Monday, November 19, 2012

My Old Bay Mare...

Pre-tumble popcorn sharing.  
No gray hair.
Gives me gray hair.

Seriously.  That's the line that played over and over in my head last Friday night into Saturday morning.

Our lesson started out well.  She was forward and feeling good, none of that "it's cold and my old bones are creaky" stuff that sometimes happens on cold days.  We flatted for a bit, working on getting her straight and on the outside rein, and not letting her collapse against the wall.  Not too stressful, right?

Then we progressed to jumping, doing a little figure eight exercise over two small verticals so i could stay calm and think of nothing but relaxing into a rhythm.  Relaxing is hard for me; I desperately need to complicate my life, or so it seems.  Rhythm is equally as challenging, which you would know if you've ever seen me dance. 

Anywho, things were going fairly well until we came off the vertical going away from home and my trainer told me to start thinking about preparing to transition to the walk. I don't know if Sug hear walk and had a brain fart and forgot to move her legs, or if she just tripped, but all of a sudden there was no more horse in front of me! 

Her front legs just sort of collapsed and she went face first into the dirt.  Despite a valiant effort at neck riding and a desperate attempt to swing my leg over and dismount, I wound up face down in the dirt beside her.  OOOOF!  After I rolled out of the way I turned to see Sug struggle to a standing position, which was good until I realized she was only standing on three legs.  She was holding the fourth, her left front, up off the ground in front of her.  My heart stopped and I started to tear up, immediately certain she'd broken her leg.

By that time my trainer had arrived at her side and was examining her.  At that point Sug felt she could bear some weight on the leg, and then she took a few delicate walk steps.  She must have realized she was better off than she'd originally thought, as her walk become stronger and she started licking and nudging me as if to say, "It's alright. Nothing to see here, just a slight misstep.  Up you go and let's carry on, shall we?"

My trainer did have me trot Sug out, which she did nicely, so I popped back on her and trotted around a bit.  Sug seemed completely unfazed by the fall, but I just kept waiting for her to stumble again and realize she had really hurt something. (Paranoid, much?)  Everything seemed normal, so we popped a teensy tiny baby vertical to let her end on a confident note. (Seriously, who did my trainer think she was kidding with that?? Sug has plenty of confidence.  We know that little baby fence was for the benefit of Sug's galactically neurotic mother.)

Our next lesson was the next morning, and yes, I worried all night thinking that she'd be holding a swollen left limb off the ground when I arrived.  I thought fracture, suspensory, check ligament, you name it.  By about 2AM I'd resolved myself to spending the entire winter to hand walking her.  She was out in her field when I arrived, happily munching away.  Her leg looked fine, and when I finally got on her, it turns out that the leg actually was fine.  No stiffness, no nothing.  All good.

Phew!  HUUUUUGE sigh of relief, knock wood, and all that stuff. 

Only casualty was my hair.  I happened to glance in the rear view mirror and despite the fact that I'd just gone to the salon, I saw a few grays.  I know who those puppies belong to!

Sug has gray hairs too! 
Think I gave her those?


  1. I hear you, any trip or mistep of my now aging bay gelding worries me. Having a horse go down with you is no fun. I had 2 flip ass over tea kettle on me this summer. ugh.

    1. Holy cow, L.! I'm assuming you were/are okay? That is horrible-- Sug fell A over T on me once. Scary stuff.

  2. So glad all is well that ends well, and also that your end is... well, swell. Okay enough! (Sometimes I wear myself out)
    After waiting since LABOR DAY!!! weekend for Pippi to heal I can well imagine the fear of seeing Sug favor a leg, even if just for a moment. I feel that this year has been all about waiting for legs to heal, and that may be because this year has been all about waiting for legs to heal. Tell Sug that you are not ready to look like Mrs.Clause and for her to keep all four in ship shape. Extra carrots for the Queen if she does!

    1. Thanks, Emme! I told her - 4 on the floor and that's an order! :)

  3. So scary!! Glad you're both ok, but here's to that never happening again.

    1. Thanks, SprinklerBandit! I'll second that! I wonder if that was the equine equivalent of us just forgetting where our feet are and tripping up stairs?