I’m Lame

In this case I mean lame as in physically, not in the uncool/boring way, although I suppose both could apply. I sprained the shit out of my ankle on Sunday, one of the times I slid down from Presto when I was laying over his back. Ok yeah, that definitely qualifies for both definitions of lame.

Image result for what had happened was gif
This has to be my #1 most-used GIF, because I often find myself having to explain something dumb.

Because Presto is pretty big, I was using the mounting block to stand on. I would put my foot in the stirrup, stand up, lay across him, and then slide back down to the mounting block to repeat. Except one time he shifted his weight just enough to change my trajectory, and instead of coming down on the step of the mounting block, I came down right on the edge, rolling the crap out of my left ankle hard enough to where I felt something pop. I stood there bent over for a few seconds, sucking air in through my teeth, waiting for the pain to pass. It didn’t. So then I decided to walk it off, going back in the barn to grab something, and coming back out. It did not walk off. It hurt like a bitch. I’ve sprained my ankle before, many times, but nothing like that.

By the time I was done with Presto and put him away, I could feel it swelling in my boot. I have broken enough bones to know what that feels like, and I definitely didn’t think it was broken, but there was no doubt I’d done a real number on the soft tissue. By the time I got home I was barely weight-bearing, and spent the evening icing and elevating. I’m the absolute worst when it comes to my own injuries and tend to just ignore them and power through, but this one was not ignorable.

Brace plus wrap plus the only shoe I can even get partway on over all that mess.

It hurt bad enough by the next morning to where I strongly considered going to the doctor. Which, if you know me, is pretty telling. I tend to have a No Doctors policy unless there’s an alarming amount of gushing blood or a bone sticking out. Which is really ironic considering how many times a year the vet sees my horses, but alas let’s not pause long enough to psychoanalyze that. As an example, when a horse landed on top of me at a show and I broke my elbow, I loaded up my trailer, loaded up the horse, drove 3 hours home, and then still had to be dragged to the ER. Where they took 5 hours to do absolutely nothing useful, btw, besides give me a sling and prescription for codeine, neither of which I used.

So instead I watched some youtube videos on diagnosing and caring for severe ankle sprains, my dad and my coworker loaded me up with a brace, wraps, crutches, and NSAIDs, and I decided to be smart and rest it. Mostly because we’re supposed to go to Louisiana this weekend to XC school and I’ve never gotten to XC school at this place before and I REALLY wanna go, so I’ll be damned if this ankle isn’t better enough by then. In what is an exceedingly rare move for me, I took two days off from the barn. In a row. Like… I didn’t go at all.

It was awful.

This little asshole likes to attack the ice pack, therefore I have several claw marks on my foot now too. THANKS GREM.

By yesterday I couldn’t take it anymore, and the ankle has improved enough to where I can limp around without too much trouble (albeit infuriating slooooowwwlllly). I decided to just get on and do some bareback dressage, to give the ankle another day before I put it back in a stirrup.

The hardest part was getting on. Even from the big mounting block, I forgot how much I still need my left foot. Eventually I just launched myself at Henry, clinging to him like a spider monkey to shift up to his back. I almost lost my left shoe on the process, which doesn’t really go on all the way with my brace and wrap, so I decided to just ditch it at the mounting block. Real Pony Club approved, y’all. Real Pony Club Approved.

This is fine

But we did manage to get a short dressage ride in, and Henry was pretty good. Really spooky, he teleported so hard and fast that he almost left me suspended in midair a few times, but otherwise good. No problem with the ankle. To dismount I sidled up to the mounting block again, swung my right leg across the front and slid down facing outward. That was the easiest part. All the walking around the barn, carrying stuff back and forth… that was the harder part. Mobility is not my strong suit at the moment.

It’s a bit better today, as it’s been a bit better every day this week. Still definitely have a pronounced limp, but the stabbing, take-your-breath-away pain of the first two days is gone. Now pretty much my entire lower leg is just really sore. Also my toes are still a bit sausage-like, which I’m not a big fan of.  But mostly it’s just super annoying how long it takes me to walk anywhere. Today I’ll keep it wrapped and put it back in my boot and we’ll see how things go. I think it’ll be fine enough.

The moral of this story? Mounting blocks are dangerous, y’all. Don’t trust them.


16 thoughts on “I’m Lame

  1. Get a cane to help support the ankle while you walk. Use the cane on the opposite side from the injury. It will take about 1/2 the weight off the injury and help it heal faster.


  2. Sooo I’m not trying to be a total bummer here, but several years ago with Toby I rolled my ankle weird (while staying on the horse, it was strange), heard a pop, and had bad pain. I apparently tore a tendon, and I tried to pretend it was cool and I could keep going… and it wasn’t until I took a month off 8 months later that the damn thing finally healed. And it gave me hell for years afterward.

    Unfortunately, you probably would be better off with a broken bone – they heal better then tendons. Take a break or you might really regret it. 😦


      1. At the very least you should teach Henry to have you start mounting from the other side, so you aren’t stepping right onto the bad ankle.


  3. Since having knee surgery in November I have to use a mounting block to DISmount every ride and I tell you it’s a pain. I generally look like a first-time rider sliding off, feeling around with a foot, over shooting sometimes, praying that I lined my horse up properly and then being surprised when I did. Gone are the days of springing off my horse with the certainty of the landing. I feel you. Wishing you the quickest of all recoveries!


  4. If you are still needing support during your schooling, I found KT taping my ankle REALLY effective for inside a boot. Also the BOT ankle wraps are nice.

    Someone who stepped in a hole over Christmas and sprained her left ankle


  5. My helmet saved my melon from a mounting block attack when an opinionated TB mare pivoted, reared, and fell over on me as soon as I got on a couple years ago. The big knee-rolls saved my right knee but the stirrup iron smashed my ankle bone. She was, of course, unharmed.


  6. Ugh – sprains are nasty. I sprained my right ankle in March and I’m still in a brace and limping. I managed to sprain my ankle/leg in two places – lower down due to rolling the ankle out and I have a secondary high ankle sprain, pulling my tibia and fibula apart when I walk. Fun times. Def. heard a pop when I fell. Haven’t even attempted getting on a horse yet. You are far tougher than I am!!


  7. When I went to try my newest horse, I did something I always do, I flipped one of those 2-step mounting blocks on its side because I am short as hell and it makes it a little taller.

    Climbed right up there and promptly fell right off the mounting block when it tipped over.

    Horse just looked at me like “this f**king idiot” so I bought the horse.


  8. Tore my MCL a few years ago on the mounting block, so count me in “they are evil” camp. Hope that feels better soon. It sucks not to be able to do the things you want. Let me know if you need to borrow my crutches 🙂


  9. Ugh that BLOWS! I rolled mine off a sidewalk when I was a kid and that was one of the worst pains I’ve felt… maybe ever. I couldn’t even rest it comfortably. I hope it’s better enough for the weekend. I think that it’s improving each day is a good sign.


  10. I basically did the exact same thing, but I jumped off my horse and landed on a rock. My ankle still isn’t normal two years later. I think I probably tore some soft tissue structure, but I never had an MRI to prove it and wouldn’t have stopped riding or being active even if my doctor told me to lol. I was in a lot of pain even when I wasn’t standing on it. Sprains SUCK!!!


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