This weekend I elected to stay behind and not go down to OU for our last IHSA horse show of the regular season. Because I had already pointed out of Intermediate and was now in Open, I wasn't necessarily needed as a point rider and it was much easier for me to stay and take care of John and Em instead of trying to find someone to take care of them...plus LEC was hosting a hunter/jumper show this Saturday and Sunday and I needed to work the hunter day for my Management of EQ Activities class. Friday was a late night...I didn't get out to the barn until almost 9:00pm and then didn't get home until midnight. By the time I showered and got into bed it was almost 1:30am. Saturday, J and I worked the hunter show. There was a super low turnout because of the weather so the show was over by 2pm which was SUPER awesome. After that I went to the barn and rode both Emmy and Johnny. John and I worked through his dressage test on a light draw rein so that I could work his inside shoulder a little better through the corners. He was amazingly good :) Maybe we will be ready for either the ICTA schooling show or a South Farm combined test? After him I rode Emmy, who was also good :) Stiff in her old age, but she loosened up and stretched down into her fabulous little hunter frame that she was once so good with.
Today J, L, and I went back to up to the LEC barn to watch the jumper show and to take care of J and C's horses. The show was going really well until one rider missed a SUPER tight turn to an in and out and crashed through the fence. Her horse, in an attempt not to step on the poor girl, tried to jump over her but there were poles flying every where and there was just no place for him to put his feet. In a last attempt, he leaped and kicked out with his hind legs just as the rider was starting to move as if she was going to get out. The sound of his hoof colliding with her helmet was the most sickening sound I've ever heard in my life. His hoof nailed her helmet and the rider fell back down and didn't move. I remember thinking "oh my god, she's dead" as the entire arena seemed to gasp at once and jump to their feet. For a second everything was silent and then the girl started screaming.
There was so much commotion so quickly, people running into the ring, someone grabbing the horse and about 4 people on walkie-talkies calling for an EMT and another 4 on cell phones calling for 911. It was absolutely terrifying. L, J and I all ran down into the ring to let the ambulance come through. The poor girl was rushed away to the hospital on a back board. I have no idea what happened after that....but I'm praying that she's alright. please keep her and the family in your prayers!
I have since vowed to never ride with a naked head again...not that I do very often, but there are times when I get laxed and just jump aboard without one. Not anymore! Her helmet saved her life! I hope that other riders take this warning and pay heed to it...after watching such a thing like this I won't ever ride without one!