I had a mishap the Saturday before last.

I slid off a horse. Yes slid — I wouldn't call it a fall because to me a fall is over before you know it.

Whereas I felt myself sliding out of the saddle and actually had time as I tipped over the side, while eyeballing huge hooves, to think "this is going to hurt".

And it did. Lucky for me I landed on my hip which is quite well covered. I'm not sure what hit the ground next, my elbow or my side. I think it may have been my elbow because it was a wee bit sore.

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As I lay there deciding if I should move someone was quickly beside me telling me not to move. "Just lay there for a minute".

My mind started thinking about how my body felt. Sore hip and elbow but that's it. I'm okay.

After about five minutes I got up. The horse had stopped the instant I slid off and hadn't budged. What a star, it was almost as if he wanted to make sure I was okay before he did anything else.

He an amazing horse and I was back on him within 10 minutes just walking around.
It certainly wasn't his fault.

The reason I "slid" off was because I was practising my balance at a trot with my feet out of the stirrups. Obviously I need a lot more practice.

So I was fine. Went home and a few hours later decided I was a bit sore and knowing I would feel it even more in the morning I bought some anti-inflammatory just in case.

Next morning, bit sore but I was congratulating myself on how well I felt. Drove to Dannevirke, watched my granddaughter compete in the A & P Show, meet with some friends, drove home.

Still a bit sore and funnily enough my side was starting to ache.

Woke up the next morning and had to roll myself out of bed because my ribs were so sore.

To cut a long story short I went to the doctor who said nothing was broken, but my ribs were strained and would be sore for quite some time.

Now I'm not a wuss when it comes to pain and I don't like taking pain killers. I only take them if I really have to. The only bone I've ever broken was my collarbone when my cousin pushed me off the porch — I don't remember it. I have sprained my ankle twice, but that is it, painful but not bad.

However, this pain was something different. I have heard people talk about having broken ribs and how painful it is but I really didn't understand what kind of pain. Now I do.
Horrible, can't laugh, cough, and if you feel a sneeze coming on the thought of the pain is enough to make your eyes water, sleeping is a nightmare.

It made me realise just what a colleague had gone through with six broken ribs the least of her worries. She's made of tough stuff.

People have said to me "Are you going to ride again?" or worse "Do you think you are getting a bit old to ride?". No.

People have mishaps everyday. They fall off bikes, ladders, crash their cars, trip over. It's part of life and part of life is getting up and having another go. Yesterday for the first time in 11 days I didn't have any painkillers before breakfast.

I'm on the mend and this "old girl" has got a lot of horse riding to do yet.

Linda Hall is assistant editor of Hawke's Bay Today.