Taking it wayyy back.
3 years way back. To my very first broken bone incident.
September 2014; I broke my back. Well, proper medical terms, I had a traumatic wedge compression break in my lower back. I broke the ends of the vertebrae and from the impact of the fall they compressed down. When I looked at the X-ray, they looked like melted ice cream sandwiches, or a game of Jenga gone horribly wrong.
I had only started riding again that previous May from being off since I was 19, so I was still very much a beginner. I had just started jumping and really getting confident – I surprisingly was not nervous to jump at all (that was short lived). My coach was just about to finish the lesson but I still had to canter on the left rein. We were coming down the long side & we just cut the corner. The horse was just simply listening to my unbalanced body position. I slipped off the right side and just fell on the ground. That was it. It was not a bad fall, I had just simply fallen on the right side of my body.
At first it didn’t hurt that bad. I had the wind knocked out of me so bad that all I could see were those fuzzy little dots dancing around. As I was sitting on the ground all I could think about was how embarrassed I was because my boyfriend (and dog) were there watching me for like the second time ever. Once I was able to stand up, I couldn’t. I couldn’t actually stand up straight at all. When I tried to stand up straight there was a lot of pressure on my lower back, but I still wasn’t in that much pain – the shock still hadn’t worn off I think. I got into the truck (my boyfriend’s big ass lifted truck) and then the pain hit me. I couldn’t sit down. It was like having a hot knife jabbed into my lower back.
I had to stay the night in the hospital for observation -SUCKED. But, I was allowed to go home the next morning, with of course the news that I wasn’t allowed to ride a horse for a YEAR.
A WHOLE FREAKING YEAR! Talk about depressing.
The recovery period sucked, I was off work for a while and I wasn’t allowed to walk any further than my living room to my bathroom for the first month. I basically lived in my living room. It was the only room with cable TV (priorities). I couldn’t bend or lift anything for months. And I was in constant pain daily, for what seemed like forever. I still have back pain but nothing like that first year, it really only bothers me if I don’t have proper posture – this is where my Mother would say “gut in shoulders back” (eye roll).
Now I could keep rambling on about breaking my back and how losing almost a full year of riding sucked and I feel like I missed out on so much but at the end of the day, the fall happened and the break happened. And I am a firm believer that everything does happen for a reason. For whatever that reason may be, it happened to me & I was determined to ride again.
That following May I was back in the saddle (few months ahead of time but I was seriously desperate for some saddle time -I don’t ever recommend going against Doctor’s orders). I was so excited to be riding again but then a month or two into my return was when I lost all confidence, I was nervous as ol’ hell. I couldn’t even canter a few strides without freaking out – that went on all summer to basically fall, I seriously don’t understand how my coach did it. But then I started getting stronger and I was slowly seeing progress in myself. But I was still nervous to do more than a walk. I don’t remember when it happened or how but then something just clicked. I realized I love horses, I love riding, I love the barn I ride at and I love everyone that goes there. I wasn’t going to give up. I was just going to take my loss of a year (and confidence) in stride and use it to be that much better.
Fast forward to May 2017 and everything went to shit.
But guess what, I came back… again….and I’M STILL RIDING.
❤️ The Nervous Equestrian