Show season 2017 was fast approaching, actually it was exactly one week away. Windsor Spring was that following Wednesday. I had busted my ass all winter long, I was ready. I was ready to have my first full summer of showing. I was so excited, but also, so nervous. I had worked all winter in gaining my confidence back and really working hard on my over fences. My confidence on the flat was back, except on those hyper thoroughbred moments. Which in my case, thank god, only happens about 3 times a year and I can always tell when they are coming (YAY for knowing your horse). However, I was currently struggling with my confidence doing over fences. I had come a long away though & I was ready for the show ring!
But, in true Bethany fashion my show season was shattered… literally (Cue the ugly, ugly cry face).
That Wednesday (May 10 – not that I remember the day I ruined my show season or anything) was my last lesson before the first show of the year. We were working on over fences & doing a gymnastic line. My coach had set the big cross rails (2’6ish I think?) for the line. I already don’t like gymnastic lines. I struggle with seeing a distance and knowing when the take-off is. So, you throw me in a line and it’s like I’m trapped in the drive thru with no chance of getting a meal. I was nervous to go through the line but I had complete trust in my horse so I knew we’d make it through, it wouldn’t look pretty but we would make it over.
WRONG. I was so, so wrong.
We made it over the first time, all fine and dandy. We came back around for the second time and he ran out on me & I fell off. I landed on my feet so back on I went to try again. I believe we had at least two successful & nice trips over. My coach was sending me over again for the last time before we were going to end the lesson, we made it over the first two jumps and then it happened… we tried to add in a one stride, but the distance clearly wasn’t there so he ran out on me and I went into the jump. My right arm hit the jump and snapped back and I landed on the other side.
Now, anyone who has ever broken a bone knows the instant pain you are in. The next couple of hours are kind of hazy (THANK GOD – I totally thought I was dying at that moment in time) because the pain was unbearable.
The moment my arm snapped back from hitting the standard… I FELT IT… I felt my arm snap. It was damn horrible.
When I felt my arm snap, I instantly started screaming like I’ve never screamed before (my apologies to everyone at the barn for my colourful words). In a matter of seconds my show season was gone, my summer was gone, my love for riding was gone. I had broken my right humerus bone just above my elbow. The girls at the barn tried to tell me it was just dislocated but lord almighty… I could feel my bones shifting and the pain. Oh my god, the pain. I just knew from the pain it wasn’t going to be an easy fix.
The moment it happened everyone who was at the barn was beyond amazing. They made sure all my stuff was put away, my horse was untacked and taken care of and all the phone calls that needed to be made were made. The ride to the hospital was the worst experience ever… once again, my apologies to Leigh Ann and Katie for the colourful words & of course… the screaming. Every bump, corner and just basically breathing at that point was causing me so much pain.
Fast forward to 6 hours later I was finally leaving the hospital. I had a fancy cast on from my shoulder to my palm, in that lovely L shape. The pain from them putting on my cast was basically them re-breaking my arm over and over again. I knew it was bad when I looked at my fiancé and he said “Jesus that’s f-ing disgusting”. Real helpful that was. It also didn’t help that my aunt (who is a nurse) was there telling me how horrible the next 72hrs were going to be along with the next SEVERAL months.
Side note, I also wasn’t wearing waterproof mascara. I now own nothing but water proof mascara. No more long black trails of show season ruined tears for this girl.
I was instantly depressed. I was so devastated that this had happened. Everything I had worked for all year was gone, just like that. I wasn’t going to have a show season. I wasn’t going to experience everything with everyone. I was telling myself and everyone that I was done riding, I had enough. I physically and emotionally couldn’t take anymore. I felt so defeated that I had just decided to give up.
I was having everyone, and I mean just about everyone (who clearly don’t ride horses) telling me to stop riding, to NEVER get back on a horse. Telling me all kinds of horrible things. The kinds of things you shouldn’t tell someone; especially someone who suffers from anxiety. So, having all these people putting these thoughts in my head was seriously messing with me. I started doubting myself, “maybe I can’t ride, maybe I should just give up.” But, I am stubborn (thank you Dad for that trait), I wanted to prove everyone wrong and myself wrong. I started going back around the barn, I went to a show, I started talking to my horse friends again and watching old videos of me riding. Just telling myself, it’s only a bad…months.. not a bad life. You know, all those wacky thoughts.
And it worked.
I started getting excited again. I made a goal to get right back on my horse the moment my cast came off.
And I did. I was a nervous wreck, shaking like a leaf. But the feeling of being back on my horse was AMAZING.
To this day, I am so happy I didn’t give up. That I didn’t quit. Coming back from this injury just pushes me to over come my fear of jumping again, to overcome the thoughts that I could potentially get hurt again.
You can never (and shouldn’t) give up on something that makes you happy!
❤️ The Nervous Equestrian