Be Careful What You Ask For…

The Universe is so dang literal.

In a moment of frustration, I threw up my hands, and asked the universe: “Geeze, could you give me a break?  Just a little one?  I’m not asking for anything big here.”

The universe is very obliging.  Note to self: when asking the universe for assistance, do NOT give any advice on how it should assist.

I was hoping for a little humor, a nice day, a pleasant surprise.  In all fairness, it forked over all those things, except the pleasant part.  Picky picky.

It gave me a break.

I deserve to be in the Guinness book of World Records.

I had a horse accident in which:

  1. I wasn’t on the horse
  2. The horse wasn’t moving
  3. The horse just happened to be in my way
  4. The horse did nothing at all, including blink
  5. I fractured a rib

An hour prior to the, er, accident: I ascended to Cloud Nine riding Melody.  He’s tolerating my mistakes and is  generously treating me like a hunt seat rider, giving me eager pizzazz and gorgeous gaits. I worked my butt off while he moved fluidly from one thing to the next.  I didn’t want to leave Cloud Nine.  It’s nice up there.  Comfy.  Fluffy.  A couple of golden harps, some cute bunnies, and all the cake you can eat. Cloud Nine and I drove to Tiny’s barn.  Tiny is my next ride. He’s my sofa horse, and needed to be restricted to light walking.  I was looking forward to a lovely amble in the sunshine on his broad bare back.  No effort after all that sweating to death, trying to be good enough for Melody.  Perfect.  Zzzzzzzz.

Anyone remember the last time I tried to get on Tiny bareback?

My Cloud, Tiny, and I all walked over to the mounting block.  Something started tugging on my cloud, and I yanked it back.  Hey, it’s MY cloud.  Hands off!

I get on the mounting block, and push away the now frantic cloud yanking.  Dang – can’t I have one nice moment here?  I ignore it, prepare to leap lightly onto his back, and just as I leap off the block, my Cloud explodes and I receive an urgent message from the You Are SUCH An Idiot part of my brain: a photographic image of the last time  I leapt “onto” Tiny.  (Well, technically, I WAS on.) Panicking, I visualize levitating high above Tiny’s back.

I should have paid more attention in Levitation 101.  (I was stupidly caught up in Spoon Bending and Aura Reading.)

I levitated enough to get fairly high above his wither.

Um. I forgot to get on. Instead of swinging my right side up and over his back, I went straight up like a rocket, and came straight down like a grand piano.  There was a loud CRAAAAAAACK, and I felt a shock of pain go all the way through my back, down my left leg and strangely, my right arm.  I was hanging vertically off Tiny’s left shoulder, just as if I were standing, only about 3 feet up in the air, hanging off his wither (backbone to the non-horsey) because it was jammed up in between my ribs.  You know those old movies where someone picks up the kid brother and hangs him by his shirt on a hook on the back of the door?  It was kind of like that. Except our bones were intertwined.

Tiny didn’t move a hoof.  He turned his head to look at me and then turned it back, processing the scenario.  (OW!  ow ow ow ow OW.  Please don’t move…please don’t move…)

Clearly this is part of some new sacking out program.  Human hurls self at him, and he’s not supposed to react.  So he doesn’t.  Bless him!

It feels very weird to hang there. Gingerly, I use the palms of my hands to push down on his neck and back to gently lift myself up and disengage our bony structures.  Nothing happens (if you don’t count the unintentional scream).  Time to cowgirl up.  I shove down hard on his neck and back: our bones disengage with a metal-rending groan more suitable to a fender-bender.  My ribs do an awful kind of recoil.  WOW that hurts.  In a blinding, blackout, going-to-be-sick sort of way.

Which is why I could care less that I’ve slid all the way down Tiny’s shoulder/leg and am now crumpled onto the mounting block, holding my ribs, sitting underneath his belly.  Concerned, Tiny turns his head and grabs onto my sleeve with his lips.  He doesn’t pull or tug, just holds.

Someone leads a horse into the arena in lunging gear.  Tiny flicks his ears back and forth and very gently pulls on my shirt.  Get up!  She’ll notice!

I use Tiny’s lowered neck to haul myself up off the mounting block.  Holy CRAP it hurts. Morgan Freeman smiles knowingly at me from a radiant white throne, I lean in his direction.  Tiny drags me away from the white light.  He puts himself back into his paddock, I untack him, he closes the gate, and I lock it.  He wishes me luck.  (Don’t ask how I know it, I just know it.)  I get to my car as fast as I can (not fast): I have to get home while I can still drive. Thank God I’ve hung around with rodeo types, XC event riders, and jumpers: I can breathe fine.  That means I don’t have a broken rib and punctured lung.  I’m guessing there’s about 20 minutes until it hurts too bad to move.  Shock is our friend.

