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April 2007
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Photo Worthy Bruises (AKA My Third Hip)

Being a HorseGirl means having lots of bruises. Half the time when I change clothes, I look at my legs and think, “Huh. Did I have that bruise yesterday?” or I spend several minutes cataloging my day’s activities to see if I can pinpoint what exactly might have caused that one (like the new bruise on my inner thigh. It didn’t take me too long to figure out it’s from riding with no stirrups and the stirrup buckle digging into me. I kind of remember thinking it hurt at the time). Sometimes I do something (like walk into a retaining walk whilst looking the other way) and I tell myself that I must remember, when I discover the new bruise, how I got it. I might be a little bit of a masochist too, because sometimes I think, “Ow, what I’m doing right now really hurts” (say, riding in jeans) but I keep doing it anyway (what am I supposed to do? get off, change pants, and get back on?) and then I’m stupidly surprised when I put my pajamas on and see I’ve got jean lint stuck to my shins and then realize that’s because I’ve got oozy, rubbed-raw spots on my shins. They make real nice scars, rubbed raw spots do. Other times, like when Teacup shoved her way out of the horse trailer by slamming the divider directly into my nose and squishing me against the wall, I have no trouble remembering why body parts are bruised.

However, none of these bruises can ever compare to the most amazing bruise I have ever seen (no, not even the one my dad received at the hooves of Spot… see below). Not only was this bruise the largest bruise I’ve ever seen, extending from upper thigh (almost buttock) and nearly to knee, but it also had a glorious mingling of the rainbow of bruise colors: deep purple, violet, blue, red, yellow, green. It was the kind of bruise that when people saw it, they said, “OH MY GOD!” or a long, low “wowwww…” or just looked in stunned silence. And lucky me, the bruise was mine. All mine. If I can ever figure out how to put pictures on here, I will impress and astound you all. Really.

The Most Amazing Bruise in the Whole World has turned into the Third Hip, as I affectionately call it now. I have a nice half-of-a-tennis-ball shaped lump on my upper thigh. Given the fact that the bruise came into being a year and a half ago, I think the Third Hip is here to stay. Dang it.

So, how did I get this lovely modification to the shapeliness of my thigh? Well, a horse bit me. Really really hard. Excruciatingly hard. Hard enough that I swear I could feel the tissue tearing and blood vessels individually exploding. I don’t think I deserved the magnitude of the pressure that Kanan put into the bite. I was just tightening his girth. I admit, I was in a bit of a hurry. I was helping my friend Mariah get ready to ride her dressage test and we were running late. But really? Did he have to bite me and then clamp down, with vice-like strength? And it’s not like I was wearing shorts and the horse got me in an unprotected spot. Even with the protection of jeans, I had individual tooth marks evident in the bruise patterning, surrounding a nice, comparitively un-blemished center where the Third Hip now resides. The most annoying part about the whole experience (because, I admit, I had a great story to tell) was that the bite hurt so bad, I couldn’t even retaliate. No, instead I hunched over in the stall and said “ow! that really hurt.” I did manage to weakly swat Kanan, way after the fact, and right before I had to leave his stall to walk off my injury-induced nausea. It hurt so badly I spent the rest of the day icing the instantaneous bruise and popping Advil.

Now if only I could post that picture….

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