What had seemed like a managed fall from the horse by my husband, became progressively more painful. Ice – twenty minutes on and then off – for about an hour, then a warm bath filled with salts for aches and pains didn’t help either.

I phoned the doctor on call. She recommended X-rays at the Emergency Room. It was on his left side and not to be toyed with. Ribs, lungs, heart, muscles, tendons – too many important parts to ignore.

When we arrived at our hospital, the emergency section was under reconstruction. We couldn’t get into the parking lot, but another parking area across the road was provided, as was a shuttle service. The driver was more than helpful and took us right up to the door, helping my husband while I checked him in and provided the necessary information to the receptionist. An EKG and X-ray later – as well as a little pain medicine – revealed nothing major, a possible hairline fracture to a rib and muscular tears and bruises. Thankfully everything else looked good.

We stopped at the pharmacy to fill his prescriptions and came straight home. By this time he is saying his legs hurt. The insides of both have round bruises – one the size of a baseball and the other the size of a softball – possible caused by the horn of the saddle as he bounced up and over. But the outside of his left thigh is sporting a big blue knot the size and shape of a hotdog bun. Ouch!

We iced those places and I fed him some dinner before he took his medicines and went to bed. I think today will be worse than yesterday and tomorrow may be the worst day yet.

I can’t imagine that a simple dropping of a rein could have caused such a reaction from a horse that just left school where he was supposed to be trained NOT to spook and to walk through flapping tarps and across crackling hard plastic. He was supposed to be trained to be able to shoot from his back. I don’t know about you, but if he is this nervous, I don’t want to be the one sitting in the saddle when the shot is fired. Yikes!

And my husband rode him through the obstacle course at the school two weeks before we brought him home. He said it was like riding a different horse. We are trying to figure out what happened. I think the best solution is to have the trainer come to us – to Choco’s environment.

I know my husband feels lucky to have only suffered painful bruising and to have missed the post he saw coming at him as he fell to the earth. He is lucky to have not broken a rib into and punctured a lung, or caused heart trauma, or neck injuries. He is lucky that his foot didn’t get caught in a stirrup and in so many other ways. Adrenaline probably aided him for the next twenty minutes as he crawled right back on him for the second ride. But I could be telling a different story here and he knows it.

Our son was there when it happened, as was I. He is just learning to ride and had a good morning on Ole Blue Eyes. I’m afraid he won’t be anxious to get on a horse again after seeing his dad’s fall. And I’m not sure he’ll want us to either.

That probably puts pressure on my husband to continue with the horses in order for us to see that it is alright. But we aren’t spring chickens anymore and hunting season comes in next weekend – bow hunting – which requires arm and chest strength to pull back the string and hold the bow steady. He will probably be missing that.

Is it worth it?

Today he’ll most likely say no, but as he heals and the soreness subsides, I think he’ll go back for more. Hopefully it will be with the trainer right there observing what it wrong so that it can be corrected before this happens again.

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