Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Horsing Around -- Or Not

My daughter rides horses. Big horses that weigh hundreds of pounds more than she does. She has been riding nearly four years and is one of those people that has no horse fear and some kind of extra horse sense. Have you ever really realized how big their heads are?

One day at the farm, she was brushing a big horse, and she wanted to cross over to the other side, going under the horse's head. I watched her reach down and give the horse a little scratch on its front leg, as if to say, "I'm comin' under." That was the day I knew she was a real horse person. I probably would've taken a wide walk around the back to try to avoid getting kicked. Being kicked doesn't even cross her mind.

We have conversations frequently about whether she can have a horse. I'm not in favor of the idea, for I have no clue how to care for a horse. I'm sure her riding instructor Tina would board and deal with our horse, but I have enough other things to think about and pay for. I haven't completely ruled out the option of leasing a horse once Mia is able to work at the farm to help pay for part of the lease. But I've been waiting to see if her enthusiasm for horses holds tough once the teen years hit.

Today, that enthusiasm may have taken a ding. She fell off for the first time. On to her head, complete with a short blackout, which was a big area of concern for Husband and me, of course. When I picked her up from her riding lesson, she was sobbing and her head hurt. Tina said she thought the helmet took the brunt of the fall, but the fear of a concussion was real -- especially given all the media hype over the death of Natasha Richardson. Plus, a teacher at Mia's school recently died of head trauma after falling from a ladder in the auditorium. So our anxiety over head injuries is a little heightened.

More than anything, she was shaken that it had happened and already worried about next time. She did get back on the horse for a walk around the ring today, and says she'll go back next week, but not with the same certainty, I'm sure. I asked her what made her get back on, and she said it was because I've always told her that's what you have to do when you fall off. I wonder if that's really good advice. After all, it's the grandmother of all advices, isn't it?

We watched her all evening or any signs of a concussion, and I think she's fine. Not bouncing off the walls by any means, and she got herself emotionally worked up again before going to sleep. We will likely wake her up in a few hours to make sure she wakes up (advice from nurse grandma and doctor grandpa). I also asked that next time she falls, she sprains something and keeps her head out of the way. She didn't think that was funny.

(523 words)


  1. Oh, how scary. But you know, Ralf once fell on his head with his full weight (well in the shallow end of a pool, so maybe less weight but he was diving so i think it kind of averaged out) and was fine. You're doing the right things but it sounds like mostly out of the woods now. BTW that can't possibly be a picture of the horse she rides, right?

  2. No, that's not her horse. I just thought it was kind of funny.

  3. how pathetic that I have to learn about these things by reading your blog. I guess that's how busy life is right now.
    I'm so relieved that she is ok! Good thing for helmets!