson, there were two different instances of rider falls and loose horses on the schooling grounds....

i'm sparing you the gif of her tendons visibly moving around while she wiggles her toes.... hard to believe, but none of the underlying structures were seriously damaged. just one helluva gash...
It just so happened that on this particular day, it was my friend's turn, I guess. Stuff like this blows my mind bc she had honestly done everything correctly up to this point:

She is an accomplished horsewoman with a well schooled and talented horse. She was using appropriate safety equipment. She was riding at a well-kept, well-designed schooling facility (Windurra), with an extremely respected and experienced 5* rider as her coach. Working on appropriate schooling exercises.

Like.... What more does the universe want?!? But all it takes is one moment. One iffy distance, one zig from the horse and zag from the rider, and one unfathomably unfortunate footfall. Then boom, stud to the foot.

stitches kept to a minimum so it could drain. also note the bruising a bit higher on her calf where the other stud dragged across her leg, luckily without ripping through the boot!
It happens all the time tho, ya know? We know the risks. We know what can happen. This isn't even that "bad" of a story in the grand scheme of things (and at least it's hella more badass than that time I broke my fucking leg stepping out of my trailer....).

But we as riders just don't think about it, I guess, or just don't let those thoughts crowd into our minds. Bc lord knows it's hard enough to keep our nerve and mentality without dwelling on all the potential disasters that can happen. That hammer that could fall at any time.

The best we can do is make good choices, ya know? Prepare accordingly -- through our practice, schooling, use of equipment, etc. Put ourselves in situations where we are likeliest to be successful, and at least have our bases covered if something does go wrong.

But then... ya know, we honestly are only ever just hoping for the best with horses. Trying our hardest and hoping it's enough. And also hopefully enjoying each and every good moment along the way too, haha. Because without that, what's even the point?

Like my friend above, who at least has the memories of what had otherwise been an awesome cross country lesson, right up until that one bad moment. And is already plotting her revenge on that damn bank/skinny bounce question haha. You'll get it next time, girl!!

And in the meantime we'll be over here doing everything we can to help our crippled friend out haha, esp with getting around Kentucky (talk about shitty timing...). Bc damn, being injured is the absolute pits. As always tho, at least it wasn't worse! It's a strange kind of luck....

42 comments:

  1. Ouch. Healing thoughts for your friend

    ReplyDelete
  2. Omg I didn't think about how she'd get around KY! Eek! 😰

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol I told her we’d carry her around like the baby from hangover if it came to that ;)

      Delete
  3. Ow. That looks painful! And hard to have it heal because of walking, etc. I hope she heal quickly. Honestly, there is no end to the ways horses and their people can get hurt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So far she hasn’t been walking on it so that will hopefully give it a head start on healing. We will see how she does around the horse park tho... and yea agreed that it’s amazing all the crazy ways we get injured with these animals ....

      Delete
  4. Oh My Goodness... I'm glad she's okay but WOW

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow - Glad to hear a few stitches were all that was required. Hope she is back to riding soon! And you are right, we can injure ourselves so easily - apparently even standing on ice checking on a horse is risky, if you are me! lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly I think that’s just part of getting older and part of spending so much time with the horses .... it’s inevitable that something will happen at sometime...

      Delete
  6. Having done Kentucky on crutches I would recommend she reach out and see if they can get her the disability access. I ended up with great parking, access to the golf cart shuttles and there are special course walks for people with mobility issues where they will drive you around to some of the highlights.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's good to know, thanks. the wheels were already in motion for parking passes etc, but we didn't know about the shuttles for course walks and stuff! she's honestly hoping to be more or less back on her feet but..... obvi the rest of us are feeling a little more cautious abou that haha!

      Delete
  7. DUDE. What a gnarly gash! Absolutely nuts. And LOL about the first responders knowing they better try with the boots before whipping out trauma shears.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. omg right?!? apparently they have our eventing season marked on the calendars bc they get SO MANY CALLS from windurra haha. which like, i guess it makes sense now that i think about it, but it had never crossed my mind before...

      Delete
  8. OUCH that sucks. I hope she heals fast. AND hope to see you in KY (Fingers crossed no news on truck yet)!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. PS sally's head tilt I know so well as you friend had her fall...I am glad she was teaching her that day! :)

      Delete
    2. i hope to see you in Kentucky too!!! but yea, the injury really sucks. like obviously we're all grateful it wasn't worse, but sheesh!! and yea lol Sally was right up in there doing her coaching thang! she was apparently so so so nice in dealing with the aftermath and helping everyone get situated. it's nice to have that sort of experience on hand in a crisis!

