Here is a picture of me on Dillon, the horse I have been having my riding lessons on.
On Friday I had my first fall. It was towards the end of the lesson, we’d already done a fair bit of trotting in the inside arena and things were going well so we went outside. We went for a combination of walking and trotting outside on the well used Tulliallan Trail created and maintained especially for the use of the RDA Glasgow Group that I volunteer with. They do some riding lessons for able bodied too and I started to learn with them in October last year.
The trail is familiar to the all the horses and the weather was good. Everything was going pretty well when Dillon decided to buck. I’m still not sure if I did something wrong. I thought he was beginning to get faster so was trying to start to slow him a bit but the next thing I knew was I was sailing up and over his head!
I landed hard on with the main impact being on my lower back but I immediately rolled slightly to an almost recovery style position. Dillon fortunately stopped straight away. My instructor did everything you might hope for really. I have no idea how she actually felt with all this drama but she sounded calm and in control which was very reassuring. I have had years of first aid training myself so found myself internally nodding to her questions about what I could feel while externally responding.
After a bit I felt I could try and move. I got to my hands and knees first and paused there because I know from past experience that when I have a lot of pain I can faint easily. Then I got to my feet and again paused to make sure I wasn’t going to go down again.
Gradually we began to make our way slowly towards the entrance into the trail area but as we walked the pain began to get worse. I had to stop and sink to the ground for a break a few times as I started to feel nauseous with the pain and I didn’t want to pass out. Contact was made with staff on the yard who came out to help me hobble onward. In the end though I accepted the offer of a wheelchair for the remainder of the way as the pain was getting so bad.
Back inside it was agreed I needed to go to hospital for a check up and an ambulance was organised and arrived sooner than I expected it might. I was transferred to the ambulance staff’s care which was excellent and was soon provided with some gas and air or Ntox pain relief.
Once at the hospital I was given further pan relief as I was in a lot of pain. X-rays were taken of my lower spine and pelvis but no signs of any broken bones. I had trouble waking though and even with the pain relief the pain was bad enough that I fainted after they to hobble to a toilet. All with excellent care and supervision of the A&E staff, I didn’t faint until I was back on the bed in the cubicle. So they decided to keep me in overnight for observation and I also had an ultrasound check for signs of internal bleeding. All was well.
I eventually got home Saturday morning with more painkillers but already improving.
My care both at the RDA Glasgow stables and in the hospital has been wonderful. So grateful for living in the UK with the NHS so no need to worry about health insurance or anything like that.
I have every intention of getting back on Dillon as soon as I’m fit enough again. Landing hurts and I don’t recommend that particular experience but I love my riding lessons. I love the feeling of being up there and communicating with Dillon, of learning how to get the signals correct for moving into a trot or coming out of it. I love being able to now steer while trotting. I’ve learnt so much already since I began my lessons and there is so much more to learn. I admit though I am hoping that we’ll have a gentle lesson for my first time back on after this experience of landing!