Donna O'Donnell Figurski's Blog

It's All About Me!

TidBits About Donna #10 A Horse With a Sense of Purpose

A horse stepped on me and I never told my mother — well not until recently. My grade school friend, Cheryl, owned a horse and sometimes after school or on Saturday we went riding. The first time I went with Cheryl, we rode the horses in a corral. Actually, we were jumping the horses — just little jumps. I did well. I was proud of myself. I was fearless.

Then Cheryl showed my horse the whip and he freaked out. Can’t blame him! He whinnied and pranced around. Then I freaked out! Can’t blame me!  Next, without warning, my horse bolted towards the barn. Uh oh … the barn entrance had a very low clearance and my sitting atop the horse would not clear it. Visions of the headless horseman from Washington Irving’s story titled, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow raged through my brain. I did not like the image of me carrying my head around in the crook of my elbow for the rest of my life.

Before I could even think, I had an idea. Admittedly, in retrospect, it was not a good one, but it was the best I could muster as seconds passed and the barn door loomed closer. I did not want to be astride the horse as he neared his destination. And so I did what anybody would do … I jumped off.

My timing wasn’t great. As I threw my leg over the horse’s back, he went airborn. Between the horse and the barn door was the fence encircling the corral, which I had forgotten about. I guess it was only about four feet tall, but to me atop that horse galloping at full speed, it may as well have been to the moon. I was only a novice rider – I was not ready for this marathon jump.  So as my horse went up, I went down – under him.

When he landed, his foot grazed my leg. I was lucky that he didn’t crush it – or me for that matter. I was lucky that my leg didn’t break. Oh it was plenty black and blue and swollen for days. I hobbled around, but only when I was not in my mother’s sight. Then I pretended everything was all right. Like I said, my mother never knew. If she found out, she would have never let me go horseback riding again.

Actually, I didn’t ride much after that. Occasionally, as an adult, I rode my father’s horses when I visited Erie. And there was also a particularly memorable horse, named Pounder that I rode in Phoenix, Arizona with my sister-in-law, Carol. I spent a year at the chiropractor after spending an afternoon with him. Pounder’s name fit him well.

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January 26, 2010 - Posted by | Anything Writing, TidBits About Donna

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