Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Lawn Dart Speaks...

T-Shirt, Anyone??
I fell off the other day.  Spectacularly.  At a show.  With lots of witnesses. I have the road rash and aches and pains to prove it.  I also have a lovely video, courtesy of my husband, which shows my breech clad behind going up...uP...UP aaaaannnnnd OVER the fence and sees me faceplant heavily on the other side.
The day after the fall I had to go on a business trip.  Many of my clients noticed my stiffness and the scrapes on my face and asked what had happened.  I told them, and even showed a few the video, which by this point seemed kind of funny to me.

Clearly the video is more impressive than I'd thought, as quite a few gasped with horror and then asked me if I ever thought I'd ride again.

HUH?  Not ride again?  The thought never crossed my mind.  I mean, I do get it -- the fall could easily have been catastrophic.  Thankfully, it wasn't.  However, I'd wager I've had more potentially dangerous "close calls" on the highway.  Seriously, has anyone been on the road in Jersey lately??

When I said that I planned to get back on as soon as possible, some asked if I was really comfortable risking myself when I had a family and kids to consider.  While I concede my well meaning acquaintances have a point, I know for a fact that some of them have habits and/or passions that can have adverse affects on one's health.  Mountain climbing and mountain biking come to mind.  Skydiving, too.  Heck, drinking, smoking and eating lots of rich food (prevalent trade show behavior) has been said to shorten one's life span.  Granted, I get the short term versus long term differences between impaling one's self headfirst into the dirt as opposed to overindulging, but let's face it, either one poses risks.

So I've been thinking:  Would I ever stop riding?  Probably not.  Anyone who knows me and cares about me knows I'm much happier (and thus much easier to live with!) when I'm riding, and no one close to me has asked me to give it up.  Of course, I don't want to put my family in a situation tat would upset them, either.

Certainly countless other riders, most of whom better riders than I, have had horrific falls and suffered grave injuries, only to rebound and ride successfully again.  I know what I did wrong, and will take all possible steps to eradicate the habit. Can we agree that riding possesses inherent risk, but when all precautions are taken, is not drastically more risky than driving, flying, or many other sports activities?

What WOULD make me hang up my helmet?  Age and decrepitude, I hope, although recent stories in the Chronicle of the Horse and Dressage Today give me hope that I'll be riding into my advanced old age. 

What, if anything, would make you stop riding?


  1. Oh boy, can I relate to this. At fifty something I don't bounce back as easily, but I do fall off :) Good for you for keeping a sense of humour about the incident and not even considering giving it up. Glad you weren't seriously hurt.
    I often wonder what would make me give it up, and I read with interest and happiness about the 80 year old rider in DT. I think it would have to be physically impossible for me to ride before I could give it up. I can't believe I stopped for 30 years.

  2. Yes, you bet I have driven in Jersey lately as that's where I'm from! I currently live in MO but visit my mom at the Shore every year, and feel like I'm going to die just on a trip to the A&P. So I definitely get the whole "take your life in your hands behind the wheel" bit. :-)

    That said, I also get comments from well-meaning people regarding my riding horses. "You could DIIIIIIEEEEEE...." well, yeah, and so could you crossing the street. Don't talk to me about giving up the one thing that makes me feel whole. I'm with you, age and decreptitude will be the deal-breaker, but I always think I'll just take up driving instead!

    By the way, I hope you'll visit my blog ( since I think we have a few things in common. For starters, I also came out and stated the whole horse thing is my mother's fault! :-)

  3. What would make me stop riding? I'd have to be physically rendered unable to fling a leg over a horse and stay on. Hopefully, that'll just come with age, not some horrible, catastrophic fall.

    Love the shirt. You should also have this:

    I have the shirt and the cup. The cup sits on my desk at work and cheers me. At our age (and I'm pretty sure I'm older than you), you have to have a sense of humor about hitting the dirt.

  4. I just love the picture of you covered in dirt and smiling ear-to-ear! Talk about resiliency and sportsmanship!

  5. My Wellness Coach has recommended I stop riding for my health. LOL. Not, I say NOT happening!