So... yesterday didn't quite go according to plan. You know the phrase, 'bad luck comes in threes?' Well...
First, I woke up yesterday morning around 7 to the sound of barking. Now, this in and of itself isn't too abnormal, as we have a lot of dogs, and they love to bark. But this barking was different: wild and out of control. I came downstairs a short while later to find out that, for once in their lives, our dogs had actually had good reason to be barking their brains out, as two stray dogs had come onto our property and attacked our two miniature ponies. Fortunately the littler mini, Nick, was fine, but the older and larger one, Hallmark, ended up with several 1"+ deep puncture wounds in his jugular and at least 20 smaller wounds all over the rest of his body. He's going to live, but it was a long morning with the vet getting him all stitched and stapled up.
Then, my dad and I went out catch our two little lesson ponies, as I teach lessons to a group of 6-8 year olds every Sunday morning. They are pretty difficult to catch but Pa and I have a system that's been working like clockwork for the past few weeks. Yesterday, though, we slipped up and the ponies ended up getting away from us, getting loose, and running briefly out onto the main road! My heart literally stopped, especially since they are small enough that I could imagine a car not seeing them until the last minute when it was too late. Mercifully my dad was able to corral them back onto our property before any damage was done, but it was definitely a scary moment.
Finally, my friend Robin came out to ride Kiki for the first time since her wedding a few weeks ago (!!), and because of the heat we decided to go for an easy bareback hack. I hopped on Ringo with just a saddle pad (not an actual secured bareback pad) and we set off. Both the horses were much spookier than usual right from the outset because it was extremely breezy, so there were lots of crackling branches and flapping signs. I was getting pretty annoyed with both of them being so jumpy, so after Ringo had just spooked at yet another sign, I decided to get after him a bit and gave him a big boot in the ribs to remind him to get his act together.
Well, this was a mistake. Ringo, already in a spooky mood, decided to take my correction as an excuse to spin hard and then bolt briefly off, juuuuuuust hard enough so that the saddle pad slipped over too fast for me to be able to rebalance myself. I thought for a few seconds that I was going to be able to save myself: I still had my calf over his back and both arms around his neck, but he was still acting really squirrelly and I didn't have a good enough grip on his neck that I could use my arms without cranking on his face, which I was worried was going to make him rear or spin again. So, after some fruitless struggling, I fell... flat onto my back, onto a paved road. Ouch.
At first I didn't feel much pain at all, and I immediately found a place to get back on and we finished our ride with no problems. I then got on Ky to do some flatwork. Unfortunately, about 20 minutes into my ride with Ky, I began to notice that my back was hurting. A lot. So much that I couldn't take anything but the shallowest possible breath without enduring excruciating pain. I finished up my ride as quick as I could (Ky was also being mega spooky, and my control at this point was minimal because of my back pain) and alerted my parents to the situation, and we decided I should go to the ER to make sure I hadn't broken any ribs. At this point, I was on the edge of a panic attack because I couldn't really breathe at all, and the pain was intense.
(The neck brace was just a precaution because I have chronic neck pain already and landed in the neck/back area - I thought it was a low blow that the shortest setting on the neck brace was "neckless" - really, ER? Isn't that adding insult to injury??)
Just under 3 hours, a few X Rays, and some serious pain meds later, I was headed home again with the best diagnosis possible, given the situation: no majorly broken ribs but possibly some hairline fractures and definitely a fairly substantial chest wall contusion. I'm pretty bummed as it was such a stupid fall and I'm now quite sore and the recovery time is anywhere from 2 weeks to up to 8 - gahh!!! Definitely keeping the fingers crossed for the 2 week end rather than the 8 week end - I'd really rather not have most of my last summer at home with a sore back just because my upper level dressage horse can't handle a paper sign!! >:(