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Witnessing fatal equestrian fall

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by DesprateEquestrian, Mar 24, 2018.

  1. DesprateEquestrian

    DesprateEquestrian New Member

    Hi all, my name is Lisa and i'm a 21 year old Australian. I have ridden horses for all of my life and currently ride Dressage. Two years ago, my PTSD hell started. One of my best friends was killed riding at our Barn while she was schooling (Training) her horse. Her horse lost his footing and fell on her, completely crushing her. I was there, and witnessed the whole event. Without going too much into detail, I was the last person she ever spoke to. This haunts me.

    I took a break from riding after this tragedy and cut horses out completely for the first year of University. However I couldn't bare time away from my sport, and I have recently started competing this year, again. I have been loving it, however whenever I compete at a competition, or ride whatsoever, I can't stop picturing her lifeless corpse and me screaming at her to wake up. I remember what she was wearing: Riding helmet, polo, and tan breeches. I can't get the blood, the smells (She had lost control of her bodily functions) , the immense fear i felt out of my body. I just want to stop remembering. Can anyone assist with how to move on?
    AnD, Freida, NinjaWolf and 2 others like this.
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  3. Rumors

    Rumors I'm a VIP

    Oh my... I knew someone who just recently had a horse slip on ashphalt and kill him. I wasn't there but know how horrifying it must have been to those who were. Perhaps you could go see a therapist and try some emdr on the incident? At the least, you should probably go talk to a professional about what you can do to overcome the experience. Hang in there!
    AnD, Freida, NinjaWolf and 1 other person like this.
  4. Mytime

    Mytime Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum. I’m sorry for your loss. Have you done any therapy?
    I think that would be your first step to healing. Just made sure the therapist has experience with PTSD and trauma.
    Sending you a hug :hug: if you expect.
    AnD, Freida, NinjaWolf and 1 other person like this.
  5. Lucycat

    Lucycat "Wisdom begins in wonder." ~ Socrates ~ Premium Member Donated

    This is the sort of trauma that EMDR can be very effective with. NOTHING will take away the memories of that day, but you need to be able to process them so that they can move to a different part of your memory, and only be accessed when you choose to. At the moment it sounds as if the memories spring up at every opportunity.
    Do find yourself a Therapist and see if EMDR is what they would recommend - they might have some other bright ideas about this. Either way, you need to do something as you do not have to live like this.
    AnD, Freida, NinjaWolf and 3 others like this.
  6. Zoogal

    Zoogal I'm a VIP

    Sweetie please go see somebody. You need help processing all that.
    AnD, NinjaWolf, Ronin and 2 others like this.
  7. Sweetleaf

    Sweetleaf Well-Known Member

    I second seeing someone who does EMDR or at least a trauma specialized therapist. I imagine EMDR would be a good fit for your trauma. When it works it's like taking the traumatic memory or memories, and turning down the intensity knob while kinda disconnecting it from triggers. At least that's how it feels for me, for the memories it's worked on so far.
    AnD, Freida, NinjaWolf and 2 others like this.
  8. Sideways

    Sideways I'm a VIP Premium Member

    Depending on where you are, you may find it difficult to find an EMDR specialist in Australia (we don’t seem to have nearly enough). But if you speak to your GP about a referral, they should be able to direct you to a trauma specialist, which would be immensely helpful in helping to process what you’ve been through.

    Welcome to the forum - sorry you have reason to be here.
    AnD, Freida, NinjaWolf and 3 others like this.
  9. littleoc

    littleoc Making everywhere I go a better place Premium Member Donated

    Hello, and welcome.

    Being there for people's last words... I try to think of it as honorable, but it hasn't felt that way.

    I agree that EMDR could bring you so much relief.

    Good luck
    AnD and NinjaWolf like this.
  10. Mee

    Mee Well-Known Member


    I am a former equestrian and still gave horses. I am so sorry for your experience. As riders the theoretical knowledge we are partaking in high risk sports is VERY different to the experience we had.

    I want to commend you for getting back in the saddle. the risk of what you do has not increased just your awareness.

    Therapy and enjoying your dressage and making sure your horses have a good life and are relaxed and fulfilled, that the risks are minimised; you wear hood gloves, boots and shoes, that your tack fits and us comfortable and safe for both involved and so on. Maximise things that minimise risk....

    I meant the experience YOU had
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2018
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  11. Swift

    Swift I'm a VIP

    I'm really sorry this happened to you.
    Eight years almost to the day, one of my best friends was killed in a horse-riding incident. I am so sorry you had to be there for your friend's last moments, but a selfish part of me is incredibly grateful that you were, for her and her loved one's sakes. It's so unfair that you have to suffer for that, though.
    I haven't personally done EMDR, but I'm going to therapy (in NSW, Aus) at a place where they do it. (Not comfortable posting where on public boards, but if you want to know, PM me). Google tells me there's an EMDR association of Australia where you can search by location.
    AnD, Freida, NinjaWolf and 1 other person like this.
  12. DesprateEquestrian

    DesprateEquestrian New Member

    Thank you everyone for being so kind.
    Mee, AnD, littleoc and 1 other person like this.
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