Monday, June 1, 2009

My Last Ride

copyright 6/09

It was a beautiful Winter's day
Sky clear and sunny
Groomed horses all frisky
from the crisp morning air

We set out on the trail
walking our horses over the steep bridge
mounted at The Pavilion
using the picnic bench table

With Janet and Kathy, our saddles not the same
One Hunt Seat, one Western, and me on Dressage
Janet on Molly her thoroughbred mare
Kathy on Thunder her kind quarterhorse
Me on Cliff my big guy, my warmblood

All of us happy
All of us chatty
walking through warm up
ten minutes or more

I said, "let's trot" having passed the big gully
laughing and talking everyone merry
Three days past Christmas, Hannukah more
we needed this time with our horses
to recharge, get back to who we are

As we passed behind the house with the fountain
a big Blue Heron flew out
large wings spread full, very wide
Cliff in the lead spooked
as the bird flew out and behind
He jumped, startled, towards the canal
it all happened so fast
I knew what was to pass

I felt his legs get tangled
in slow motion we rode
while he scrambled around, going down
I was thinking, ..sit back..sit back
Oh no, he's not catching his stride
Mind racing yet clearly
I leaned back as his legs started to fold

Looking for my moment to dive
His nose hits the dirt
A thud, a grunt, sand sprays out from the side
his nose, then his cheek hit
as he went down on his right side
His rump high as I gear up to leap
lean to the left, don't want to go into a heap

The momentum is so great
there is no escape
Flung from an equine catapult
I surely did dive
holding reins and dressage whip
taught never to let go
I flew in the air, did a flip on high
Landing first on my head
then neck and my back

A sudden burning down my neck through my spine
My head hurt as I gazed up reins in my hand
What a beautiful bue sky
However did I land?

Thoughts getting clearer
remembering the trip
Airborne, flying high
Man, the ground looked so soft
Landed hard, not what I thought

Slowly turned, following reins in my hand
there was Cliff a little dirty
there at a stand
Looking at me on the ground, his eyes wide and snorting
My friends dismounted
"are you alright, are you alright?"
"yeah I'm fine",
brushing myself off
Knowing deep down inside
this is over
My last ride

"I need a leg up, I'm a little sore"
Janet cupped her hands small
standing only 5'2" tall
She hoisted me up
my size never phased her at all
Cliff was fine, I was not
Riders parted our ways
Cliff and I slowly, them at a trot

We rode back to the barn
my body losing adrenaline
Cliff knew I was hurt
On the buckle we rode
Each step closer
I was crumpling lower

Determined to reach our goal
Thank God for no dogs on the road
Reaching the barn friend and farrier there
I couldn't dismount
All I could do was shout
"Connie help me, I can't get off!"
Holding Cliff, Troy eased me down

Barely walking into the aisle
Connie removed Cliff's saddle and bridle
He was fine, thank God, none the worse for wear
She hosed him for me
Gave him hay
Put him away
While Troy good intentions
tried to stretch out my back
but to no avail

Pain soared through my body
as Connie tried to pull off my boots
I hit hard as she yanked
falling against Cliff's stall
banging into the wall

Cliff's watchful eyes alert
knowing more than anyone
how badly I was hurt
Boots off, brushing off dirt
Connie walked me to my car

Opened the door thinking everything will be alright
I can drive myself home
I've done it before, even at night

Thinking it through
on what I should do
But wait, what is this?
I can't bend my neck down
couldn't lean in, nor slide
Connie's face dropped to a frown
Determined, a way was found
to fold and manipulate me
into the soft driver's seat
All comfy I was finally in behind the wheel
focused and ready to tackle
the next ordeal

Made it across town my daughter was waiting
Went straight to bed
took off my breeches and shirt slowly
now my left arm too painful too heavy to hang
We wrapped it up close to my body
and I laid my myself down
careful, the throbbing pounding in my head
"Call a doctor", she said
"No, I'll be fine", I responded
"Just need to get rest"
While she shook her nurse's head

I was in bed for weeks
only able to doze
on my right side body battered
mind jumbled and confused

Couldn't eat, always dizzy, unable to stand
Tara did the best she could
running errands and helping me
with the work in hand

After X-rays and exams
had a concussion
and blood clot in the brain
broken collarbone and more
Neck fractured and damaged
hopefully not beyond repair
Still dizzy and fragile
I ski-ed down the stairs
falling and again breaking my collarbone
How much more?

Eight months I was down
unable to speak
Words halted and stuttering
Mind frazzled, body weak

Then suddenly in August
a cloud was lifted
Went back to work with a vengeance
even though I was pale and wilted

Pushed through the days, months, even a year
Seeing doctors for pain
needles put in the head and neck
What a drain

Finally they called me in one day
told me I had to be on my way
Couldn't keep up with the quotas is what they said
rather a political move
as I had won all the awards that day
for Betty Boop an up and comer,
the new golden girl
I was in the way
I smiled and accepted that day
packed up my things and waved
walked out happy free at last
to do what I craved

Twelve years and counting
Thankful for every day
Limbs aching, damage done
Still can't stop me
in any way

Bless God for small miracles
no matter how they come
An injury, an accident
Who knew that it would be the one
to send me hurtling through time
and through strife
To get to this spot, this place,
in my life

A painful journey with lessons to learn
When all is said and done
it was needed to occur

Met my husband and moved
brought my horse to our home
Puppies three, now horses two
A happy family has grown

Together we stay
a bit older and worn
But worth it every day

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! You are a very lucky lady! You will pull through surgery just fine!