Monday, January 6, 2014

First Wreck Since 2002

I saddled up Rock for a trail ride and began leading him up the drive to tighten up his cinch a little at a time before mounting when I spotted a familiar car in my neighbor's driveway:  The Jehovah's Witnesses.  Not in any mood to have my ride detained and disrupted, I quickly spun around and led my horse behind my house where they couldn't see me from the street.  Unfortunately, my neighbor's dog gave me away when it started barking at me.  I waited for them to drive past my house, but they stayed at my neighbor's house a long time, which was weird because he wasn't home.  Then I thought maybe his parents were visiting and it wasn't the J.W.s after all.

I led Rock down to the trailer and turned my head to see the J.W.s in the car at the end of my driveway, contemplating driving into my back yard, so I took off running with my horse down into the arroyo, where they would have to give chase on foot if they were really desperate to preach to me.  I let Rock graze down there a while until I felt the J.W.s should have finished their rounds, and then I mounted for our ride.

I set my helmet cam to normal view instead of wide angle view with a better quality image.  Rock was pussy-footing along and I decided it was time to put an end to that obnoxious behavior.  Just walk, horse.  Walk.  How hard is that?  So, my method of making him walk with a purpose as opposed to lolly-gagging along was to make him trot as soon as we got onto a wide, sandy trail.  I turned on my helmet cam to film it, but of course, I didn't push the button hard enough and it didn't record.

My logic was that perhaps if I tire him out with all this trotting, he will learn to walk the first time I ask him to walk instead of balking and gawking.  He'll make the connection that if he doesn't speed up his walk, he'll have to trot.  I don't know if it will work, but it's worth a try.

So, we had the trails to ourselves.  When we rode alongside a busy road, some drivers even slowed down as they passed, which was nice.  Rock was continuing to get his pets and praises each time he chose not to eat a bush or stop to sniff manure.  Everything was going peachy keen.

Then we were going down a long slope and I looked down and noticed that he was about to step right into a very sharp little bush.  It kind of reminded me of a rosebush.  I thought, "I have to to steer him out of this.  I don't want him to get his leg scratched up."

I pulled his head away and laid my leg on him to push him away from the bush and either that sudden reaction from me spooked him or he did step in it and get stabbed.  Rock is not a spooky horse at all, but this spook made Bombay's spooks look like ant-sized spooks.  We went straight up into the air and sideways across the trail while spinning at the same time.  My body flew up out of the saddle, sideways and began tumbling all at the same time.

I knew there was no way I was coming back down into the saddle so I slipped both feet out of the stirrups, curled into a ball, and hoped for the best.

When people fall for the first time, they make the mistake of sticking their arms out to break their fall, but they end up breaking their arm or arms instead.  That's what I did in 2002.  My husband and son taught me to tuck my arms and legs in after they experienced several falls off skateboards.  Tuck and roll.

I landed in a bush on my left butt cheek and sat up to see Rock running back the way we came.  I called out to him and he stopped and waited me for me.  He's such a good boy.

I realized that I probably fell an extra foot or two down because I was on the downside of the slope when I went off.  Even though the bush was full of thorns, it broke my fall and probably saved me from taking a sharp rock in the back.

My helmet cam flew off my helmet with the force of the fall and got hung up in the bush.  I came away from the wreck with nothing more than a few scratches on my hand and finger.  I'm not even sore.  I'm sure I'll be sore tomorrow, but for now I am incredibly impressed with myself for showing some skill in how I chose to fall.

Lucky you get to experience the fall with me, because the camera happened to be recording at that moment. I can't even believe that I had the time to process what was going on and make decisions on what to do with my body when I watch the film.  It all happened in the blink of an eye... literally.  I have to give props to GoPro, because I thought I had broken the camera in the wreck, but it's still working fine.  It took a licking and kept on ticking.


Allison B said...

Glad you are okay! That spook had no warning!

riderwritergirl said...

Oh man you were lucky! A thorny bush is definitely better than a sharp rock.(I know from experience.) I gotta say, that is pretty impressive that not only did you not get hurt , but the camera was fine too!

GunDiva said...

Wow! Even knowing it was coming, it seemed like there was no warning. Glad you're okay.

If you have one of the newer GoPros, you can download an app to your smartphone that will allow you to control the camera without having to fiddle with the buttons. I always have a hard time knowing if I've turned on the camera to record or not, so I covet the app (my GoPro's a 1st gen - no cool stuff for it).

GunDiva said...

Oh my gosh...I read your blog, then flipped over to Facebook and saw this:

I think the third text down fits this situation perfectly :)

Sam said...

How odd. Rock is so solid. I wonder if a rabbit jumped out? Or he saw something else? I am glad you are okay!

Laura Lee said...

That happened all of the sudden! Good thing Rock didn't run for home afterwards :)

Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, gosh! I'm glad you are okay, and Rock, too. Yes, that was very sudden.
~Cheryl Ann~

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

This experience made me realize that I put a horse first aid kit in each of my saddle bags, but neglected to include human first aid supplies. I ended up pouring my drinking water on my wounds, but didn't have any finger-sized bandages in the bag. I'll have to fix that today. I'm always thinking of my horses before myself. I suspect most horse bloggers are that way.

Crystal said...

Wow that was fast! I love that helmet cam I so want one of those!! I agree good plan to land on a bush than a rock or the hard ground a little pokey cushioning is still cushioning

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Man that was totally out of the blue and quick. Glad you are okay...

And what a good boy Rock. Any one of my idiots would have left for home at a high lope. LOL

achieve1dream said...

Yikes! I'm glad you're okay and glad that bush was there to catch you and the camera. :) Rock is such an awesome horse for standing and waiting.