On the lighter side: The quick and the not quite dead
A simple fact of life is that as we get older, our bodies change, as well as our reaction time and reflexes. I accept that as part of the privilege of growing older instead of “deader.” An occurrence several years ago really brought the fact home that I am no longer in the dewy blush of my youth. It also convinced me that earth’s gravitational pull is much stronger than it was even 20 years ago.
I fell off my horse. To be fair, and to make myself look less like a gunsel, the horse is a colt that I had started at a colt clinic we sponsored. Also, I didn’t fall off so much as I was launched off. I want to stress that my good filly didn’t buck me off either, as her reputation is still spotless on the malice and intent-to-do-bodily-injury front. I’m not going to let her take the blame for this, though that would make a better story.
The only way to describe what happened is that she “quicked” me off. Saying I fell off is like saying that a fighter pilot fell out of his plane after accidentally hitting the ejection button on the seat. I was definitely ejected into the dirt with force.
I was having so much fun doing new things with my filly that I had neglected to check my cinch. When I asked her to move out, she did so rather quickly, which slid my saddle back off her withers. She immediately followed her quick departure forward with quick evasive action to the left to avoid another horse. This all happened very quickly. Quick being the operative word in the whole process, you understand. The fellow on the other horse says that my saddle slid back and then the saddlehorn was pointed toward the two o’clock position. I remember getting stood out in my right stirrup, then I remember thinking “this is really going to hurt.”
I was right. It hurt. I hit the dirt with the force and grace of a sack of potatoes shot out of a cannon. I don’t remember a few minutes in there, as I rapped my melon pretty good, but I recall people bent over me like they thought I was dead. I also remember thinking that I had a pistol in the pickup and someone ought to just shoot me to prevent further suffering. Fortunately, that thought passed in four or five days.
Nothing was broken, but everything was rearranged in my body from my head to just below my hips. The good news is that my chiropractor had just bought a place in the country and I was able to help him with some closing costs and remodeling expenses. I hadn’t seen much of him for a while and we renewed our friendship through my frequent visits to his office, so that was nice too.
I healed up so well that I am able to ride again, but just broke horses these days.
My very quick filly is turned out on pasture, but a nice young man I know is going to put a month of riding on her before long, then I will get back on and finish what I started. I think that shows wisdom, don’t you? I’m so glad my brain is finally taking over now that my brawn is faltering. Who would have dreamed it would ever happen? Pain is an inspiring educator.
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Producers who have relocated their cattle out of state for winter feeding this year should consider having a weed management protocol in place when the cattle return, say North Dakota State University Extension specialists.