It hits me.  What am I going to TELL people?

For Pete’s sake.  I’ve had a rotational fall where I flipped over the horse’s head, and then the horse flipped over: I watched 1100 lbs of dead weight whump down on me, and I got…bruised. How on earth am I ever going to live down cracking a rib while trying to get ON the world’s safest horse?  I try to think up a respectable way this injury could have happened.  Thrown onto the rail?  Thrown against the rail?  Something remotely horsey?  That doesn’t involve Jane being STUPID?

This is not an injury you can shrug off at home, and say “Oh nothing dear….WAIT!!  Do NOT HUG me! Back away slowly.  I have a bread knife.”

At all costs we do not want horses to look dangerous to Shaun.  They are all monsters to her.  She thinks I’m going to die daily, mauled by dangerous horses like Tiny.

I tell her the unvarnished truth (I’ll lie to my horse friends instead) in layman’s terms: I threw myself at a sofa because I wasn’t thinking.  I hit the hard pointy back funny.  The sofa didn’t move.

What I hadn’t counted on: how believable is it that I cracked a rib while getting on a horse that was cooperating completely?  Surely the evil horse did something!  It’s a horse, I’m hurt, therefore the horse hurt me.

“Okay”, says Shaun, totally not buying it, “What really happened?”

“I forgot the mounting block was too short, threw myself at Tiny, didn’t quite make it, and got stuck on his whith….shoulder bone.”  I say.

“Right” says Shaun, “I’m waiting.  I’m losing my patience.  Tell me the TRUTH.”

Great.  There goes lying to my friends.   Shaun is going to call Daisy if I insist this wacko story is true, and ask what she thinks.

(Dang you Daisy!  LIE.  Just not, uh, now.)

I sigh,  “I’ll call Daisy.  I’ll put her on speaker, okay?”

“Really?” says Shaun, surprised, “you haven’t told Daisy?”  She thinks for a minute.  “You really did do something that stupid?”

“I told you I was telling the truth”  I say, hoping I won’t have to call Daisy.

Shaun hears the hope in my voice.  “Forget it.  You’re calling.”

I speed dial Daisy. Put the cell on speaker.

“Hola?” says Daisy

“It’s me.  I’m on speaker with Shaun…” I start.

“How bad are you hurt?” Daisy says.  Why does she go right to ‘I’m hurt’ if I put Shaun on speaker??

“Fractured rib, I’m fine”, I say, adding: “Shaun needs to know if how it happened is possible.”

“Oh” says Daisy, relieved.  (A fractured rib being NBD in the hunter world)  “How did it happen?”

I spill.  Daisy is laughing from the moment I tell her I stepped on the mounting block, because she knows the 3 step mounting block is gone.


Shaun now believes it’s true, but asks Daisy anyway, “So is that even possible?  Could my wife really have done something THAT ridiculous?”  A smile twitches at the corner of her mouth.

“TOTALLY” says Daisy.  “That is SO Jane.  And Tiny, I can see his face!   HAHahahahaha…”

I am SO ready to hang up.

“Wait!” says Daisy, urgently,”Did anyone get it on tape?”  Pause.  “What about on their cell phone?”

Thank God no one was in the arena, or I might be on YouTube right now.


23 thoughts on “Be Careful What You Ask For…

  1. Pingback: September Blog Carnival of Horses | EQUINE Ink

  2. Marissa

    Wow… I know I am really late to join this party but I feel really bad for you Jane! I have done this too and it really hurts. Sleeping is the worst part in my opinion cause you accidentally roll over and wake to excrutiating pain. I recommend locking yourself in place with strategic pillow placement if that becomes a problem.

    And, um, in the future, perhaps you want to find something a bit taller to mount bareback? Some creative solutions… I use the kickboards in the indoor that go halfway up Tucker’s side (yes, my saintly horse stands patiently while his tiny little owner climbs the wall beside him) or the tailgate of my truck. Not judging you or anything my dear… just trying to prevent further injury…

    1. Jane

      Yup! I think I finally learned my lesson. Too. Old. To. Mount. Without. Supervision.

