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FACT: Forward momentum can be severely hindered by a tree!

Nobody even mentioned (or even thought of...) turning around on Saturday
(May Day and a full moon ;-)) as we drove thru the hail and then parked in
the pouring rain.  We all got dressed inside the trailer...horses included.
 (That would be Aarene and Story (8yo Standardbed mare), Catherine (age 13)
and Cabby (9yo Arab g.), and me with Blaze (12yo Arab/MFT g.) -- the best
conditioned 3 in the barn.)  We have a big 3-horse slant load with a
swing-out tack room, only we just didn't swing it out.  First we got Story
dressed and covered up the saddle with a rain jacket, then we widened
Blaze's standing area, got him ready and unloaded, and finished with Cabby.
 By the time we were ready (and in all of our rain gear and helmet covers)
the rain decided to stop (of course!!)  The dogs (2 female Golden
Retrievers -- Katie (age 4) and Kali (age 15mo.)) stayed in the truck until
we were ready to mount.  This is their usual routine -- rest up while we
tack up and then run about *4 times* the distance the horses go!!

Off we all went for a GREAT training ride -- found new trails and views and
went thru all different types of terrain and footing with very cooperative
but VERY frisky horses.  The rain stopped during most of our ride but the
temps stayed pretty cold -- and the trails are pretty narrow in some areas
so you could get pretty wet just from the water on the bushes.  (Glad we
still had on all of our raingear!)  After about 4 hours, we stopped for
lunch for about 45 min...everyone ate well (horses munched on grass) and
the dogs and horses had a drink at the creek. 

Off we all went again, now heading back towards the truck which was about
an hour and a half away -- and *everyone* was feeling good!  I had removed
my outer Assie coat and just had a windbreaker on for a jacket.  The temps
had warmed up a bit and I was pretty warm from riding.  Shortly after
starting out, we came to an area that was a single track trail but seemed
very good for cantering.  Some distance later it opened up to single lane,
fairly primitive road with decent footing.  The horses wanted to gallop so
we let them.  Story had been first on the trail, Cabby in the middle, and
Blaze bringing up the rear.  When we got onto the wider track, Blaze turned
on his after-burners (*where did THAT come from?*) and we blew by Cabbie
and Story.  Down the road we went, having a ball!  

Moments later we came to a sharp Y in the road...I thought we should go
right (towards the truck) and Blaze thought we should go left (because,
given the chance, he will always pick "go left"...whether it's a trail
choice or the preferred side to go around something on the trail.)  When I
felt him thinking "left", I gave him the cue to go "right"...and instantly
realized that it was questionable if he'd have enough time to make the turn
without ending up in the trees ahead of us (we were decelerating but still
going pretty fast!)  He was already balanced for a left turn, so I switched
my body to the left.  My bobble on the cues cost us a valuable fraction of
time.  I was quick enough for Blaze not to hit the two trees in front of
us, but the sudden deceleration and tight corner flung me up against the
tree like a cartoon character!!  Yeeeouuchhh!!  Then I hit the ground.
Wham!!  A "twofer"!

Knocked the wind out of I ended up on my hands and knees, trying to
get my breath.  By the time my cohorts got back to me I had figured I was
going to live.  I didn't hit my head on anything (had my helmet on!) and
didn't have any discomfort in my neck.  My right posterior thoracic area
hurt but mostly I was know...birds chirping and stars
floating over my head! ;-)  "Are you okay?"  "Yeah, I think the
wind knocked out of me."  "Do you think you can ride back?"  "Sure...just
gimme a minute to get my bearings.  I think I can stand up now."  WRONG!
Sharp pains in my hips dropped me to my knees.  "SH**!!!  And
finger looks funny!"

Aarene (and Kali, the young GR) went for help on foot since we had recently
passed a gate with a barbed wire and a "No Trespassing" sign...hints of
civilization (our major preparation mistake -- we forgot the cell phone in
the truck!) Catherine and Kati stayed with me.  (The horses stopped and
stood...barely moved during the whole ordeal -- just munched on grass near
us.  They were SOOOO good!!!)  Through my instructions, Catherine got me
positioned comfortably, padded and splinted my finger, got 3 222s into me
with a sip of water, and wrapped me up like a baked potato -- it was
getting colder and I was pretty wet so I had a couple of jackets on me and
then a silver blanket.  It took over an hour for the aid car to get there
since it took Aarene longer than she thought to find another human, and it
(the aid car) had to go the long way around...the short way was blocked by
a tree.  They had two aid to pick me up and get me to the tree
and the other to take me from there.  They managed to cut enough of the
tree away to get the gurney thru.

Diagnosis and prognosis?  After being thoroughly poked and x-rayed, it was
determined that I have a broken and displaced right 4th rib (must have been
a knot that got me there), no lung problems, avulsed tendon at the last
joint of my left ring finger, and muscles that felt like they'd been beat
by a wannabe 2x4!  I got LOTS of comments on how tough I was -- that I had
*very* strong bones!  I explained that I was a good, hearty Scandanavian
who loved ice cream...hence, strong bones, large muscle mass, and my own
private gel pad to reduce the concussion on impact! <bg>

So no rides for a little while.  I figure I'll be out of work for about 3
weeks and 6 weeks before getting back to riding.  Probably a blessing in
disguise since it will give me time to finish getting my office set up and
chip away at the monster "to-do" list!  And maybe even get some of my email
finally answered...altho a bit more slowly with a splint on my finger. ;-)
And YES, the horse hunt is still on!



Tyee Farm
Marysville, Wa.

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