Last summer I graduated from NHB Deurne. I studied Equestrian Sports. My main focus was dressage, but because it was an allround study, I also had show jumping lessons. Show jumping made me very uncomfortable, I was scared because I could not always see the distance. On thursdays we had to jump a course for a mark to track our progress.
This one time, 17th of december 2016, I was really nervous. My instructor was sitting behind the border and a few students where watching. The warming up went okay, not brilliantly but fine. I think it was the 6th jump where it all went wrong. The jump was close to the border, so my horse was supposed to turn to the left right after the jump.
At the 5th jump I forgot where to go next, missed the 6th jump and I had to jump the 5th one again. The second time my jumped but I felt that he did not take the bit. The only thing I could do at that point was to sit tight and hope he would jump the next one too. And he did. Unfortunately in stead of turning to the left, my horse ran off to the right and I got swept off my horse. I could see that border come closer and closer. In a split second I thought that if I would hold on to the reins, maybe I would be able to land on my feet. Not… In a high speed my body turned because I was still holding on to the reins and my horse continued running. I landed on my backside on the sand, my knees were up, my feet on the ground. The high speed made my head and neck bump against the border.
All of a sudden everyone was silent. For a minute or so, there was complete silence.
The bumb created a terrible loud sound. I remember just sitting there. I had this pain in my head. My instructor came to see if I was allright.
Meanwhile, my horse took off and ran into the other arena where my fellow students were riding and jumping to warm up their horses. A friend of mine told me she had to run very fast to the doors, because my horse almost got out. My horse caused a dangerous situation, but nothing happend with the other students and their horses. Someone, I don’t remember who, brought my horse back to me.
When you are riding a horse and you fall off, the most important thing is to get back in the saddle right away (that is if you are not injured of course). Otherwise the fear will only grow stronger. So that was what I did. My instructor helped me get back on and I finished the course with a terrible headache and a shaking body from the adrenalin.
The moral of this story is that whatever happens, don’t give up on your dreams. Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly. Your dream doesn’t have an experation date. Take a deap breath and try again. The one who falls and gets up, is so much stronger than the one who never fell.
You probably wonder what happened to me after that. After I groomed my horse I started to relax. That’s the point when you really start to feel the pain. After a few minutes I wasn’t able to turn my head anymore. Two of my friends drove me to the hospital. I got x-rayed and the docters made an MRI to make sure I didn’t break my neck. And I didn’t. Luckily for me I wore my helmet, which by the way was required, otherwise I would probably have broken my skull. I had a bad concussion for two weeks, it lasted the whole Christmas break and my neck was bruised for 5 weeks. I had fysiotherapy two times a week and couldn’t ride untill my neck was healed.