Today was not the greatest day for me.
I fell off of Achates when I went out to ride him and wasn’t able to get back on, not exactly the happy reunion I was hoping for. My fall resulted in a plethora of bruises, some more severe than others. I went to the doctor’s after to get checked out since I had also hit my head when I landed. Thankfully I got the all clear and was told to take it easy this weekend and then reassess, going from there.
Falling off horses and accidents in the equine world happen everyday, all the time. They just come with the territory unfortunately, but they can leave you shaken and today I definitely was.
Last Halloween Achates tripped while I was riding him. I was unseated and fell face first into the ground and ended up with a moderate concussion. I can honestly say that the only thing that kept me from being brain damaged was my helmet. Even with it on I ended up with a good sized bump on my forehead that didn’t recede for several weeks. The symptoms that came with it were worse. I could barely stand, walk, or sit up without feeling dizzy or nauseous. My doctor gave me strict orders, prohibiting work, physical exercise, and yes, riding.
I asked when I would be able to ride again and was told that only after each one of my symptoms had completely receded could we even think about the idea of riding. When I asked how long that could take I was told that anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months, and even then symptoms could still persist. Needless to say I was discouraged but I put a brave face on, smiled and pretended that it was ok.
But a life without riding would not be ok.
I went to my weekly doctor’s appointments over the next month, and stayed committed to their orders. And in the end everything was ok, I recovered and got on with my life.
Today brought back these memories full force. All I could think of after I fell, was that I had to get up, that another concussion was not an option. Of course this was not the right thing to do but in moments of trauma when are we ever thinking right? But the notion that I wouldn’t be able to ride had never been an option for me. And the future that I see for myself has never not involved horses.
At the same time though I realize that it would be counter productive to be blinded by my emotions and passions for the sport. During the downtime of my concussion I was forced to reckon with the realities of my situation, of what would happen if I was stuck being dizzy for the rest of my life and if none of my symptoms ever went away. And the answer was simple, I would keep working with horses but in other non-riding areas. I think that’s the great thing about the equine world, there are so many opportunities to become great and immerse yourself in different fields besides riding. And if the time comes that I need to put away my boots I’ll be ready to explore all the other options that are available.
But for right now I’m ready to keep going. Because all the great warriors I’ve heard of never gave up their fights, and neither will I.