Homeland Farm

Homeland Farm

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Beaten, Bruised and Battered ( and I dont mean fried clams)

Cliffy and a much more well behaved Standardbred- Sabre
    I went to the doctor 3 months ago for a very painful ankle. She ordered an x ray of the offending ankle. Later, when we meet at her office, she tells me that the x ray was not clear enough to really show her what was going on. Time for an MRI. I endured the MRI, (no fun, by the way)  and return to the office a month later. Hmmm....might need to now have a cat scan, to absolutely show whats going on in there. I was pretty sure the MRI would do that, but off I went for the cat scan.
     Back to her office. Again. Dr says 'well, I'd  really like you to go see another doctor.' WHAT THE!! Yes, apparently it looks like I need to have surgery, but she is not quite sure "how much" surgery, so she wants to get another doctors opinion.
Does that make me feel all confident in my choice of physician?? Umm..NO!
      While I was sitting on her exam table this last time, she asked if I had ever had an injury to my foot. I actually laughed out loud, as I have never been referred to as a graceful swan. No, I have always fallen more into the "bull in a china shop" category. Growing up on a farm and owning horses all my life, I have had plenty of opportunities for "injury".
      I remember one day I was riding our Standardbred ex racehorse, B.J. She was a huge horse, very tall and leggy. She could really move, and I loved to ride her, when she wasn't busy trying to kill me. We didn't have a bridle big enough to fit her large head, so I had to ride her with her halter and two lead ropes, which on a good day, she paid attention to. On a bad day, she couldn't have cared less about what I wanted. Oh, we had some interesting rides.
       On this particular day, I was riding her, and my faithful riding companion Zenya was riding on Ebony, our good natured, lazy old quarter horse. We had been on a nice ride down through the woods, and B.J. had been behaving wonderfully. Until, it came time to go home. Once I turned her head toward home, it was GO TIME. Off she went like, well, a race horse. She tore up that path and when it came time to make the last turn to go toward our gate, she really turned on the gas. She careened through the woods, branches and limbs slapping my face, hitting my head and arms, and totally ignoring my attempts to stop her.
       I was hollering "WHOA!! WHOA!!!" all the way through the woods, as we left Zenya and Ebony to slowly make their way home behind us. She blasted up that path, and then crashed into the closed gate, almost losing me out of the saddle. I was cut, scraped, had a hurt leg, and was madder then a wet hen.
       I jumped off that horse, and opened the gate, hollering and perhaps swearing, as I led her across the pasture to the corral. I got on her, and we had a nice long session of what I  called..." YOU WANNA RUN?? RUN!!" Around and around that corral we went, alternating running with a fast WHOA! We went full out galloping, from one side to the other, with me then yelling WHOA!! as we came to the fence. I swear, I did that for an hour, I was so mad. By the time we were done, Zenya and Ebony had quietly made their way out of the woods, and Zenya had unsaddled Ebony, brushed her, and fed her some oats. Then Zenya, stood and watched as B.J. learned what WHOA meant. She finally was doing exactly what I wanted her to do, and we were both exhausted, sweaty and ready to be done riding for that day.
         I lead her around the corral to cool off and brushed her, gave her a drink and told her I still liked her, but was glad we had come to an "agreement." I limped to the house, and later found a real nice bruise on my leg and knee from banging into the gate..or was it the tree? Hard to tell. I just remember it hurt.
         Another incident I remembered involved B.J. too, but this time, it wasn't her fault. I was riding alone, I believe on this occasion, and was down back in the woods behind the house. My mother was entertaining an elderly lady up at the house, so I thought I would take out my beautiful, bright red horse and make an impression. Boy did I.
          I saw them watching as B.J. and I trotted down back. She was an impressive sight, almost 17 hands with 4 white stockings and a big white blaze. I was doing my best "post", trying to look like a professional english rider, which was tough as I was riding an old western saddle.
        We turned at the back of the pasture, and started to trot back up toward the house, when it happened. B.J. started to buck, totally unexpected. She had done a lot of things with me, but had never bucked before, so I was not expecting it AT ALL.
        She did a couple of crow hops at first, and I was staying pretty well in my seat, but then it turned into all out, wild west, can she stay on 8 seconds cowboy bucking! I was all over that western saddle, and with every buck..I would HIT! THAT! SADDLE! HORN! with my, umm, "nether regions," lets just say.
       I can not say I was ever as happy to fall off a horse as I finally was at that moment. I just wish she was a shorter horse. That wasn't 5 feet off the ground, mid buck. I positively flew through the air, and crashed, totally winded, and in pain.
       I vaguely remember my mother and dear old Mrs.Vose rushing up to my gasping, groaning form on the ground. I do recall for some odd reason what Mrs. Vose said.
However, at the time, I didn't understand what she meant.
       She leaned over and looked at me writhing in agony and on the ground, and said to my mother "Oh dear, she hurt her growing area." I think it was health class where I later learned she probably meant my GROIN area. All I knew was there was no area of my person that didn't hurt, and I can honestly say it was a week or better before I could walk standing completely upright. The cause of that bucking bronco display? Several yellow jacket welts on B.J.'s butt and legs. Didn't even see them coming.
      So, when my doctor asked if I had ever had any 'injury'  to my feet, or leg I just had to laugh. There isn't much of me that has NOT had an injury. If I hadn't always had extra "padding", I would have certainly broken more bones then I did. That time, I only had a broken nose from when she was going up in that buck, and I was going down. Or was it from the time I ran into that low hanging branch.....or was it when I fell down leading one of the horses and she jumped over me, hitting my face with the stirrup...or was it from that time when...

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