That's my mother-in-law on the ground behind her horse. This was not planned. Yes, to add to my two weeks of, well, more challenges in a small amount of time than is ideal for a vacation in paradise, Janet took a spill off Shadow today mid-canter. Sikem, back far enough to see only that something had leapt out of the woods and attacked Shadow, stopped short--I mean immediately--from his fast canter and I flew over his head in what I would like to believe was a graceful arc, but certainly in what was a complete somersault. I landed on my bum, and bit my tongue hard. Not a perfect ten dismount off the pommel horse.
My immediate fear that I'd bitten off my tongue (seems my teeth aren't so strong afterall) was immediately distracted by the moaning of my mother in law, lying in a loose fetal at the side of the trail. Shadow was up ahead, unconcernedly cropping grass. Not leaving, but it was clear she wasn't needed at the scene of the accident so she'd just stay out of the way for awhile, you're very welcome.
I didn't quite manage to keep ahold of Sikem's reins through my acrobatics, and he danced away when I lunged at him, before even standing, before even looking at Janet, before even testing to see if my tongue was, in fact, still attached. Freaky person on the grass grabbing at my head, said Sikem, I don't think so.
I stood up--it seemed I could--and called over to Janet. "Where did you land," I said, then "good boy, Sikem, come on back, baby, " turning the other way.
"Here, on these large muscles," said Janet, gingerly reaching back to rub her left glute, "with a little bit of back involvement."
"Okay, don't move. Stay there, I'll be right over!" Janet moaned a couple more times, then suddenly was silent. Panicking, I glanced over from where I was trying to lure Sikem to my hand, with grass I'd pulled just for that purpose. Janet told me later that the moaning had felt good, but then she worried that it would worry me and stopped. Which worried me because then I thought she was dead, or in a seizure of some kind. I thought briefly that even with the Leatherman, and the Epipen, and my digital camera, I was woefully unprepared for disaster.
Things more or less resolved, fairly quickly, from then on. Evidently, the grass I was waving, shakily, in Sikem's direction--yes, the same grass he was eating all by himself, safely out of my reach--appeared to be better, so Sikem wandered over and let himself be caught.
"Do you want me to hold him while you go get Shadow?" valiently offered Janet from the ground where she was still lying in an almost imperceptibly looser fetal.
"No, I don't want to risk him pulling on you. We'll be able to get her and be right back." Which was true--Shadow accepted that she was now needed, left off eating, and meekly allowed herself to be led back to her fallen partner .
And then, adding much to my already great respect for this woman who bore my husband, Janet got herself up, and then got herself back on the horse.
"Shadow," I heard her say as I remounted too, "I've never fallen off a horse before! You were my first!"