It’s crazy how time flies by.
Exactly two years ago, Talo fell on me in a weird, stupid, unlucky accident. We’ve just finished riding and I took him to the turn-out. There was a hose on the floor. Just a piece of looped, unused hose, and it somehow got tangles around Talo’s hind legs. Talo got scared, I tried to set him free and calm him down, but instead I managed to fall down, and mere seconds after that, Talo fell on me.
He immediately got back up, my not-so-little horse, but the damage was done – I broke my ankle and my pelvis (in three places), spent some time in the hospital and then – home rehabilitation for a couple of months. It was the beginning of the covid-19 epidemic, too.
I was so angry. Not only about being so clumsy and stupid (of course I blamed myself, it wasn’t Talo’s fault). I was angry because the doctors provided very little information about what’s the rehab gonna look like, and I was pissed because the internet didn’t provide me with the answers I needed. I wanted to know what’s my life gonna look like, how long it’s going to take to heal, and when will I be able to ride my horse again. I couldn’t find the detailed answers I was looking for, so I wrote them myself – in the form of a book. The book tells the story of the accident, but mostly it tells the story of the healing process and my personal thoughts on the matter.
A serious orthopedic injury is a life-changing event. It changes not only your routine, but the way you look at things. It was a wonderful wake-up call that reminded me what most of us like to repress: life is fucking short. It’s fragile, too. And since they are so fleeting, there’s no reason for you to spend them on other people’s bullshit and drama. There’s no time for that. It’s really pointless to seek trouble – at any given moment, trouble may find you. So why give it any more chances to do so?
I learned a lot during my healing journey. I learned about the importance of family; I learned who my friends are (and mostly who aren’t); I learned to walk away from toxic people; I learned about the miracle that is physiotherapy; I was reminded that I can deal with adversity rather well, but I also learned how to ask for help; I learned that progress isn’t linear; I learned that time tables are mostly irrelevant when it comes to the human body; I learned to patient (and I’m EXTREMELY impatient); I learned that pain is an integral part of life, and that running away from it won’t help me – the only way to deal with it is to dive into it, head-on, experience it in full and come out clean and clear at the other side; I learned (again) the importance of living in the NOW, and I also learned, that as long as you have joy in your heart, you’ll never be beaten.
All this and much more is available in my book.
SPOILER ALERT: three months after the injury, I was back on Talo’s back. Five glorious minutes of sitting on my horse, using a bareback pad. That was a moment of triumph for me, and still it was a first step towards going back to full riding (and life) activity. Let me tell you, my fellow equestrians – nothing opens your joints like riding a horse. Even my check-up doctor, who at first was horrified to hear that I’ve gone back to riding, ended up as a convert and understood the truth we all know – every ride is a therapeutic ride.
My motivation wasn’t just about walking again, or going back to my routine. I wanted to get back to riding and being with my horse, every single day. That was my goal, and that was the thing that dictated my every move since the injury. There were no miracles involved. It was a good cocktail of family support, rest, lots of ice cream and steaks, two amazing aunts that pampered me endlessly, one cat that was kidnapped to my father’s house, so he can stay with me while I healed, a super-pro physiotherapist, tons of exercises, and eventually – one super-special horse, who indeed broke some of my bones, but healed me through and through – before and after I was injured.