Falling off your horse as a thirty-something year-old

Let me tell you a story about what happened to me when I didn’t listen to my gut.

He was a free horse...for a reason.

My horse Banner went through a few homes before he made it to me. He was notorious for running through electric fences to get away from any sort of pressure and if he is overwhelmed by something, he will just rear and take off...I’ve received a small rope burn or two to prove it. Apparently, he was ridden in his previous homes (but he would just buck everyone off) and so in my naivety (read: stupidity) I thought, “Well we’ve developed a good bond and he trusts me so, let’s go for a hack!” [Read more about my journey with Banner here.]

I ignored the little gnawing sensation in the back of my mind that said, “Perhaps, you shouldn’t.”

About two seconds into the hack he starts bucking so I think, “That’s fine, I’ll just pop off and land on this soft grass we’re on.”

Let me tell you, that is not at all what happened.

I landed, my shoulder came out of the socket and three hours later I was being knocked out in a hospital (while still screaming bloody murder) so that my shoulder could be put back in the socket where it belongs. One surgery and a year of physiotherapy later, my shoulder is roughly 60-70% back to normal.  

Here’s what I learned from this experience

  • I am nowhere near a good enough rider to ride anything that could even potentially buck.

  • I should always trust my gut instinct if I’m not 100% comfortable getting on.

  • I don’t bounce as well as I did when I was a kid...somehow the ground got harder as I’ve aged or gravity got stronger...

  • Banner needs more groundwork...lots and lots of groundwork.

What lessons have you learned the hard way?