Monday, May 7, 2007

Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse

The Daffodil Arabian Spring Show - After the Fall

What was I thinking heading for a class after a fall like that? Well, I was thinking the horse would be better moving around than standing in his stall getting stiff. I wouldn't be able to get a chiropractor or a massage therapist to him for hours if that soon. It was better to stretch those muscles out than let the horse stand and get stiff.

And the same was true for me, riding would be better than sitting around the horse show worrying about my horse. Just standing there getting brushed off, I could already feel my body getting stiff. Using our muscles was best for both of us so we headed into the class.

It was a pretty decent ride, all things considered. I didn't push the horse on into his floaty trot. I think I was a little intimidated after the fall. But the horse was good, he stayed responsive and soft. We only placed fifth in the class and that was a little bit disappointing but that's all part of horse showing.

We headed back to the stalls so I could get Rachel's boots off. She needed them for her class. I still didn't want the horse to stand around getting stiff so my friend Wendy walked Dandy while we make our "equipment" changes.

The boot exchange went well but on the way out the door, I noticed Rachel was having a major bun failure. I think we probably needed the comic relief after the fall and the looks of her bun certainly provided that. You know it has to be bad for Grandma to get involved since bun making is NOT my forte.

Once the bun was secure, we got Rachel up on Dandy and she spent some time doing the same limbering exercises that I had performed earlier before the fall. The horse was responsive and Rachel did a nice job of warming him up. Once we got up to the ring, we had to do more quick first aid on Rachel's bun but give me those kind of emergencies any day of the week over the kind we'd experienced earlier in the afternoon.

Rachel and Dandy went into her class and had a nice clean ride and her bun didn't fail. As the gate was closing she was coming down the long wall in a pack of horses and she rode it just like a pro. While the pack all cut directly across the arena, Rachel headed Dandy towards the off corner in a perfect line putting herself behind the pack and really showing off her horse. It was a great piece of ring savvy for any rider let alone someone with as little experience as Rachel. The rest of the ride went smoothly. Rachel did a great job of keeping the horse out of traffic and didn't make any of the mistakes she had made in her first class the day before. I think she placed fifth in that class, but frankly, I'm not even sure. I was more intent on how they were doing together than placings. For the first time it was clear to my why Rachel had wanted to ride hunter please.....she loves to hand gallop! I could see it on her face as they rode by.

Once they left the ring, I took my horse and headed for the stalls worried about what awaited him in the aftermath of our fall. I'd already checked with the USEF steward to see how much bute I could give the horse and had put my call into the chiropractor. I untacked Dandy and gave him 2 grams of bute and checked him over again.That's when I found the large swelling on his face where he had clipped himself with a foot. There was heat already in a number of places along his back and shoulders. When Rachel was done changing out of her show clothes, I had her sponge the horse down with a warm Vetrolin liniment rinse making sure to sponge all of the places he was sore and others he might be like between his legs. I knew he was going to be sore between the heat I was finding and by how sore I was already getting.

While Rachel rinsed down Dandy and waited for a return call from the chiropractor, I went off to the exhibits to find my friend Cindi. Cindi does massage and is one of the best. I was already getting so stiff that I knew I needed help without it, I was going to be unable to move the following day.

While the massage was painful, it really helped to get a handle on my injuries. My neck was locking up so that I could hardly turn my head from side to side. Across my shoulder blades the muscles were drawn up into a tight mass radiating a ton of heat and my lower back was shooting spasms all the way up to my head. The resulting headache was blinding. By the time Cindi got done with me, the pain I was feeling was from the massage and not the injuries from the fall. I was shivering uncontrollably but the stiffness was gone. I knew I'd done the right thing even if I didn't feel too well.

Once Dandy was dry from his Vetrolin rinse and we'd given up on hearing from the chiropractor, we headed home. We had another chiropractor lined up for the following day so there was nothing more I could do for Dandy that day. I needed to get home so I could take some muscle relaxers and apply some heat to my injuries. Rachel and Dandy had championships to ride the following day if the horse could handle it. Before we left, I had to go in and give him one final hug. He still had that bewildered look in his eye that made my heart want to break......

To be continued....



  1. How sad, I hope that you and Dandy are both ok. Falls are scary and kudos to you for getting back on. I don't think I would have been able to.

  2. yep, i agree. bestest to you and the horse!

  3. I knew you would both be sore but thought it would wait 24 hours ... so sorry you both felt so bad. I hope all is well now and that neither of you are still suffering too many ill effects from this fall.