AR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7479 posts, RR: 41 Posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3547 times:
I had a friend, a nice girl of 21. She was very interested in horse backriding and started at it at twelve years of age. Since I have reached pro level at the sport (although I don't ride anymore) her father retained me as a consultant on her riding skills and sometimes to get the horse ready for her. A few times a month, I would have to be the one giving the lesson, as her instructor was busy stuck in Europe on a horse backriding competition.
Yesterday there was a competition, and her father asked me if I thought she was ready to compete. I told him no. She is not ready. She has the skills, but she does not yet have the attitude, the concentration. Her instructor told her she was ready.
She was the first to go on the competition and on the 5th obstacle she falls from the horse on a freak accident, breaks her neck against a wooden bar and dies. Right then and there. I heard her neck crack, 60 yards away.
I have not slept in 48 hours. I have not even gone to the wake nor will I attend the funeral. Was there anything else I could have done? Should I have been more emphatic that she was not ready? I'm going crazy, and that cracking sound when she hit the bar makes me ill everytime I remember it.
L-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30267 posts, RR: 57
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3528 times:
That is though situation....I think you are making a mistake by not going to the wakes or funeral.
I do want to point out a key comment:
Quoting AR385 (Thread starter): and her father asked me if I thought she was ready to compete. I told him no
You gave an opinion that unfortunately proved correct. But I don't think short of shooting the horse you could have stopped this. I get the suspicion that your opinon was lost to the trainer, the father and most importantly the student. It wasn't the answer they wanted.
You aren't at fault, go have a beer and get a rest. It is a rough period but there wasn't anything you could have done to stop it. The decision wasn't in your hands, you could only offer opinion....it was up to the father and daughter to heed it....and they didn't.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
KevinL1011 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2964 posts, RR: 39
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3500 times:
What could you change? If her Father and the Instructor OK'd it, it was out of your hands.
OK, lets play the "what if" game. What if you were somehow able to stop her from competing. What would it have taken? You probably would have to lower and damage the confidence that her Father, the Instructor and She had in herself. You would be perceived as un-supportive and lose her respect. Now you have to live as the person who held her back and now SHE would be asking the question, "what if".
The only responsibility you have is choosing to be her friend. That's it. You did everything that a good friend should do. You made her happy here on this earth and now in eternity. You should be proud.
Grief is a reaction to the loss of something precious in YOUR life. Don't have pity for the living and have no pity for her. She is at peace.
You were there for her until her last second of life. What more can anyone expect from a friend?
You did the right thing. She was fortunate to have you as a friend.
Bill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8499 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3496 times:
There should be no question. You are not at fault. You gave your professional opinion, one which you were paid to give. It's unfortunate that it was simply ignored and now a life has been lost. I'm sure her father is regretting not listening to you. One would assume that there was too much pride for him to not see her compete and he would have known that she probably would have been devistated if she couldn't compete.
You should goto the funeral, espcially if she was a friend. In my opinion you said the right thing, and you are not at fault.
Hey AR385 her death is definitely NOT your fault as others have pointed out. Please try and understand that you insisted that she was not ready to compete and told both her father and instructor your concerns. As stated above, the matter WAS taken out of your hands, you could do no more other than drag her and the horse out of the ring. You have no reason or need to feel you caused her death - You did not, you had given your opinion on her capabilities and it was overruled. Please try and understand that you played no part in this terrible incident it WAS an accident which you could not prevent.
Sometimes heads rule hearts - your heart was in the right in expressing your feelings. Her father will shoulder the grief and you could be a support to him.
Go to the funeral - you owe it to her and her Father, she would want you to be there......
Oli80 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 685 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3464 times:
It is definately NOT your fault. Accidents like that can happen in training as well (I presume) so I wouldn't even say it was the trainers fault. It was just that, an accident.
I would also suggest going to see a psychiatrist. Situations like this will be with you forever, you need to seek professional help and talk to someone about it. It is nothing to be ashamed about. They are there for a reason.
