Wednesday, October 2, 2013

In an Instant.....


This past weekend, My Husband and I attended a wedding in Montreal.  It was a lovely affair, with about 250 people in attendance.  We were booked into a chic hotel about 5 minutes away from the event.  There was a cocktail party prior to the 6:00 p.m. ceremony and a dinner/dance after.  Very civilized!  :-)  The food was fabulous, our table companions were fun and the band was awesome.  It was great.

I bruise fairly easily.  On top of that, I have a high pain threshold.  Not a good combo, actually, because when I knock myself about I REALLY knock myself which results in big bruises and lumps.  Sigh.  So, after a couple of bad bruises on my forearm and the top of my hand (WTH??) a couple of weeks ago, I decided to be careful when I was around the barn and out on the trails.  I didn't want to look like I had just gone 9 rounds when I was at the wedding.   :-) 

The day before the wedding, DH's Mom and I decided to take advantage of the 21C temperatures and bathe our horses for what would probably be the last time before Spring. The wash station is located outside in the "yard" that separates the house and the two barns.  She bathed her horse first, while I kept her company and then she helped me bathe Gem.  

Squeaky clean!!
While Gem was in the cross-ties being soaped up, a horse trailer was backed up right behind him and parked.  Then the father of one of the boarders drove his truck through the yard.  Gem didn't bat an eye as these vehicles came within a few feet of his butt.  Good boy.  A few of the younger riders were sitting around a phone squealing while watching something.  Two other horses were lined up, waiting their turn to be bathed.  The yard was a busy place!   After his bath, I walked Gem across the yard next to the house and let him graze in the sun, just to dry him off a bit before he went back to his stall.  He was a horse on a mission to eat every blade of green grass, head down facing the house.  I, on the other hand, was standing next to his head facing the opposite way with the sun on my back, relaxed enough that my eyes were glazed over.  :-)

The next thing I knew I was flat out on the ground with people gathering around asking if I was OK!  To be honest, I was dazed and a little unfocused.  As I struggled to sit up, my immediate concern was Gem but I realized that he was now standing next to me on the other side. My second thought was how many friggin bruises I was going to have!  Darn!!   After a minute, DH's Mom and someone else helped me stand.  I did a quick check.  My jaw was sore, I had a cut from a tooth on the inside of my right cheek, my cheekbone and brow bone hurt, I had the beginning of a bump on the middle of my forehead, my neck had a kink and my sciatica was coming into play.  WTH??!!!  Was I unknowingly in the path of a truck or trailer and got hit?? 

DH's Mom saw what happened as she was walking towards me to chat.  The father of the boarder unloaded a lawn mower from his truck and decided to start it up to see if it still worked....right next to Gem's head.  1300 lbs. of horse spooked and jumped to the side, hitting me jaw to jaw and knocking me down.  What idiot starts a machine next to a grazing horse???  Apparently, this arrogant bastage does.  He didn't even apologize.

People volunteered to drive me home, but by this time I was a bit embarrassed and really sore and just wanted to get the heck out of there.  I drove myself home and after taking Advil, I stretched out on the couch with an ice pack for my face and a heat pack for my back.  I was not missing this wedding!!!  :-)   I had some time to think about the incident and I sort of laughed to myself about being so careful to avoid bruises and then to have this happen.   

Then anger set in.  How could a man who is around the barn all the time think that starting a lawn mower next to a horse is OK??  To let go of my anger, I tried to focus on the positives.  Yes, there are positives.....it could have been a whole lot worse: 
  • Gem is not a lunatic kind of horse; his spook was just a couple of big side steps and not the snorting-and-running-around-the-yard kind of spook that could have potentially caused injuries to the other horses and people in the yard.
  • I was standing sideways beside Gem, shoulder to shoulder; if I had been turned facing his shoulder, his head connecting with my face would have broken my nose, no question. 
  • I was standing close enough to Gem that when he swung into me he did not have his full body momentum behind the step, so the hit wasn't as forceful as it could have been.
  • Gem did not trample or kick me.
  • Other than the bump and bruise on my forehead, I didn't have a visible mark on me.  :-)
I have been in worse pain from falls off of Gem while riding.  But this incident shook me because it happened while I was on the ground.  Other than getting stepped on or shoved or even bitten, I hadn't really considered being injured by a horse while on the ground.  When you are around horses, things can change in an instant and you must be prepared to react or be proactive in avoiding dangerous situations.  True, you can't predict idiocy.  And, the reality of it was I couldn't see this guy unload the mower or him starting it because Gem's body blocked my view.  But, perhaps if I hadn't been so relaxed that I was "glazed' over, if I had been more in tune with what was going on around me, I would have heard him and investigated??


The drive to Montreal the next day was a bit of a challenge, but Advil helped.   The bruise on my forehead was covered by make up.  The fun (and vodka!) I had at the wedding made me forget about my aches and pains.  My back survived dancing and my 3 inch heels.   :-)   My new outfit made me feel like a million. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.  Sort of hard to believe that just a day earlier I was sitting on my couch with ice and heat worried about a black eye and a bad back!   

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone, and be safe!   Remember....there are idiots out there!!!  :-)

24 comments:

  1. I'm glad you weren't badly hurt and I'm glad you went on to have a good time.

    You're 100% right. These things can and do happen in an instant. Of course when you least expect it. The first time I got kicked (yes it's happened more than once..) I was standing there 1 minute and the next I was lying in a heap seeing stars. Never even saw the horse move. And I wasn't even the target!

    I try to stay situationally aware and give clueless people *lots* of room. Even experienced horse people can be careless after a busy 18 hour day!

