Post by dextergal on Jan 22, 2015 16:44:43 GMT -5
So I've always wanted to write out this life changing event that happened about three years ago that changed my perspective on everything. And, I finally did it. As for what happened to me, I walked away with only minor back problems. Also, I made myself sound like a complete snob in this, which I actually wasn't, and most of the dialogue I made up honestly. But, I hope you enjoy. (:
More then just a barrel race. By Dejah Maynard.
Faster, faster, kick. We must win, must get a good time-the words almost all successful barrel racer have spoke in there career. In this case, those were the words I had yelled many times the day of the Sutherlin Stampede gaming show barrel race. I was on top of the world. Valentine, my white dappled Appaloosa Quarter horse mare, was hot and ready to run. I waited. Anxious, ready to race a top speed in the classic clover leaf pattern, ready to hear the roar of the crowd when I cross the finish line, ready to win. I didn’t even think about how bad of a toll this day could take. How Valentine might not even be able to make it home. All I thought about was winning. Like most competitive equestrians do, but I guess the later events of the day put me in perspective. As it should anyone, and I'm grateful for it.
“Tehya is up, Tabitha in on deck, and Dejah is in the hole.” Three more riders, then me. My turn to run, yes. I reached down and gave my trusty, uneasy steed a nice pat on the neck.
“so, who do you think will win?” a familiar voice spoke, it took me a few moments to break from my thoughts of victory and put the words to a face. Trinity, my old friend Trinity.
“Huh? Oh yeah. Well, Valentine is feeling her oats today. I think we have a 95% chance of winning. Wouldn’t you say?” I said, while being well aware of Trinity’s look of disgust of my mare. But I didn’t care. I was going to win.
“Well, I think-” Trinity began before getting cut off by the telecoms saying, “Dejah Maynard on Valentine is up.” That’s my cue. My turn to prove what I've got. To run the clover leaf pattern in less than 15 seconds and claim my way to victory.
We entered the arena, Valentine prancing with approval, dust surrounded us as we made three large circles in the arena before beginning our run. Then we were off! We crossed the timer, now from this moment on, every second counts. We ran towards the first barrel. Faster, I gave her some spur, a light whip of the over and under, well hissing at Valentine to run. Faster. I began to check her back as we were about two feet from the barrel. We're going to make it, make a good time. I had such high hopes about this run. Then everything changed in less then a second. We began to spin around the first Budweiser barrel. Then it happened, Valentine lost her footing as we spun around the first, she slipped. Valentine did a somersault as she tripped on her own front feet. She then went down head first, catapulting me into the dirt. I remember glancing behind me, peering through the dust, only to see Valentine crashing down behind me, I remember feeling the saddle horn hit my lower back as she rolled over me, while struggling with everything her her not to. I don’t remember much after that. But I do remember waking up in the dirt. Not sure of what just happened, I glanced around, frantic, with my baby nowhere in site. Mike, the arena man, came running out into the arena and lifted me to my feet, and I still wasn’t aware of the pain in my back just yet due to all the adrenaline. I leaned onto Mike for support as we walked out of the arena, then I saw her. I was greatly relieved when I saw Valentine soundly standing, but alarmed when I noticed she was surrounded by frantic people. As I pushed my way thought the people, reality set in, my sister in-law, Chelsea, glanced up at me with worry in her eyes as she hovered over her right leg. Blood. I saw lots and lots of blood flowing out of Valentines Artery. I got sick and blacked out again, but the next thing I knew people were calling vets for me and a lady offered to drive us to the nearest vet. So I hopped into the truck, and it seemed like the longest drive ever.
We finally were greeted by the warming smile of the Vet as we were taking Valentine out of the trailer. The procedure to stop the bleeding took about an hour, but all I remember was relief. Relief of knowing I was in a safe place for my mare, and that it would be alright. After lots of topical ointment for her wounds, shots for her eye of which she has also wounded, and love Valentine had fully recovered over a period of four weeks. I'm still mad about the fact that I pushed her, not caring about my horse, but only about winning.
This event, this event that happened three years ago in the Sutherlin arena, in just one day, changed the way I look at equestrians, my horse, humanity, and time. It made me realize that there is so much more to life than winning, its about the animal who accompanies you along the way. It also made me realize that in this life, everything could end in less then five seconds. Either for me, my horse, or both. It restored my faith in humanity and equestrians, because I always launched onto the classic stereotype of horse people, the classic “I'm not going to help you.” But here I was, surrounded by random people I didn’t even know, who were driving me places, calling people, grabbing medical supplies trying to help my mare.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, this simple life event made me value every second of life so much more, every second I spend with my mare. And made me realize that nothing is about winning, and if I do win something, that's great, but it's about the time I spend on the back of my best friend, Valentine.