Okay, before you panic… don’t worry, no one has a concussion. But I did give my Daddy a concussion once, way back when we lived in New York. Why do I mention this now, you wonder? Well, the memory just popped into my head… and I’ll tell you why.
With the weather being how it is – and being cooped up in the small paddocks for a couple days – I have a lot of energy. I just can’t sit still! There’s not enough room to gallop in those little paddocks! And I know I’m not technically allowed to gallop, but I just have so much energy that I can’t help it! I need to run!
Anyway, yesterday morning, when Mommy turned me out, I bucked and jumped and squealed and kicked… and then, imagining that I was a big, wild horse getting ready to fight for my freedom, I reared up and pawed at the sky!
And then, of course, I took off bucking again.
As I was cantering around the paddock, doing rollbacks and being silly to get out some of my energy, I couldn’t help but realize that the small paddock is about the same size as the arena I used to ride in when I lived at my friend Cooper’s barn. So, thinking back to those days when I lived in NY, I took a gallop straight at the fence of the paddock, and then stopped as quickly as I could before I ran into it. And that’s when the memory popped into my head.
You see, there was a big storm in New York, and lots of trees blew over into the street. Well, a couple days after the storm, Daddy was riding me in Cooper’s arena – Mommy was giving us a lesson. Out in the street, a bunch of big trucks were cleaning up the fallen trees, throwing them into these big grinders that turned them into shavings. For the most part, I really didn’t mind. But as Daddy and I cantered around the arena, there was a big, LOUD noise from the street as another tree was dropped clumsily into the grinder thing. For some reason, this particular noise caught me off guard, and I spooked and took off! I was still only a little 4-year-old back then, so I completely forgot that my Daddy was on my back. I ran down the canter of the arena, straight toward the fence at the opposite end; Daddy thought I was going to jump out, so when he realized he didn’t have time to stop me, he got into his half seat and prepared himself for the big leap.
But… I didn’t jump out. I was going to, but I panicked at the last second and, instead, I ducked to the left, accidentally tossing Daddy over my head… and into the fence. Now, Mommy and Daddy both always wear helmets when they ride, and it’s a good thing, too – because Daddy hit the fence head first, and then fell and hit his head again on the big water bucket that was near the arena’s gate.
As soon as I realized I’d thrown him, I stopped and trotted over to where he was laying in the dirt. Mommy ran over to him and asked if he was okay, and he said, “I will get back on, just give me a second! I didn’t bail that time!” Mommy and I exchanged a puzzled look, and then Mommy asked him again, “James, are you alright? You hit your head pretty hard.”
Daddy looked at her again and said, “What time is it? I didn’t bail that time, he threw me. I didn’t jump off. I didn’t bail. Give me a minute, I’ll get back on.”
Mommy realized then that Daddy probably had a mild concussion, and she told him to sit for a minute while she ran to get him some water and a cold, wet cloth to clean his face.
Finally, when Daddy had a drink and had cleaned up a little bit, he asked Mommy what happened, and she told him. Daddy insisted that he didn’t have a concussion… but Mommy and I both knew better. Even so, Daddy insisted that he needed to get back on and finish riding, and Mommy let him.
Needless to say, I was on my best behavior from that point on. I can’t even explain to you how guilty I felt for throwing and hurting my Daddy, and I made sure to block out all of the scary noises for the rest of that ride.
When Mommy rode me yesterday, I was feeling jumpy and spooky like that day when I threw Daddy – but I still had that memory in my head, so I tried my best to focus on Mommy and what she was asking me to do, instead of on the wind and all the scary noises it was making. All in all, we had a really good ride.
I’m in the little paddock again today, since it’s been snowing lightly, but the sun is supposed to come out later (according to the weatherman in Mommy’s phone, who is very rarely right about his predictions), so I hope that Mommy and I will get to ride.
But you know what the GREAT NEWS is, even if I don’t get to ride later? My Daddy comes home today!
I can’t wait to see him. He said that he’s going to come see me as soon as he gets back to Tennessee. He’s going to get off the plane, get into the truck, and come straight to the barn because he misses me that much! And I miss him that much, too! So Daddy, if you’re reading this – have a safe trip home, and I’ll see you this evening!
And as for the rest of you… I’ll catch y’all tomorrow! Stay warm, friends!