Sunday, September 11, 2016

3 broken ribs but I am blessed!

My last blog post was titled "Did you Know" and the first line of the post was "I am still alive?"

Well.  I am still alive and I give all of the credit to God as with what I went through, I could very easily...and am surprised that I am not...dead.

Here is the story, taken from my personal Facebook page.

The jeans I wore yesterday on our outing with the horses lay crumpled and dirty on the floor of our bedroom this morning. I could not help but notice the tag as I slowly stooped down to pick them up. I took them off just before 4 pm yesterday, right before we headed to the emergency room.
GRACE is going along a rocky trail, on an even rockier mountain (by "rock" I mean boulder) when your lead horse, a mustang named Norm, comes face to face with a loose dog just as he took those last few steps to clear the top of the long climb up. Norm spooked, did an about face leaving Calvin on the ground of the trail. Norm ran towards Ruger. I believe Ruger must have been in that "just keep taking steps~thinking about nothing at all and not paying attention to anything" phase of his journey because as soon as I said, "Easy Norm" Ruger sprung to life, did his own about face and both horses took off running down the trail. Only thing is, Ruger didn't leave me on the trail! Both horses continued to race on this narrow, rock trail. I am not positive of what happened next. Either Norm bumped Ruger off the trail, I over corrected him to allow room for Norm and directed him off the trail (at that point, I SWEAR Norm was dragging Calvin along but that was not true, Calvin was left exactly where Norm turned) or Ruger just made a decision to leave the trail and race down the boulder mountain! My local friends, and some who have visited the area, will know exactly at what place this happened when I say that we were right at the top of the Elkhorn Trail looking WAY down into Dutch Flats.
As Ruger raced down this rock mountain with me screaming the most terrified screams that have ever come from my body, and the lady who had the dog creaming, "Oh God, oh God", I felt I had no option but to bail off. Had he begun rolling, I would have been smashed for sure...and broken very badly. There is not soft way to bail off a horse on a rock mountain. He was moving so fast that I could not just pick and choose either. I released my right foot from the stirrup and just layed back to the left hoping for the best. I hung onto his reins as long as I could hoping to stop him but he was moving too fast and was too strong and big for me to maintain so after a few tumbles, I let go of the reins praying that he would soon stop. I remember the lady still screaming "Oh God" and as soon as I landed I turned back up to see Calvin (I was still worried about him being drug by Norm!). I yelled to him, "I am okay...go get Norm!" and the lady also asked if I was okay to which I said "yes, I just have to get my horse!". I remember as I sat up, "Well, that wasn't so bad" and I thought for sure that the arms of God must have laid me down. Ruger was below me and he had stopped, actually in a not-so-bad spot where I could easily get him, but as I began to scoot down he spooked (he was trembling, sweaty, breathing very hard) and took another bumbling journey further down the hill. Where he stopped terrified me. He could not go down any further without taking a very long drop to his death. I just kept saying, "I am coming to get you baby...I am coming, just stay. Trust me, I am coming to get you. I will get you out of there."
I talked to him as I took slow steps to where he was. I could feel discomfort in my left ribs and on my left hip but I was amazed that my legs felt perfect. I got to that edge where he was. There was a rock to his left that was about his ankle highth and a small tree to his right that wasn't even as tall as my belly. There was a pretty significant rock in front of him but I felt I could get him over that and headed back up the hill if he would listen to every command I gave him. He was trembling and shaking. He gave me his head and instantly searched for my breath. We exchanged breaths, I told him I was so sorry and I rubbed his face and head and told him it was going to be okay. I was going to help him out but he had to listen to me...every word and do everything exactly as I told him. He relaxed and when I felt he was ready to move I told him that this first obstacle would be the hardest. I instructed him to walk over that rock, not step on me and make a hard turn to the right once over the rock. He did exactly as I told him. He began shaking again and I reassured him that it was going to be okay. The next two obstacles were very hard again but again, he did everything exactly as I instructed and we finally got to a place where there was a "path" of sorts for us to follow back up to the trail. As soon as he too saw that path, his confidence returned and we "easily" made it to the trail. I had to turn back up the trail to retrieve one of Calvin's items and I spoke to Ruger the entire time telling him that we WERE done and just be patient, we will go back down. I placed the item over the saddle horn and told Ruger that now we had to turn around on the trail and head back down. He turned without incident (and without knocking me back over the mountain) and at that moment, after our first few steps, I began to cry and praise God. Almost simultaneously, I saw Calvin and Norm walking back up the trail. "Are you okay" and thank God exchanges were made, kisses were had and we all headed back down the trail. We were NOT riding but all 4 of us walked the 2 1/2 miles back to the trailer. I became more sore with each mile but still thought..."Oh God....I am alive! Ruger is alive!" I had told Calvin that I should probably go and get checked as I was worried about internal injuries. Ruger was holding up his rear right leg at first but he became stronger with every step. He did have some cuts and removed a lot of the hair from his rear left leg. All in all though, he looked dang good!
I called the vet office on the way down the mountain asking if he could be seen (Norm had two minor cuts so he was fine) but they could not see him. Since he was showing no pain by the time we got to the trailer anyway, I felt that we could treat him at home.
Ha....this is how this girls heart works: It was time to feed Toby his lunch. Ruger needed washed up and his wounds treated. So, instead of going right to the ER when we were back into town, we first came home, fed Toby, washed Rugers wounds and THEN went to the ER. We had to call our son Bobby to release Toby from his feeding pen and to fill the hay bags for the others for the night, to which he was able to do. The ER was BUSY! We were checked in at 4 pm but didn't get taken to an exam room until 6:30 (I think). I was really hurting by then but there were folks waiting with much more critical stuff than me.
In a nutshell. after a miriade of tests including my first ever CT scan (that wasn't bad at all unlike I have heard) I have just 3 broken ribs :) They monitored my heart and blood tests through the evening as there was an enzyme that is only found in the heart that was elevated. The heart can be jarred in incidents like this but there wasn't a change in the tests from test to test so instead of putting me in the ICU, they allowed me to go 12:41 in the morning.
Of course I have abrasions and more bruises are showing up as this day wears on, but all in all, I feel pretty darn good and and so very, VERY grateful to be alive today. And my husband and both horses are alive today! God was with us. GRACE was expelled upon us.
I have some pretty pictures to share (in another post) because up until that point, it was a glorious day....actually, it remained glorious, if you ask me :)
And a few pictures to show the area where we were.  
This first one is where we were headed...directly between those two peaks at the top of that mountain.  You can see the trail going between the peaks:
That mountain is rugged and rocky.  
Here is a picture I took of my husband as we gained altititude on that trail:

Here is a photo my husband snapped of me as we neared the top.  WHY he had his camera out on this trail is beyond me! And why my horse was so close to the edge here is also beyond me!  Good thing I didn't know he was!  LOL
I believe it was right by this tree that I brought Ruger up off of the side of the mountain after his plunge down.  

Again, my husband had his camera out near the top of the trail.  This shows the boulders and steepness of where we were.  There is no-where to go but down and over rocks should one leave the trail!  I don't think this is exactly where I went over but it is very close to where I did. 

I have 3 broken ribs but I am NOT complaining...and I don't have to work at not complaining, I am truly, truly grateful that I and my horse is alive and my husband and the other horse have just a couple of superficial wounds each. 

God is SO good. 

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