My next door neighbour Carmel and her neighbour on the other side Carol, immediately jumped into action and corralled our terrified horses into an area where they could catch and calm them. Both ladies in their late 50’s, knew how to keep their energy low and create an environment that would allow them to pacify Samson and Dallas long enough to be able to take their reins from the ground and lead them to safety.
David, meanwhile, was leaning over me trying to monitor my heart rate and bring me back to consciousness, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Ambulances.
Only a few hours earlier, I was sitting on Samson admiring what was truely a magnificent Autumn day. The sun kissed my bare forearms and the gentle breeze made my hair dance with delight. It was great to be outside in the crispness of the morning, watching the ducks frolic on the dam as it tossed out sparkles that could outshine a diamond, only to be topped by the serenading call of the kookaburra in the wild.
As I put the saddle on his back, Samson snuffed with delight at the thought of an early morning excursion. His fine black hair brushed perfectly to allow the black and red saddle rug to snuggle against his skin. We were both looking forward to today.
With my foot in the stirrup, I climbed aboard and did all of the safety checks. All was in order and I guided him out of the round yard and into the paddock to head for the trails. David was on Dallas and she was also excited about the next few hours that took them out of the yard. The anticipation grew as we all headed for the gate.
It was within a split second that I lost control. My overconfidence of being in the secure surrounds of my own backyard paddock, lead to complacency, which in turn, lead to a fleet of ambulances arriving at my home.
Suddenly Samson broke into a gallop. My feet weren’t in the stirrups, and as I struggled to regain my balance, I pulled the reins tighter as though encouraging him to run faster. I heard David yelling to go into the Emergency Stop routine, but I was too far gone and couldn’t control it.
Just like a car, the second you become complacent, the second you get distracted and the second you forget to lead, is the second that you have lost control.
After I hit the ground, I was dazed but very conscious. David jumped off Dallas and ran over to me. I laughed and said how stupid I was for not paying attention. I specifically remember Samson’s head above mine as he looked down over me as if to say “what are you doing down there, I thought we were going for a ride?”.
David and I sat and talked for about 15 minutes whilst the horses grazed casually behind us. When I truely felt OK, David stood and reached out to pull me up off my sitting position on the ground, and suddenly, I took a fit, went blind, started convulsing and drifted into unconsciousness.
David rolled me into the comber position, and ran to the house to call for help. The horses were still tacked up and the sudden change of energy heightened their fear and they began to run uncontrollably around my body.
Carmel and Carol were having a chat over their fence when they heard the ambulance and saw the horses all tacked running wildly around the yard. Without a second thought, they ran over to our property, jumped the fences and grabbed the horses. They took them over to Carmel’s yard and allowed the ambulances to work in safety to establish my injuries and the best course of action.
As I was carted off to hospital, David collected some things for me to stay in hospital and Carmel and Carol fed the animals, untacked the horses and watered them down and kept everything under control on the home front without having to be asked or instructed.
Carmel and her husband John have been key in my road to recovery, but I know that the most important thing to acknowledge is that I am friends with my neighbours and that they made a difficult and stressful time bareable for all of us.
Carmel and Carol, in case I haven’t said it often enough, thanks for helping out that day. It was a day I want to forget, but the lessons are something I will carry with me forever.
Follow my blog next week to witness how this accident has helped me grow into a leader and better business woman.