My love for horses started when I was young. I got my first horse when I was in the 7th grade, and they have been a part of my life ever since. My husband Steve and I enjoy long trail rides and camping with our horses, but we also spend a lot of time with them in our arena. After we retired, we planned to do more trail riding and enjoy our horses for as long as physically possible.

After returning home from one of our long camping trips, I decided to ride my horse, Drover, for a short time in our arena. I had a flag out, which was just a standard flag on a piece of PVC pipe. It had fallen over, but looked like a good training opportunity for Drover. He was stepping over it just fine, but my husband’s horse, Webster, would not. Steve asked me to go over the flag one more time because his horse would likely follow us. My horse made a wrong step, caught the pipe with his foot and broke it. The next thing I knew I was lying on the ground, face down in the opposite direction.

My husband said a piece of the pipe hit my horse in the face, he twirled, bolted and then suddenly stopped, and at that point, I flew off and hit the wooden fence. I immediately knew I needed to see a doctor, my hand was black and swollen and my arm was incredibly painful. Once my husband got over to me, I realized my injuries were more extensive. I thought I was in well enough shape for him to drive me to the hospital and once I got there, the medical team worked together like clockwork.

I went straight to surgery where Dr. Holt repaired my injured hand, relocated my shoulder, cleaned the arm wound and stitched it up. I was in the hospital for three nights. I discovered I also had a concussion, so the recovery was tough. The following week, I went to Cascade Surgicenter where Dr. Holt repaired my shoulder. My physical therapist didn’t have a lot of hope for my arm and hand, which should have been elevated to heal, but couldn’t because of my shoulder injury. I’m 100% pleased with the outcome though, my doctor and therapist were the “dream team”. Because of their expertise, I am still doing two things that are very important to me — playing the piano and riding my horse.