The relative meaning of “Just Fine”


Thank you for Flying Air AmateurHorse people ARE crazy, there is no denying it. And one of the ways that you can tell is how we react to injuries. Specifically injuries related to/caused by horses. You could call it being tough, or you could say we are in denial.

Take this Facebook posting that I read this morning:

Well, this certainly is putting a damper on my week… Dislocated hip, some fractured back bones and some neck pain. But I can move everything so I’ll be just fine.

Just fine? Even to my jaded eyes, that sounds like a bit more serious than just fine. It sounds more like “hurts a lot” or “I’m really not doing too well right now.”

But, I will admit to concealing the extent of my injuries with platitudes. After all, I picked two quarts of strawberries right after Freedom landed on my heel this summer . . . and previously have been known to get up off the barn floor and drive myself home after a flying stall door broke a rib, bruised my liver and sent my glasses flying . . . and have walked around with a broken hand for three days after hitting it on a jump standard after an unscheduled dismount.

So what is it about equestrians that make us so stupid (I mean stoic)  about injuries?

  • There’s the “I told you riding was dangerous” response from our loved ones. We’ve all heard that. We all want to downplay it. That’s why many of us have a rule: No visible bruises? You don’t have to tell anyone you fell off. Of course driving to the supermarket is dangerous, too and no one tells you not to do that.
  • There’s the embarrassing feeling that you might have been able to prevent the accident so you don’t want to ‘fess up. I certainly felt that way about my recent heel laceration.
  • We understand that it probably could have been worse and we are grateful that we are only semi-permanently injured.
  • We are actually tougher and more stoic than the average human being. We have a higher pain tolerance than most people so we actually do feel that we’re “just fine.” There’s something about riding horses that attracts this type of person.
  • We want to start riding again ASAP. Seriously, I asked my doctor when I went to the two week check up after I broke my rib if I could start hunting again. The look on her face was priceless. I decided to stop asking. The orthopedic surgeon who set my hand was much more sensible. When I asked him when I could ride, he shrugged eloquently and said: “Now. You horse people are crazy so I know you’ll do it anyway.”

How about you? Have you hidden injuries from your family and friends? Started riding again while your leg/arm/hand is still in a cast? Time to confess!

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6 thoughts on “The relative meaning of “Just Fine”

  1. Hahaha, I totally agree! Couldn´t be more true.. Here is some of my own confessions: 1. Once I broke my hand in a stupid incident with a young horse, didn´t even ask at the hospital when/if I could ride again. I did the next day. The doctor only put my three middle fingers in a cast. Perfect! 😉 2. I only get bruised if I have really broken something. So, if I don´t I tell people about it my injuries won´t show at all! (Unless I´m hospitalized of course). 3. I was driven to the hospital by my boyfriend after a terrible fall (more like a somersault WITH the horse). I hit my head quite badly but I really only agreed to go to the hospital in order to get a new helmet from my insurance company. (True, but this one I feel quite ashamed of. If you hit your head badly you really SHOULD have it checked up). 4. This is actually not me, but a friend (but I think it may be true to many of us equestrians): She came into the hospital with a broken collarbone. After the x-ray the doctor says “so I can see this has been broken at least twice before”. She was like: “Really? Are you sure”? The end. We are truly, truly, stupid, tough, terrible horse people. All of us!

  2. Eh, hem.
    Almost, just about every day. New bumps all over, but people would get so bored to listen to it all.
    Most recently – celebrated cutting off the very last part of dead toenail from a little hoof stabbing gone wild in November.
    Also healing a burst vein with an ugly purple squishy thing on my wrist from something other silly.
    Yeah. Really.
    Most of my stuff is just to boring for anyone to listen to.
    I just hide the gashes and curry on!

  3. I went off about a month ago. Got knocked out cold. Once I came to the first thing I asked about was my horse and tried to get up but couldn’t. When I was in the ambulance the EMT said he had to cut my clothes off. No way, i said these are my favorite breeches and shirt. so he didn’t. He gave me a shot of Valium, smile inserted here. But after a while my calves were killing me and I couldn’t figure out why until my Sister, who also rides, told me he took off my half chaps and boots with spurs strapped on, off without unzipping them!!! I guess the Valium worked.

    1. Liz Goldsmith

      Ouch! Hope you are okay. It sounds like a nasty fall. That is another thing that horsepeople worry about — having their favorite clothes and/or boots cut off! Hard for “normal” people to understand.

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