Young Montana cowgirl recovering from accident
October 9, 2018
Nine-year-old Aspen Swenson, former National Little Britches Rodeo Association Little Wrangler Princess and winner of multiple youth rodeo buckles and other awards was kicked by a horse recently, breaking her collarbone and jaw. Swenson lives with her Dad and Mom, Andy and Sarah Swenson and brother AJ near Ballantine, Montana. Her older sister Shae is in college.
Aspen answered some questions about her accident:
1. Tell us about your accident – how did it happen?
What happened was we were going to practice roping at Tim and Colleen Moullet's and I was lunging Little Man and he was feeling frisky and he turned his butt and kicked me.
2. How did you feel when you were going to the hospital, and while you were in the hospital?
Going to the hospital I was in so much pain, and in the hospital it felt weird because I thought I would not ever be in a hospital and my brother AJ said, "I thought I would be in the hospital way before you." When I first woke up after my surgery I was scared because I couldn't open my mouth. It was hard to talk. I thought I looked like Auggie on "Wonder." My Grandpa brought me a white board so I could write what I needed to say because it was hard to understand talking with my jaw wired shut.
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I had a lot of visitors and I really felt loved. I knew a lot of people were praying for me and that made me feel special.
3. How are you able to go about your day – getting ready for school, going to school, etc?
It is actually pretty easy, I get dressed normal and the only thing that changed was I didn't eat food. I just had to drink instead of eating real food. My Mom had to bring me smoothies at lunch every day and I ate in my classroom because I didn't want to watch the other kids eat. Now I pack a lunch of soft foods and eat small bites. I get pretty tired at school some days.
4. What do you eat? 🙂
I mostly ate milkshakes or blended up stuff. Chicken pot pie blended was gross, but I liked chili. My Grandma made me cabbage and hamburger and a stew and those were good blended up. At snack time at school I drank protein drinks or applesauce pouches. I eat a lot of applesauce!
5. Do you have any tips for others working with horses to help them prevent an accident like this from happening?
I would try to stay away from horses' butts and be careful, cause even the nicest horses can kick you. Little Man never kicked before. He was just really feeling good that day, but I don't think he ever meant to hurt me. It just happened so it is always important to pay attention! Be smart and don't act stupid around horses.
6. Any other comments?
God has a plan for me. I know this because this could have killed me if I was kicked any higher.