I always thought a fall from a horse would take me down. Heaven knows I’ve fallen enough times—as recently as three weeks ago, when I tried cantering Mystic bareback. I didn’t have a balanced seat and he wasn’t in the mood, so he lowered his head, gave his neck a vigorous shake, and ducked his inside shoulder. He ejected as me as neatly as a toaster pops out a piece of nicely browned bread.
Now here I lie, crutches leaned against the wall, sutured knee buffered by a mega-size ace bandage and wrap-around ice pack. I’m in recovery from arthroscopic surgery for a meniscus tear on my left knee.
I sent a photo of my left leg to my parents the day after surgery. My dad, who never met a photo he couldn’t Photoshop, sent back this framed version, titled “Still Life with Knee and Flowers.”
The fact is, my pants—not a spill from a horse—took me down. Specifically, the palazzo pants that I sewed myself and wore for many years. My coworkers back in Massachusetts jokingly called them my “killer pants” because I tripped on the hem so often—once in the middle of a road with oncoming traffic.
Apparently my body was more elastic in my 40s. When I tripped on my pants and fell in a parking lot last October, I unknowingly tore cartilage in my knee. It took me five months to admit that my knee just wasn’t working right. An MRI proved the point a few weeks ago, and I hustled into surgery on March 20 so I could be back to horseback riding as soon as possible.
Now I’m happily on the mend, with my surgeon’s initials on my thigh as a reminder of the great time we had together. I managed to drive my car yesterday, and I hope to get out to Flintrock to see Mystic tomorrow. Meanwhile, I’ve learned a couple of lessons, along with a new definition of fashion victim:
1) Never make, buy, or wear wide-legged pants. If people start referring to anything you wear as a “killer” item, throw it away.
2) Stop worrying so much. The things you think will get you won’t, and the rest you can’t predict, so just enjoy the ride. But do remember to keep a balanced seat.