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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

JJ: Hissy Fit II

The next snake episode wasn't quite as funny, even in hindsight. We'd hauled the horses up the road to where we wanted to explore and parked. I unloaded Dani from the trailer, saddled her up for a cow-scouting trip, got my gear in order, and mounted up. Then I made the mistake of riding her into the shallow ditch on the opposite side of the road while I was gawking at the hills and waiting for the others to mount up. It was a mistake because I didn't see the loop of wire sticking up out of the ground. Dani didn't see it either, so when her hock brushed it and it vibrated she assumed it was one of those sneaky snake things again, trying for an ankle hold. She started skittering sideways in a bouncy maneuver that left me hanging off the right side of the saddle with a death grip on the reins and whatever else I could get a grip on. I don't really know what happened next -- suddenly I was heading for the ground and Dani was falling on me. I guess I overbalanced her but I am sure of only a couple of things: I landed more or less parallel to her, my feet were out of the stirrups, and I had the reins in my hand. She rolled sideways over the top of me, the fork of the saddle grazed my shoulder, the saddle horn dug into the ground beside me, and the skirt of the saddle embossed itself on my chest. (I remember watching that horn. Don't ask me why. Everything else was blurred.) She did a complete 360 degree sideways roll and scrambled back to her feet, and when she stood stood up she drug me up too, by the reins that I was till clinging to. I THINK I still had my glasses and hat on. Things were a little hazy just then. If I hadn't had the extra help getting up I would probably have laid there and felt sorry for myself for a while. As it was, it took a second or two for me to start breathing again, and when I did, it hurt. It also took a minute for my legs to start working properly again, time that I spent hanging on to Dani. When asked, I said that I was all right, and answered the second question with "Yes, I am SURE I am all right" but I might have been lying, because my ribs were telling me that they weren't all right. What I was actually thinking was " Oh, this hurts!" followed by "Oh my, this hurts!" (This was kind of a unique situation -- usually when I goofed with a horse the first question anybody asked was if the HORSE was all right. By the time that question came my way this time I'd checked her over and could say that she was all right, nothing broken or even scraped.) I managed to get back in the saddle -- away from the ditch -- and we went off scouting for stray cattle, just like we'd planned. The rest of the day went by without a hitch. Dani may have been a little more sedate than usual and I was probably a little quieter than normal, but there wasn't any more drama. Yeah, I was very, very lucky. I think my Guardian Angel ended the day a little grayer and more tattered than I did. And I am not sure my ribs have been the same since. TBC (Me)