A bad riding day. No! Nix that - it was a bad hiking day!!!! I'm a real Gomer Pyle sometimes...
It happens. Luckily today wasn't too bad, and I got to find out exactly how my horse would react in a less than pleasant situation. I was at Cardiac hill today, (a steep incline that I nicknamed on the old cabbage road), working on losing some weight. As my pants can attest, the winter has been a little bit too good to me. The usual routine at Cardiac hill includes riding the horse for the first half of the ride straight up to the top and then back down to the bottom. It's a good conditioning regime for him. At the bottom I get my butt off and hike the big steep hill again with the horse in tow. The usual routine. Done it a million times, nothing new.
Well, it started off alright. Rode the horse for the first half and found ourselves at the bottom of Cardiac hill. I got off and proceeded to do my weight watchers "sweat-the-holy-living-crap-out-of-it" walk straight up. As I get about only 20 feet up, a damned pheasant flew out of the underbrush and caught my attention. Damned bird. I looked up to see where it was going to land, and that was a bad mistake. Cardiac hill is incredibly steep, and when my attention was on the bird I unfortunately took a wrong step to balance my weight from slipping back down the hill. All it took was one step. A searing pain blasted up from my right knee and dropped me like a rock. I sat there in the dirt for quite awhile cursing that damned bird. It was a simple stupid misstep that wrenched my knee right out of it's socket. I knew the feeling well, because I've had this happen before a few years ago with my other knee. It has to be some sort of biomechanical malfunction.
Well, there I sat on the ground. In agony. And I sat there some more. And then I sat there even more. And then the realization came that I had to do something. I was still at the bottom of the hill, and the truck and the trailer were way up at the top. I tried to stand up and put some weight on the leg, and the knee pops right out of joint and my leg buckles under again. I scream in agony and am back in the dirt again. It's the same outcome as a few years ago - I'm pretty much screwed.
Intro horse to the situation. When this first happened, I bellowed and went down right in front of Octopelle. He's fairly tolerant for the most part, even when he thinks that I'm having some sort of epileptic seizure in front of him. There are certain things in life that he doesn't tolerate, and I am very respectful of those things and don't cross certain lines with him. But for the most part he is good and quiet. He's standing there trying to figure out what the hell is going on. My angelic black escalator to the top is staring at me. Please save my miserable ass you black bastard...
So we spend about a half an hour maneuvering trying to find a high spot. I'm crawling around like a jackass looking for somewhere that I can hurl myself up onto his back with only one leg. It wasn't looking good. Where's a damned stump when you need one? Then he starts to graze. At first I was mad at him. "What the hell's wrong with you, this is serious! Quit eating you damned pig." Then I notice he is doing the giraffe stretchy thing where the one leg goes way out in front and his back squinches down in order to get a nice big bite of grass. In the midst of squinching, the stirrup got lower. Damn, there's a loop hole! Thank you black piglet.
So I find a small gopher mound about 30 feet away and slowly proceed over. We jimmy-rig into position. When Ox goes into giraffe mode in mid-bite I proceed to launch my dead ass weight upwards into the saddle. This doesn't go well for my knee. Even though I'm only putting a minimal amount of weight as possible on it, it still pops out again. I scream in pain, but luckily have one leg in the stirrup and can swing over and lay in the saddle for a moment. I'm pretty sure the horse is deaf now. I've been a stickler to teach every single horse to stand when mounting - and this instance it paid off greatly. He didn't move a muscle. As soon as I think that I'll be alright and not pass out, we start climbing Cardiac hill. Onwards and upwards.
We get to the truck, which seems to take forever, and I slide off onto the fender of the dually. A quick hop on one leg to the back of the trailer and open it up to throw the horse into it. Tack and all, just get your butt in there! The drive home is nice and slow, as I'm sitting down so it isn't so bad. The rest is history. Evening is spent on the couch with knee wrapped up.
I'm sure that there is a moral to all of this ridiculous idiocy, but all that I can make of it is: pheasants are evil. =;)