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June 28, 2015: The Harder they Fall

Yesterday I parted company with Raudi. I don’t mean I sold her, although that thought did cross my mind. But rather, I came off her back when riding her. This is what happened – I was heading home, along the Grizzly Camp trail. Pete was coming in my direction (we were to meet up on the trail). Pete was ponying Hrimmi and riding Tinni. I didn’t see him coming, and neither did Raudi. She startled, spun around (in order to get away from the predator), and I went flying. I landed on the rocky creek bed, on my side. For a few seconds I could not breathe. I heard Pete say that I must have had the wind knocked out of me. I gulped for air, and it slowly came back. I then felt an excruciating pain in my mid-back, on my left side. I immediately knew that I’d bruised my ribs; the same thing happened to me once before, that is the time in which I fell off her on the upper road. Then, my front ribs were bruised.

I retrieved Raudi, who was standing close by, grazing, and then began the long, slow walk home. Pete followed, leading Tinni and Hrimmi. I discovered that it most hurt when I turned sideways or bent over. Got home, Pete put the horses away. I took off my wet clothes and went to bed. It hurt to move. It still does.

I thought well after the fact that I ought to have been wearing my vest. I also ought to have gotten off when on the Grizzly Camp hill and allowed Raudi to have some grazing time. This way, I would have seen Pete coming. Too many should haves . . . I needed to be going slower.

This morning I ate breakfast and then went back to bed. Pete took care of the animals. I woke up at noon and then determined that I should take the horses for a walk. This was a really good idea. It hurts when I have to use my muscles on the left side. I knew that I’d have a hard time when the horses would pull me in the direction of the grass. I then in walking Raudi had a brilliant idea, which was to do something that I’d been thinking about, that is turn into the horses and push them rather than turn away from the horses and pull them. This worked. Stepping into Raudi’s space also alerted her to the fact that in this particular instance, I was the one in charge. I did this a few times and called it good.

I then had this idea – one that I’m going to try – which is to use the clicker and ground train Raudi not to eat grass. I will start putting piles of grass out, and when we come to them, say heads up. If head stays up, I will click and reward. I will then move on to doing this while in the saddle. I’m excited about the prospect. I might do the same with Hrimmi.

The most important thing here is to make note of the fact that I bounced back quickly after this accident. I did not dwell on the fact that I was unable to stay in the saddle, not did I talk at all about selling Raudi. Rather, I did as my friend Cathy Day suggested –that is got up, dusted myself off, and in a manner of speaking, climbed back into the saddle.

It will be a few days at least before I am again able to ride, so I might not be able to go on the BCHA pack trip. So I’ll walk Tinni into basecamp and see how I feel in the following few days. I feel good about having made this decision Gotta keep moving forward even though quite clearly, I’ve just taken a few steps backwards.

Next: 169. 6/29/15: Plans go Awry

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