I seem to remember bouncing as a child, falling down and just getting back up again. I’d fall off of a horse, dust myself off and get back on again, storming ahead with more vigour than I did before.
Now… Not so much.
Gravity and a horse decided to conspire against me yesterday when I was pulled mercilessly from the beast’s back and deposited right in the middle of a busy tar road. I fell so hard that I felt my hip bounce off of the tar and strike it again. Unlike in my pre-adult youth, I didn’t just get back up again. No, I was still dragged around as the horse struggled to get away as well (with me clinging to the reins like an idiot…). I should add at this point that I didn’t fall from my own steed. He has more manners than the gelding I rode on Tuesday. I ride this horse as a favour for a friend. He’s… considerably wilder than Basjan. More full of boisterous youth and certainly youthful manners (read none).
And he’s bigger.
And he bucks.
I should’ve known that it was going to happen at some point or another. Let me rephrase, I knew that it was going to happen at some point or another. It was inevitable. I haven’t fallen from a horse in more than 18 months. I have a pretty firm seat in general and it takes quite a lot to get me unseated.
Of course, yesterday it only took a couple of seconds of dropping my guard.
The accident happened like this. We were trying to get over a busy road (my friend on her stallion and I on this gelding). I should’ve gone in front, but the gelding was fussing so I made a small circle. Meanwhile a gap in traffic opened up and my friend decided to push her horse over the road. He didn’t like it and stopped dead. Seeing a potential problem, I pushed my own horse forward, kicked him perhaps a bit too hard and was rewarded by a wonderfully high rodeo like buck. I sat the first one (sort of) but then there was the second. The horse jumped into the air again and spun around in a tight circle. I lost my balance, fell over his shoulder, got my foot caught in the stirrup so that I was wrenched around in the air so that I fell on my right side even though I was tipped off on the left. Sometimes I don’t remember falling, but this time hitting the tar road was unforgettable. My hip exploded in pain and my arm was almost wrenched out of my shoulder socket as the horse tried to run home. The only good this did was drag me out of the tar road. I got up as quickly as I could, my ego bruised and mentally tallying all the witnesses and my friend dutifully grabbed my horse as I took stock of my limbs. I could tell immediately that my ankle was going to be a problem. Although I doubt I broke it or tore the ligaments, it’s most definitively sprained. It’s swollen enough to be. And, although it’s not very blue – my hip (the initial contact point) certainly makes up for it in colour.
I got back on again, and we completed a 5 mile ride, but towards the end of it, I told my friend that we had to slow down. I was in agony. Years ago, I’d have stepped away from this fall without a scratch. Now, I could hardly move, let alone drive back home when we finally reached the stables.
They say that gravity is a constant, that it affects all of us in roughly the same way, but I would like to disagree with that. The moment your DNA’s telomeres start shortening past the prime mark, you’re done for. Your body composition alters and… Where you are left at the mercy of the force that Newton discovered at the hand of an apple.
I might bounce on tar, but light be, I don’t do it gracefully.