    It used to absolutely freak me out at horse shows people rattling through the barn with strollers and umbrellas when you're tacking up. You can get a lot of situational awareness training when you're showing.

    A great lesson and nobody got hurt.

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    1. Edited to revise: at least nobody was *badly* hurt!

      I try my best to be scarce when there's idiots nearby...

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    2. I have learned my lesson. :-) Now that you mention it, tacking up for a show while clueless people are walking about would be stressful, for you and your horse!

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  2. Oh do I know all about idiots. Tristan totalled our car the day before yesterday. A truck stopped dead in the middle lane of the highway, a car then crashed into the truck. That car's driver decided to put the car off (lights and all) and make his way to the side of the highway to wait for ambulance. Tristan drive down the highway at night, he never sore the car. The other car involved gave wrong (fake?) details. Tristan and I hung out in the hospital until 1:30 am.

    People can be both dodgy and stupid.

    How is this for a stroke of irony, looks like we'll miss a friend's wedding because Tristan is on crutches and the wedding is 5 hours away. For the sake of him healing quicker I think we'll skip it.

    Hope you enjoy yours though!

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    1. Good grief!!! That's terrible! It just boggles my mind sometimes just how clueless people can be. How did they survive to adult-hood! Sending positive thoughts your way that Tristan recovery is swift!!

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  3. Glad you're OK - very scary. I think keeping a good eye out at all times for idiots and fools (and small children and dogs) can be a good idea - I just assume that people can and will do just about anything . . .

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    1. Thanks, Kate. I usually am pretty good about safety, but I guess I just got carried way with the warmth and relaxation.... :-)

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  4. Glad you are okay (mostly)... Like you said - it could have been much worse.

    One of the crazy contradictions of horses is that being relaxed around them is so important, but you must still be vigilant. It's challenging to maintain both states...at least for me. Take care! :D

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    1. Great observation, CFS, and so true.

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  5. Seriously? That guy didn't apologize? What a douchenozzle, you could have been killed! Or at least gotten a concussion! Some people...

    At least you still had a good time at the wedding :)

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    1. No apology, and then stood there and did not even offer to help me up. Bastage.

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  6. Being such a newbie around horses, this is really an eye-opener for me!

    I do enjoy letting Annabelle graze after our rides (with me standing by her, of course) and I can totally relate to that feeling of relaxation we get from doing this. Fortunately, my barn doesn't seem to be as busy as yours, but it's a good lesson to learn nevertheless - never let your guard down while being near a horse, you never know what could spook her/him!

    I'm glad you didn't get hurt too badly, and were able to enjoy the wedding:)

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    1. Glad to help! ;-) From now on, I will be doing regular "what if" scenarios.

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  7. Good grief!!! I am so glad that you are okay! All sorts of bad could have come of that. mr. lawnmower guy is an idiot of all idiots.

    The wedding sounds like it was very fun, thank goodness for makeup. I forget how gorgeous Gem is, that photo is a keeper for sure!

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    1. Hi Mary! Nice to hear from you. It still has me shaking my head at how stupid this guy was. Thanks for the comments regarding Gem. :-) That picture was taken right after the "incident"....I was talking him back to the barn. He was still damp and I hadn't brushed him out.

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  8. Well, first off I'm glad you're okay and were able to attend the wedding and have a good time. Love the picture of your handsome boy. I bet he was sparkling in the sun.

    I won't say I can't believe somebody could be that stupid because there's no end to the stupidity I've seen around horses. And like ltd commented a lot of it happens at shows. We were at the Hampton Classic one time when some clueless woman walked past our tents with balloons tied to the stroller. Then there are the people with umbrellas and loud noisy kids running wild etc. That said you really have to be aware of your surroundings whenever you're on a horse or he's on the end of a lead line. I don't fault Gem for this at all but that moron with the lawnmower. Gem was just doing what comes naturally to him and I guess the idiot was too.

    What I find really hard to believe is that he didn't even apologize or offer to help you. Arrogant bastard! You could have been hurt very badly. Oh well, next time you know to stay clear of him and his idiocy.

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    1. You are absolutely right - Gem just did what comes naturally. I heard recently from someone at the barn that the arrogant bastard thought I was overreacting and he didn't understand what all the fuss was about!!! LA did speak with him, but I don't expect his attitude to change any time soon.

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  9. OMG! I think I would have freeked out at the guy after I recovered. Im so glad you are ok.

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    1. I got angry after the fact, JPS. If he had been in front of me at that time, he would have gotten an earful!!! :-)

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  10. OMG!! I'm so glad you weren't badly hurt. What I wouldn't give to get my hands on that ... idiot!!!! (Shan't put down my actual expletive-filled description!) So completely selfish and arrogant *humph* You'd think he'd have even a teeny-weeny clue about horses if his child is a boarder but there you go -- the stupidity of some people obviously knows no bounds.

    Gem is a shining (& squeaky-clean) star! And you are so full of positivity :D I'm really glad you managed to get to that wedding and have a super-duper time -- dancing in 3inch heels -- You go girl!!!

    Take care & have a fun-filled weekend xx

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    1. I know this is sort of going to sound weird, but the fact that Gem stayed by me after this incident shows that he is more of a gentleman than arrogant bastage guy. :-)

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  11. Wow. I'm glad you are o.k., and that Gem is, too.

    That guy is a real jerk, and he's an even bigger jerk for thinking you were overreacting, and for not understanding how it could have been worse on so many levels.

    I hope LA gave him a real chewing out.

    Wedding celebrations are happy occasions; I'm glad you enjoyed yourself.

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    1. Thanks, DD. Jerk is right. Hope you are enjoying Fall!

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