Cautionary Tale

We had a bit of excitement at the barn a few evenings back. I had Tess in the crossties, and a fellow boarder came running into the barn aisle, leading his horse and yelling that his girlfriend had just fallen off. He didn't give any further details, so while he ran to put the horse away, I quickly threw Tesla in an empty stall, and trotted up to the arena to scope out the situation (phone in hand and ready to call an ambulance if needed). I saw two girls standing by a parked vehicle, and called out "Someone came off a horse?" One of the gals answered in the affirmative that it was her. She was wearing a bicycle helmet (which made me cringe - but at least it was better than no helmet?) and tennis shoes (She wasn't covered in dirt - so I was hopeful she hadn't been dragged).  I had seen her around the barn once before, and knew she had zero horse experience up to this point. I asked if she was OK - if she had hit her head, if anything hurt, etc. - and she said no, but extended one crossed arm and asked if I had seen anything like it....

Oh boy.

I could tell right away that it was broken - so I told her calmly that it appeared to be a closed break (I didn't see any bones sticking out, thank goodness!), and that she needed to go to the hospital so they could take some x-rays and either set it or determine the next steps (I could see it was a bad break - I was pretty sure it was surgical but didn't want to scare her, and I'm not a doctor so I could've been wrong (unfortunately I wasn't)). 

After she had been safely put in the car, and fellow boarder was driving her to the hospital, I asked the other gal if she had seen what happened. She said she hadn't seen the exact circumstances - but that she had seen the horse in a full terror gallop around the arena with the girl, clearly out of control...  

I got an update on her progress today - it was a 5 hour surgery to fix her arm. I was relieved about this: 'cause a broken arm was by far a better outcome (rather than a broken back or neck) in this situation.  It was a sober reminder that riding horses is a risky business, and a good reminder to always put safety first as much as possible.


  1. Oh my goodness. I’m glad that it wasn’t worse. So many thoughts and assumptions that I shall keep to myself. I do recall a few years ago a friend sharing that her daughter was starting riding lessons and that the instructor said that a bicycle helmet was okay. I freaked out and gave her a lecture on why that was not true.

  2. Ugh. That's so scary. I'm glad you were there to take charge. I'm cringing hard at the bicycle helmet, and thinking that in the grand scheme she was very lucky, especially considering her head wear!


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