“Beginning of the end.”
With many newspapers arriving in the mailbox July 12, significance of the date came to mind.
Eight years ago (two-thirds of 12), it was July 12, the 12thhorse of the day, 112 degrees, 4 o’clock (one-third of 12), the 24th (two times 12) ride on that horse, and we fell off.
Landing on our left shoulder, we didn’t feel any pain. But, when we started to stand, our arm seemingly stayed on the ground, such that we had to “pick it up.”
We didn’t dare turn the arm loose from our right hand grip, in fright that it might completely “drop off.”
Numerous x-rays revealed that the upper arm had three breaks in one bone.
A special doctor performed surgery necessary to straighten the arm, with a long nail driven lengthwise inside the bone and bolted just above our elbow.
There was never any hurting, but the cast and sling put a damper on riding, as the doctor ordered us to “stay off” the 15 colts stalled in our barns.
That directive didn’t upset us like we would have predicted. However, we were “quite gun shy,” for lack of a better description.
Our attitude changed about the “romance,” and our philosophical challenge, that we’d “always take any horse” to ride with buoyancy we could make it into a useable mount, even when others couldn’t.
Actually, it was 24 days, before we started riding again, and another 24 days before climbing on a horse that hadn’t been ridden previously.
Never has our riding confidence of earlier days returned.
When another horse jumped four years ago, and we were flipped head-first over his head landing flat on our back, there was what the doctor diagnosed as a “compressed fracture of the third lumbar in the lower vertebrae,” or something. “That speeded up the end.”
Falling off four more times in the next 12 months brought down our horse training shingle.
No loss of adrenalin to ride all of the time, but we now “pick our horses.” The stallion we raised and have started riding is handled with extreme caution.
Reminds us of Ecclesiastes 3:11: “He hath made everything beautiful in his time, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”