On Friday, February 3rd, I was having a beautiful round in the junior hunters at HITS Coachella in Thermal, CA. As we came to the first jump of the last line of the course, the horse I was catch riding didn’t pick up his feet to jump (likely distracted by a light, shadow, or any number of other things). Instead, he hit the 3'3" jump with his chest, his hind end came up, and he flipped completely over, throwing me headfirst into the ground. (I have no memory of the event or the day that it happened; I know all of this only from descriptions by witnesses and people who watched the video of the incident.)
It’s a miracle that I was thrown far away enough to not be crushed by his body, and that my brain trauma didn’t exceed that of a bad concussion. My helmet (and a bit of raw luck) saved my life.
It was a freak accident unrelated to the horse’s ability, rider error, or jump height. No matter your (or your horse’s) age, level, or experience, please: wear a helmet. It takes so little for a situation to go so wrong. #mindyourmelon
(The horse I was riding is eating, drinking, begging for carrots, and continuing to make stable improvements at the rehabilitation center.)