      Backward fence climbing works, and uh, so do actual saddles. I pack myself in pillows with ice strapped to ribs by polo. Sleeping has been the worst. Don’t know why, but the pain keeps waking me up? You’d think it would hurt more during the day when I’m moving! Oooo. If I were writing Dear Abby I could sign this “Sleepless in de Saddle”.

      No. Don’t count on me making much sense. I’m not taking anything stronger than ibuphrophen, but I’m still senseless. 😉

  3. Arlene

    Oh Jane! I really didn’t want to laugh because I know it hurts but…it’s pretty funny. Hope you heal fast and if there’s a next time(and I hope there isn’t) let’s try to get a video involved.

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I think we can rest assured that anytime I go riding with Daisy (near Daisy, or tell Daisy I’m riding) she will have her cell set to Video, and just happen to be nearby.

      Do laugh! It’s why I shared. It’s so utterly and completely ridiculous. For some odd reason, it helps me get over my embarrassment.

      Of course, now I’m convinced everyone I know thinks I can’t ride and should never be allowed near a horse…

  4. Halt Near X

    You didn’t buy a coffee maker on your way home from the hospital, did you? Go out for some tea afterward? Try to sell lemonade on the side of the road?

    Because if you did, I think we might need to do a DNA test after all.

    Love the polo wrap bandage! I think you deserve a new set to comfort you during your rehab. With some custom embroidery? Maybe a stick figure hanging from a horse’s withers? It’d be almost as good as a video.

    There’s a tack store 1/2 a mile from my work and an embroidery shop next door…

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Hospital? I should have gone to the hospital? 😉 This happened last Wednesday, and it started to get worse on Saturday, so I went to an urgent care clinic. (HMO) ER copay would have us all eating Top Ramen for 6 months.

      Clinic doesn’t have x-ray machine. But as it turns out, a manual exam is enough to determine a fracture.

      “Definitely a lump there, kinda veering off a little…hmmm…does it hurt if I do thi….”

      Cut off by scream and Dr. jumping out of thrashing range. He smiles. “Yup. That’s the right volume for a fracture.”

      On the polo. I’d removed it prior to exam (embarrassed), rolled it up and stuffed it in my bag. Doc said “We don’t tape ribs anymore. You could use an Ace bandage for support, but it’s easy to wrap too tight. Too bad they don’t make bandages in that fleece stuff: real stretchy and soft.”

      Gee. What a coincidence. Pull out polo & show him. He’s very excited. Wants to know where to get them. Writes on RX pad: Frank’s Feed Store. I spell P O L O for him. “You get 4 of these for $20? Really?”

      I wanted to go out for coffee? Does that count?

      1. Halt Near X

        I can see it now: he starts prescribing polos to patients. Somewhere along the way, he discovers the ones with fun prints and gives those to the kids. The kids wear them to school, and their friends go bananas.

        The next thing you know, kids across the nation are wrapping polos around their waist, legs, arms…

        You’ve just taken equestrian fashion to a whole new level!

        1. lizgoldsmith

          I know all too well how much it hurts to break a rib. I just can’t believe that you can be funny about it. When I broke a rib I didn’t want to go anywhere near funny. It hurts way too much to laugh.

          I too broke a rib NOT riding. Kroni got spooked in his stall while I was opening the door. The heavy wooden door hit me in the ribs and sent me flying onto the floor. My glasses disappeared (darn those rimless frames). Luckily he must have jumped over me because when I finally caught my breath and sat up there were no hoof marks. I must have been quite a sight searching for my glasses and clutching at my ribs.

          I couldn’t believe how much it hurt. And yes, I too wrapped my ribs with a polo wrap! My feeling was that it hurt more than child birth and it lasted a whole lot longer.

          Be careful if you didn’t have an x-ray. I had an MRI (?) and it showed that I had bruised my liver. I was glad to know because it kept me from pushing myself too soon.

          Hope you feel better soon!

          1. theliteraryhorse Post author

            This is excellent advice Liz. I didn’t think about what else might be bruised in there. I’ll make an appt with my doc and get an xray. I don’t want any surprises. It HURTS.

            I keep yelling at my hair to grow slower, the movement is adding to the pain.

            I thought if I tried to find humor in my idiocy it would be more bearable. That worked for about a week.

            I want it to go away now. The idea I could feel like this for 5-7 more weeks is overwhelming. I had to wake Shaun up at 2 am because I had the hiccups. I was hiccuping and crying and trying not to move all at the same time. She has a fail proof hiccup cure that doesn’t hurt. 60 seconds later, hiccups gone, but wow was I sore.

