I hadn’t planned on making a big deal out of this but I see the word has leaked out and so I decided that I should go ahead and put up my version of what happened and avoid having to type the same story a dozen times.
I am writing this from a hospital bed at home.
I’ve been breaking a young (green broke) horse–a rescue I inherited from a granddaughter (go figure). I had him coming along really good — he’d neck rein, stop, back up, did good turns, stand ground tied–all the basic stuff. He has even been to the pasture a couple of times. We were currently working on speed control–wanted him to have a nice easy lope on a loose rein. But all along I had all the respect in the world for him. I knew he was young, and just like any teenager, unpredictable and always proceeded with caution.
The kids and grand kids were here for Thanksgiving and so last Friday, my son-in-law and I decided to work with him a little. I warmed him up and rode him in the round pen then led him out into an arena sized area. I asked my son-in-law if he wanted to ride him. He said sure. He acted a little funny but I thought it was probably because the son-in-law weighs about 30 lbs more than me and I had been the only one on his back for almost a year now.
When the son-in-law got off, I started to get on. All along he has had a little tendency to walk off (but never bolt) when somebody was mounting him. I’ve broke him from it several different times but he keeps forgetting. This time, when I stepped on him he bolted. I should have quit him then and there and started over. But, my right leg was already over him but just not in the stirrup.
So, when he bolted, I instinctively (to hold on) jabbed him with my right spur–which caused the situation to deteriorate very rapidly. He headed for the junk pile where I was hoping he would turn left and set me back up into the saddle. He didn’t. He turned right toward an electric fence where he made another sharp right and that was the end of me.
The back of my head found the one and only steel post in the whole area. It took 6 staples to close it up. I landed mostly on my lower back and back of the head. My son-in-law ran up to see if I was OK.
I told him that I couldn’t breathe. He thought I just had the wind knocked out of me but, as I told him later, that is not what it felt like–it felt like a really hard “jolt” had taken my voice away.
Fortunately my daughter (an ICU and flight nurse) was there and took charge. Otherwise I would surely have tried to get up and would be dead or paralyzed from the neck down today. Anyway, she ordered that 911 be called (to which I responded with “bullshit”), ordered me not to move so much as a hair and stabilized my head until they got there.
So we took a very bumpy road (Alpine streets) to BBM Hospital where they did a MRI on my head and neck. The ER Dr. said it looked OK to him but the radiologist was in LasVegas so they had to beam the pics uprange to get someone who knew how to look at them.
As soon as they got the response they ordered an aircraft and began to prepare for the flight which had to come out of Carlsbad (or Roswell?) New Mexico. Ironically (or small world), the flight nurse on the crew had gone through training with my daughter. So the daughter got to ride to Odessa with us.
Leaving a bunch of run-around bullshit out, they finally got another MRI of the neck and X-rays for the lower Lombard region. The ER Dr. in Odessa was an idiot (told me I needed a colonoscopy and insisted on turning me on my side knowing that I had an unstable fracture at C2. Thought the daughter was going through the ceiling).
Anyway, finally got a trauma surgeon and a couple of neuro surgeon types to look at the pics and come to an agreement. The consensus was (is) that my spine is broken in 4 places. 3 of them in the lower area which they are not concerned about–they generally heal themselves.
But the C2 thing (in case you don’t know) is the 2nd vertebra below the skull. It is the one that controls speech. And that is why I felt the way I did when I was trying to talk to my son-in-law. If you recall, that is the one that got “Superman” (can’t remember the actor’s name).
So, you see, I’m gonna be out of commission for a while but at least the toes, fingers, arms and legs still wiggle. I consider myself very lucky because a fraction of an inch one way or the other and/or not having a competent “flight nurse” on site, it might have been a totally different story.
PS Anybody want to buy a good green broke gilding? (Just joking.)
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