Samson Bit Me! April 16 2010, 0 Comments
The cruel hand of fate has dealt me an unexpected blow. I was at the barn Monday night after a 12-hour day of work and various mom duties. I was feeling strung out, sorry for myself and somewhat adrift. So I went to pick up the girl around 8 p.m., and I brought some treats and planned to spend a few minutes with my equine friends to help soothe my psyche.
Samantha was happily grooming the horse we are leasing, and I went down the aisle to visit with Samson, a large grey 9-year-old Hanoverian. Samson had been bounced around some in his life and has found a good home with my friend Cathy, a fellow horse show mom. Cathy rides Samson, but not as frequently as she’d like. When she first came to the barn a few months ago, she encouraged me to ride him anytime. A very generous offer.
Just last week, after bringing Dara to Massachusetts, I decided that getting on a horse was just what I needed to lift my spirits. Sara, my editor here at COTH, encouraged me to get my butt in the saddle, regardless of how big said butt had become. She quickly rejected my “I’m too fat to ride,” talk in a way that left me with no more excuses or guilt. I am forever grateful. Seriously, I am not being sarcastic.
Samson and I enjoyed two successful outings prior to Monday night, and I was looking forward to a return to some semi-regular riding. Samson makes new friends cautiously, and I was taking time to get to know him and not rush anything. Sigh. On Monday night, we had a slight setback in our relationship, sort of in an Ike Turner kind of way.
I was feeding Samson mints. He went to nip me, and I went to smack him. He grabbed my right hand in his mouth and lifted his head up high. And then he bit down. Several times. I screamed, which scared him, and he backed up. I used my other hand to open his mouth and get my hand out. He seemed to be as shocked as I was. The scream was involuntary. Not good.
I kind of stumbled halfway down the aisle, still in my work clothes. I had that moment where you gut check the situation—is this bad? Or can I wait five minutes and shake it off? I was afraid to look at my hand. I said a few bad words. Samantha kept brushing her horse. I chanced a glance. No missing fingertips—good. No bones sticking out—very good. Um, I don’t think fingers are supposed to go in that direction. Not really good. Hmm, that would be a puncture wound in my palm, I’m guessing. Yes, I, um, swallow, am feeling a little nauseated.
“Samantha, call Dad and tell him he has to take me to the hospital please.”
Dani, who was in the other aisle, came running. I was in a ball on the ground in the middle of the aisle crying. “What should I do?” Dani asked. She tried to locate ice. When that failed, she just ran around me in circles yelling: “Tell me what to do!” “Tell me what to do!”
I asked her to stay with the kids while Paul took me to the hospital. Both the boy and the girl adore Dani, and I was so happy she could bring them home and stay with them. When we arrived home at 1 a.m., the three of them were asleep in the living room wrapped in blankets.
The ride to the hospital was long and bouncy, and I boo-hoo’ed the whole way. I was attended to quickly and gently at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington. I was visited by many doctors, nurses and techs who had to see the lady with a horse bite. I did not find any of their attempts at humor funny until after I received some percoset. I was the freak show of the evening, and everyone had to come check me out.
I have several broken bones in my hand and a nasty puncture wound. I have a cast-like thing on my arm and now a whole bottle of percoset. I got a tetanus shot and 10 days of antibiotics. I will see a hand specialist on Monday. I am reserving any self-pitying thoughts for after that appointment. For now, I am focusing on all of the good things—I didn’t lose a finger or even part of one, and I know a lot of horse people who can’t say the same. He didn’t get my wrist. He didn’t bite a kid. I got to lay on the couch on Tuesday, and no one expected anything of me.
The worst part was the phone call from Cathy on Tuesday night. As you can imagine, she felt horrible. She cried. I tried my best to soothe her. Stuff happens around horses. We are all going to get a taste of this at some point, and I am just glad that I got it this time and not one of the kids.On Tuesday, I received flowers from my Emily Post colleagues. The card cracked me up. It read: “What a bad-mannered horse!”