            Thanks for the concern, good advice, and get well wishes. 🙂

          2. lizgoldsmith

            The first two weeks are the worst but then the pain does ease up.

            I was foxhunting again about 4 weeks after I broke my rib (it happened the day before the spring hunt season). I won’t say it didn’t hurt but it was bearable.

            I’d forgotten though — it happened the day before my son’s birthday so when I came back from the hospital I went and played 2 rounds of mini golf that was part of the celebration. I was fine except for picking up the ball. I couldn’t ruin his birthday just because it hurt. The pain meds helped, too!

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I did have an insane moment, when I realized if he moved I’d be stuck against his shoulder, moving along with him: how to save face?

      I know! I’ll throw my arms up in the air like a trick rider and say “Ta Da….OW!”

      Thank God there are no security cameras. And don’t you dare suggest them!

  5. onehorsefarms

    As a fellow LOA believer/user I know the power of being “careful what you wish for”! 😉

    I read a story of one woman who told the universe, “I just need things to slow down! I need a break!” Soon after the universe served up her wish fulfilled with a compound fracture to her leg. WHOOPS!

    I am sorry you picked such a painful way to slow things down, you are a gem to share the story with us though. 🙂 😀 XD

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I will be very careful in my wording from now on. Such as “Dear Universe, Please let something easy, fun, gentle and kind come my way today.”

      Right. Not so much when we’re frustrated, huh? 😉

  6. enlightenedhorsemanship

    The fact that this sounds eerily familiar to me does not lessen its hilarity.

    While I am SO sorry you have injured yourself, the image of Tiny standing still as a statue takes me back and tugs at my heart.

    No better horse to fall off (or in your case, ONTO) than a draft or draft cross. I should know, having perfected the exercise.

    I’m with petshark on no driving yourself to the hospital. I’ve done it twice and both times it was an idiotic thing to do. NBD in the horse world is a BIG deal in the real world.

    It IS too bad no one got it on tape. Feel better soon. No laughing, though I expect you have already discovered this.

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I’m okay. Thank God for Tiny. He really did walk me back to his paddock, walk in, turn around, push the gate closed with his nose, and wait for me to take off his bridle. He’s so tuned in.

      And it is a perfectly hilarious “accident”. Laugh away!

      Doc said the most important thing I gotta do is breathe deeply 5 or 6 X an hour, no matter how much it hurts. The only risk with fractured or broken ribs is pneumonia. Who woulda thought?

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      Please laugh and enjoy, that’s why I’m making fun of myself. It’s good to know someone else can see the humor in this situation!

      Daisy’s been torturing me with the start of jokes, which is just as funny as the jokes themselves: “Why did the chicken cross the road?” upon which I answer (of course) “to poke your eye out!”

  7. petshark

    OMG, I so feel for you. I have no idea what broken ribs feel like (yeeouch!) but I do know what foolish feels like. I’ve had three broken ankles and only the one I got at age 11 was in any way justified (bucked off barrel racing). Since then, I poked a colt’s foot with my boot toe (because I knew he was “kicky” and didn’t want to be kicked in the head). He kicked me in the ankle: break #2. Then I stepped backwards off a horse trailer and got break #3. So your acrobatic leap at least had that- you were doing something athletic!

    But wait a minute, no driving yourself to the hospital! Barns should collect car keys and make people check in before driving away since injured people are not in their right minds!

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      I confess. One trainer, 3 assistants, and probably 4 of her clients were less than 100 feet away. I snuck out without telling anyone.

      Though I agree with you, there should be a key box you have to check your keys into and out of.

      I didn’t break any ribs, thank God! That is long term unbelievable pain. This is long term annoying pain.

      3 broken ankles??? OW.

  8. Breathe

    ROFL Great story, well told. As someone who can get injured in creative ways, I empathize (although I have to say, you are definitely a gold medalist in this arena).

    And his name would be Tiny… Of course now that he has a rep as a rib cracker, he may have a bit of a tough guy attitude the next time you’re out…

    1. theliteraryhorse Post author

      You nailed it. I’ve found my niche. Olympic Gold medalist in oddball injuries.

      Poor Tiny, he’ll wait for me to throw myself at him again in some new Kamikaze kind of way, thinking I’ve thought up a new thing to sack him out with.

      Lily believes in continual sacking out. I have to agree. He’s never surprised when you do something new!


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