When will I learn to keep my hands closed?!
On Wednesday, January 3rd, I saddled up for a lesson as my first ride in about a week. It was a 20-degree day, a right heat wave compared to the single digits in the days before and after.
He was very alert and slightly mouthy in the cross ties, which was an indication of a hyper pony. I was pleasantly surprised to have a very calm if forward horse on the lunge. I popped on, and immediately felt him tense. If you’ve ever ridden a hyper, tense, you’d know that they usually have a feel. Beau feels like a very tightly wound coil, ready to spring up or out at any time.
Bending work usually helps him with that, so I started on that as well as attempting to fight everything in me saying “hold him, hold him” and push him forward instead. We worked on the walk and trot for a bit. On the long side going away from home, we went over the poles. On the long side going towards home, I sat his first explosion.
We went back to trotting on the close side of the arena in a circle, working on leg yielding circles in and out and actually getting a pretty nice trot. Then, back down the poles. Same spot, same explosion. Except this time he got me a bit forward, and me being me, I was determined to NOT fall off (mission accomplished). I put my hands down to support myself, and he basically pushed his shoulder out into my open hand, specifically my pinky (my poor abused pinky).
I got Beau back in control with two 10m (ish) circles and got to the other long side before I halted him in pain. After consulting with my trainer to make sure I wasn’t overreacting, I got off. I don’t do well with pain. Both my dad and I have a long history of laying down in the arena after any injury, basically in shock. I did that this time too.
By the time the feeling had passed, my trainer, being the awesome person she is, had Beau almost put away. I helped with one hand and then booked it home. The one good thing about the cold weather is that I could stick my hand out my window on the drive home as an “ice pack.”
The doctor’s visit the next day resulted in xrays, my doctor attempting to fix my dislocated top phalanx (the tip of my finger), and getting a referral to a hand surgeon (or orthopedic doctor). The official diagnosis was that my break from September had never healed (this is called a nonunion break), and I had only widened the fracture this time, as well as re-dislocating it.
Today, I had an appointment with the hand surgeon who told me two things:
- I’m getting surgery.
Plan A is to pin it through the skin and possibly a small incision to scrape out old scar tissue. Plan B is to plate and screw the bone itself, which is not optimal, since my fingers are so small.
- I should have had surgery the first time I broke it, in September.
My surgeon was actually a bit annoyed I wasn’t sent to see him in September. Luckily, I’ve got a good doctor who can fix it, but the scar tissue that may have formed and the wear from using it for so long will make it complicated (hence, Plan B).
My surgery is scheduled for Thursday morning. I’m getting a custom splint Monday morning, then my post-op appointment is the next Monday. If all goes well, I should be out of my splint in 4-6 weeks. Then it’s physical therapy to keep use of that finger!
All in all, I’m glad it’s getting fixed, but I’m definitely going to struggle to stay off my horse for a month!