If your child rides horses, you most likely have the same fears that I do…
Every equestrian Mama’s worst fear
My daughter works at her barn every weekend, so getting a phone call around 5:30 pm on a Sunday evening is not out of the norm. She typically calls between 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm to be picked up from the barn after she’s completed her evening chores. The evening chores consist of turning in 35 horses to their stalls, feeding grain, watering, distributing hay, and sweeping the mats. It takes about an hour to do. However, this phone call was very much out of the norm.
“Hello…Mama, I fell off of Eva”
A little back story – my daughter has been riding since she was 7 years old; during her 8 years as an equestrian, she has only fallen off of a horse 3 times. Twice off of her 13-hand pony Buzz and once off of her 15-hand horse Big. She has never fallen off of Eva, her 17-hand horse, until now…
“Are you okay?”
Meanwhile, I’m thinking “OMG! She fell off of Eva!” Eva is a quiet 17-hand-and-still-growing almost 5-year-old diva Quarter Horse (her birthday is next month). Eva is a relatively quiet horse, but she’s still very young, and quite the Princess. Which of course just so happens to be her nickname, Princess Eva. My daughter has never fallen off of Eva before, and Eva has never had anyone fall off of her. So, I’m thinking “OMG – Eva probably launched her into the air and stepped on her!” My kid’s a hell of a rider and can sit through a horse bucking, rearing, taking off at a gallop or any other form of spooking they throw at her. Over the years my daughter learned how to sit through everything that her spunky pony Buzz and her equally pain-in-the-butt horse Big could throw at her. Big, for instance, would spook at anything and everything and would take my daughter on a wild bronco ride… typical. During most rides, Big exploded due to something near him, but, my daughter was determined to never fall off and to end her rides on a positive note. Big is now super quiet; doesn’t even throw a buck!
“I think so”
I quickly grabbed my purse and headed to the barn. Our barn is less than 10 minutes away from our house, but that drive seemed to take forever. There are 3 stop signs and 1 traffic light between our house and the barn. When I finally got there 7 minutes later, I found my kid and her horse both in the barn. Eva was standing in cross-ties being groomed by my daughter while she was drinking out of her Blue Under Armour water bottle. She’s standing – okay good. That’s a good sign.
My Daughter: ” I don’t really know, Eva bolted with me on her neck and the next thing I know… I’m looking up at her from the ground”. While she’s telling me what happened, I immediately start checking for blood, bruises or bones sticking out. Hmmm – nothing. ME: “Well, how did you fall?”. My Daughter:”I don’t know.” I took a quick peek at her helmet and there was dirt on it, a sign she may have hit her head. ME: “Take your riding boots off and let’s head to the ED.”
“Okay let’s go to the Emergency Department”
On our way to the ED my daughter really started to complain about her head being “cloudy” and her neck was starting to hurt. She started to remember more about the fall and began putting the missing pieces together. They were cantering and Eva decided to gallop, buck, rear, buck, tossed my daughter up on her neck, then she bolted, bucked, and launched my daughter off up, over and she flew into the air and landed on her head and her left side. Eva walked over and just stood there looking down at my daughter like “Oh no, kid’s down!” When my daughter stood up, she said she couldn’t really hear or see and she definitely couldn’t hear herself breathing.
At the ED: “Diagnosis: concussion”
After a few hours of listening to random strangers scream, kids crying, watching my kid eat peanut butter and graham crackers (that the nurse kindly gave to her because she knew that she had missed dinner.) the doctor confirmed that she had a concussion, but no fractures, or broken bones, and that she is pretty bruised and will be sore. The doctor said that her helmet saved her life and even thanked her for always wearing one. Thank you Samshield your helmet saved my daughter’s life!