Recently I got kicked by a horse while I was doing natural horsemanship. The horse was my best friend, but we have had some relationship issues lately so I tried to re build our relationship with ground work. Once I was kicked I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t get any air I thought I was going to die. That my lung would just give out on me as dramatic as it sounds if anyone has ever been kicked they know that they feel like they can’t get any air in there lungs. Especially if they are kicked in the chest. I was kicked in my first rib right under below my left breast. About 2 minutes later I thought I was screaming “help” no reply another 2 minutes go by and finally someone hears me after I “scream” help again. I wasn’t actually screaming it was a small cry for help a whisper. They didn’t hear me they just saw me on the ground. The scary part was it felt like a scream but it wasn’t. I was in a shock. A pale face, I couldn’t breath I just saw bright white spots. Then I saw all white. About 3 minutes later everything went from white to blury. I closed my eyes hoping the headache would fade and that my vision would be clean, but everything was just a dark spinning horror. They said “call an ambulance!” “Should we call Skye?” I said “no I’m fine just give me a minute.” Very quietly. That’s all I could say I could barley talk. I didn’t want time off I didn’t want to go to the hospital. I thought maybe in a couple hours of laying here I will be okay. They called the ambulance immediately. Once the ambulance came I just went numb. I could barely talk and the severe pain of them moving me I just tried to blank out.

Once I was in the ambulance my trainer came and I was so thankful to have her by my side. They gave me tons of pain killers and i started to feel more alive. The scary part was my head was in severe pain. Once they gave me pain killers my head was in more pain then the kick. I was laying on a wood board for 45 minutes because the hospital was so far. Strapped down I was unable to move my legs straight down they had to be half up because I couldn’t breath. 25 minutes into the drive the pain came back is started crying I was so depressed and in pain.

They rushed me into the ER right away. It looked like 10 surgeons and doctors was swarming all over me cutting my nice riding clothes off and I just felt numb in tears. They doses me with so much pain medication. As we waited for the results my trainer came in to comfort me, I was crying for 6 hours straight. After 3 hours of waiting in the ER on a wood board dosed on pain medication they finally told me that the horse punctured 2 lungs, and I was lucky that it rebooted and I got oxygen. I stayed overnight and was awake in pain all night.

The nurses were very nice and made me feel better. Once I was discharged they told me I had to have 2 weeks off and the pain would get worse. I was just thinking pain worse then this that’s terrible!

Once I got home I was just sleeping no energy to do I was thankful to have such a supportive team around me who gave me some time to heal. I was back working 6 days later but still in a lot of pain. I just couldn’t stay away from the horses. I haven’t ridden yet just doing basic cleaning and stuff around the barn.

For anyone who’s suffered the pain of being kicked or have had a horse injury give yourself healing time and don’t push yourself to much. I have NAYC in New York coming up at the end of the month so I am giving myself healing time and trying not to push myself too much at work. I know as a working student or trainer it can be hard not to work full days, and be at the barn 24/7 but I realized how important self care is and your health is the day I got injured.

By Skye Simpson Dressage Shares Insight on the Sport

Skye Simpson is an FEI Dressage & Natural Horsemanship Trainer located in Banning, California.

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