A one-sided story

Like most people, I find myself of the right-handed, non-ambidextrous sort. So for riding, I find that I am most coordinated and can maintain more finesse in my right hand.

Unlike most people, besides being more awkward to the left, I also I have a completely busted left side. To wit, these are the flaws and injuries that I have acquired that prevent any real grace on that half of my body.


Natural Gait
Some people toe out when they walk, others toe in. Others walk straight, and you stink. Me? I walk with my right foot straight, and my left foot toed in about 30 degrees. Walking straight lines is hard for me. I get this from my mother, who told me if I were a horse, she wouldn’t buy me (note: I learned everything about buying horses from her, and I get it- I wouldn’t buy me either 😉 ). She has, with time and concentration, talk herself to walk with both feet straight. I’m lazy and can’t be bothered. Also, I find my left leg wraps around my horse’s side better. Whatevs.

Love you too, mum, and thanks for the awkwardness.

Love you too, mum, and thanks for the awkwardness.

The Ankle
Labor day of my sophomore year, my friend and I went to return her phone. Turns out my horse, Ivan, thought it looked tasty, and his molars left it irreparable. We went to the barn, whereupon Ivan decided to inflict some damage on me. Not with his teeth, but by ‘bucking’ mid-air over a sizeable fence. I made the decision to bail, and got my foot caught in the stirrup, fracturing my left ankle. One leg cast and robo-boot later, and I can still occasionally feel the effects of that injury.

Hand-grazing Ivan in the leg cast.

Hand-grazing Ivan in the leg cast.

No worries, I still went out that night!

No worries, I still went out that night!

The Hip
A couple years later, after I had fully recovered from the ankle injury, I was jumping Ivan again when some horses started galloping around the arena. Ivan had this really fun habit of just bolting without notice, and did just that, careening around the arena. I hung on admirably about 3/4 way around before becoming unbalanced. I then somehow became clothes-lined hip first by a jump standard wing. The impact took me out hard enough that I couldn’t walk for 3 days. The Health Center said I may have broken it, and I should go to the ER. Eventers may be brave, but we’re occasionally also stupid (or maybe that’s just me). I never went, and my hip issues are the most prevalent body problems I still feel. A chiropractor said my hip injury has caused a pinched nerve, but I don’t actually know what happened- just that it hurt. A lot.

Jumping Ivan over one of the jump standards that took me out

Jumping Ivan over one of the jump standards that took me out

So there you have it, folks. A crooked rider, with a crooked horse (whose bum side is also his left). When all else fails, turn right.


15 thoughts on “A one-sided story

  1. phew you have been BEAT UP!! it’s funny how one side always seems to take the brunt… luckily my injuries have mostly been to my fingers (with the exception of a concussion here, tweaked knee there…) Ivan looks great over that jump, btw – super athletic.

    • Oh, gosh, concussions! No bueno!

      Ivan was an immensely talented horse (that a lot of people underestimated, since he was full Irish Draught), but he was STRONG. When he decided to let loose, you were in trouble! He’s now moved on and is a full-time show jumper 🙂

  2. My left side is really weak also 😦 I’ve been told before that I settle into my right, and some people think it’s from driving a car (you lean to the center typically) and even my saddle shows wear marks differently from my non-existent left side ride.

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