I suppose there’s no gentle way of saying that I’ve been trampled by my horse, so there it is.  However, not sure if this is reassuring to you but it is to me, you can be trampled by a horse and live.
In order to get from our barn to the trails that we ride, we have to skirt by an active golf course and traverse under an overpass and through the woods.  Since I’ve been riding, the entrance/exit on to the trail has been framed by the branches of a dead tree and with each successive month, the branches sagged down further and further until they no long provide clearance for a horse and rider.  On Saturday morning, we made it out to the trail with no problem but on the way back, Ryon decided to jump the dead limbs on the ground which resulted in me ducking to avoid being smacked in the face by the low overhanging branches.

I leaned too far forward too late, lost my balance, and slipped off his side.  I ended up underneath him, and then everything both happened really slow and really fast.  I noticed how frantic he was that I had come off his back (but hung on to the reins), saw where his hooves were coming down all around me, and tried to curl up into a ball.  But not quickly enough.

I heard collective gasps from the women that I was riding with.  I was told later that I may have squeaked.  His hoof came down firmly and squarely on my torso, right in the gut.  And then the pressure was gone and he was standing next to me, where I was lying in the dirt.  In atypical Ryon fashion, he stared at me a bit wide-eyed as I picked myself up and dusted myself off.

After standing up and catching my breath, my trainer asked if we needed to go to the hospital.  I didn’t feel like anything was broken and replied no.  While stiffly and gingerly hopping back on Ryon and riding back to the barn, I was asked that same question multiple times.  Finally satisfied with my answer, we cleaned up and went to lunch.  It wasn’t until later (as it typically is) when the adrenaline wore off that I started to notice the pain in my legs and, oddly enough, finger.  He must have grazed my legs (either kicked or stepped on), as that pain was a lot more intense than in my stomach.  It had all happened so quickly, I just didn’t happen to notice.

Luck was on my side for several reasons:

If Ryon had stepped two inches up, he would have stepped on my ribs.  I don’t even want to know what that would have felt like or what organs would have been damaged in that process.

Ryon didn’t put all of his weight on my stomach (or legs from that matter).  Also, I’m relatively in shape.  I clenched up my core when I saw his hoof coming down toward me.  My abs are still sore today but nothing internally has been damaged.

Ryon was supposed to get new shoes last week, but the farrier has been on vacation.  His new shoes would have been as sharp as a knife and probably would have left my skin in ribbons.  As it is, his old ones have left marks on my torso from where the skin was rubbed off.

My head is fine.  Typically when I fall, my head will bounce (awesome, right?).  This time, I landed on my shoulder / back and on some dirt and leaves, which cushioned my fall, and I was wearing a helmet.  Always wear a helmet.

So here we are on Monday, still alive after being danced on by a horse.  A little battered and bruised, everything is turning a lovely shade of dark blue and purple.  And I can’t bend my finger.  But with a hobby that involves such a large animal, you know you’re taking risks and you will fall when riding as often as we do, it’s not a matter of if it’s a matter of when.  You take the necessary safety precautions to manage the risks as best you can and throw in a bit of luck.