      Delete
  9. That looks painful! But I gotta admit I laughed that the paramedics totally knew DO NOT CUT THE BOOT lolololol. It looks like she'll heal well - a pretty clean cut, but hopefully she'll get around KY okay! Talk about REALLY shitty timing....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha she was also super worried about her new breeches too, but luckily no garments were destroyed beyond whatever damage happened in the fall! actually she's thinking even the boot might be salvageable, tho i'm less sure haha

      Delete
  10. this is so impressive and metal. you guys should see if she can get one of those off road segways like what michael jung had when his ankle was broken :P :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. omggggggg that would be incredible haha! right now she's using that little knee scooter dealio that i had when i broke my leg, and is thinking about bringing that to KY but idk if i trust that thing on down hills, and it seems kinda exhausting to push it UP, so we will see! something motorized would obvi be ideal LOL

      Delete
    2. I am really laughing thinking of her trying to roll the knee scooter off road. and losing it going down a hill. perhaps into the head of the lake.

      Delete
    3. haha yea.... it's come up once or twice in conversation lol.. tho for her sake hopefully there are no more crashes!

      Delete
  11. Damn, that looks terrible!
    Thank god they didn't cut her boot.....but is it even salvageable after that?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. honestly she's hoping the boot can be saved, i think it all depends on what sort of machines they have to get in there and repair the panel

      Delete
  12. I had to skip to the bottom because it was a bit gross - but consider myself warned, your poor friend :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh right? super gross and that's not even the worst of it...

      Delete
  13. Oh that's gnarly! She's really lucky to not have any tissue damage (other than skin)! Glad she's ok, and I hope you can schlep her around KY pretty easily!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i can't believe how lucky she got! i guess there's still some risk that a tendon might be injured or something, it's hard to tell when everything is so puffy and traumatized. but generally she's expecting to heal more or less ok, which is kinda even more crazy to me LOL

      Delete
  14. holy shit.
    that's INSANITY. i'm so glad she is mostly ok and there doesn't seem to be any lasting damage. holy crow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. right???? i couldn't believe it either, and yet, here she is already testing out walking on it less than a week later.... i guess it's always just a roll of the dice with how serious something ends up being?!

      Delete
  15. Ow, ow, ow. That's gnarly. I'm glad she wasn't hurt worse, but that's still so scary. I recently had a friend take a very minor fall on her way back to the trailer after a GREAT ride. She thought she was fine at first. Turns out she had ruptured her spleen and was basically bleeding out. Thankfully she went to the ER just to get checked out and they caught it and rushed her into life saving surgery just in time!! She wasn't doing anything crazy. Just moseying back on a loose rein on a broke horse at a park she rides in all the freaking time. I spend a lot of time talking to my students about the risk:benefit ratio and how the line varies from person to person. Any ride could literally be the last thing you do so you better be enjoying the journey along the way!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh god, that story of your friend is the stuff of nightmares, thank GOD she decided to get checked out "just in case." there's such a pervasive mentality of toughness among equestrians, bc let's be real: we ARE tough. but like, sometimes i worry that it goes too far, that people shrug off serious health or wellness concerns bc the George Morrises of the world say you either get in an ambulance or get back on, or whatever. then again, tho, denial is a strong drug when it comes to injuries haha, and there i was walking my own self around the urgent care clinic instead of using a wheelchair bc i refused to believe my leg would actually be broken....

      anyway tho, your last point is so so key. we've gotta enjoy it. gotta love every moment of it, and really reach for those feelings of joy and happiness. bc sometimes shit happens, and without the fun it's really just not worth the risk....

      Delete
  16. DAAAYUM that's disgusting! I'm so glad she wasn't hurt worse!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you and me both, tho! it was seriously nasty :(

      Delete
  17. Ouch. That looks nasty, I’m glad she just needed stitches.
    I took a straight forward tumble at the end of a great session at the end of November and managed to land in such a way that I broke my left femur in 2 places. Didn’t bump my head, nothing else injured. My guy did nothing wrong, just crap happens with horses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ooohhhhhh noooooo, ugh that is AWFUL :( i'm so so sorry to hear that, and hope you've recovered reasonably well since then. my own leg break was basically as simple and straight forward as those injuries come, but recovery was still such a slog, ugh. but you're absolutely right, sometimes things just happen for no real reason. crazy horses, and crazy us too, i suppose

      Delete
  18. Yikes!! What bad luck!!
    Yes horse people are crazy, but if you follow hockey I think they're worse! After getting there teeth knocked out a few times they just give up on replacing them!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Oh goodness, that's awful! Best wishes to her, hope she's back in the saddle soon - that had to hurt!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm definitely one of those people who would be overjoyed to see the gruesome gifs of my own accident. Interesting how little we think about the freak accidents until they happen.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for leaving a comment! If you have trouble with this form, please email: fraidycat.eventing at gmail.