QFA380 From Australia, joined Jul 2005, 2152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3434 times:
Man, I really feel for you, as others have said already, you are not at fault. No one really is, her father did the right thing for her mentally and he would have had not imagined in hismost horrific nightmares that this would happen.
She looks like a truly beautiful girl and definately a loss to the world. I suggest you go to the funeral as other have said. You also need to be there for her father and support him through this rather than blame him.
And I am hoping beyond hope that somehow as gruesome as it may seem, that the memory of that sound disappears from you and you only remember the great person she was. I would be in too much shock to even write this, which shows how well you are handling this.
This may also be taken out of context, but how badly did the horse come out? I am just curious.
And to your friend, RIP and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
AerospaceFan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3419 times:
My opinion, for what it's worth, is that it was not your fault, AR385. You gave your advice that she was not ready. It seems to me that if your consultation had been followed, this tragic event would not have occurred.
I feel sympathy for you and especially for the young victim and her family. This was a most serious tragedy for all involved.
I offer my deepest condolences to those affected by this great loss.
AndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3409 times:
Of course it was not your fault.
But unfortunately, because of your foresight and the end result, it would be normal for a decent human being to feel guilty for (perhaps) not going the extra step to stop her from competing at the time. Hopefully, in due time, the guilt will lessen.
Express our condolences as appropriate to you and the affected family from my family and our 'extended' a.net family as already expressed above.
Planespotting From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3547 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3293 times:
This is about as tragic as any situation can get. how sad for the girl and her family, and especially you.
I hate to sound like a broken record, but the others on this thread seem correct in their assessment. Many of us would probably feel the same way, but you did all that you could plausibly do to get her to not ride. If her father, her and the riding instructor didn't think your opinion great enough to follow it, that is their fault, and they will have to live with knowing that someone disadvised them from allowing her to ride as she did, and they pressed on anyway.
It is not in anyway a "consolation" but hopefully it will help you realize you are not in anyway at fault.
Duff44 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 1723 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3274 times:
I concur with everything said above. People make decisions for themselves and assume any risks or responsibility from those decisions when they make them. For you to blame yourself is not going to be productive in helping you grieve.
But ABSOLUTELY go to the funeral.... you will regret it later if you don't. I'd never miss a funeral of someone I was close to regardless of the circumstances.
SA7700 From South Africa, joined Dec 2003, 3431 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (9 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3241 times:
AR385, I have the utmost sympathy for you. To loose a friend or beloved one, especially in such a manner, always brings up so many questions with very few answers. In your case the only question you have to ask yourself is: Did I do everything that I could have done?
My answer to you would be yes. You were her friend and supported her when she needed you. When asked by her father whether she was ready - you gave your honest opinion - professionally, but also as a friend. Barraging yourself with questions is not going to help you one iota. You know that it was a freak accident – there is absolutely nothing on this earth that can change that.
However, she still needs you one last time – at her funeral. It is time to say farewell and start the healing process.
Keep well my friend, you are in my prayers.
When you are doing stuff that nobody has done before, there is no manual – Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs)
Legoguy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 3317 posts, RR: 36
Reply 16, posted (9 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3239 times:
Obviously I will agree with everyone who has posted. Definately not your fault. You said that you did not think she was ready to compete. You were the only person to suggest this so you can't be held to blame! No one can be held to blame however as it is just one of these unfortunate things...
Can you say 'Beer Can' without sounding like a Jamaican saying 'Bacon'?
ScarletHarlot From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 4673 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (9 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3224 times:
My God, that is so awful. I am so sorry. I think you know inside yourself that there was nothing else you could have done short of physically removing her from the horse. But I am sure you will ask yourself the question for a very long time. Seriously, please do seek professional help. This is going to be very hard for you to deal with.
Silverfox From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1060 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (9 years 7 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3205 times:
Dont fret about it at all . it happens, she could have died another way on another day.
I had a friend who i was going to see one night. Didnt go, and found out he gassed himself that evening.
Because i didnt go? i dont know, but if i had gone he might have put it off a few days, but it was going to happen.
Sure you feel bad ,as i did, but at least she died what she wanted to do.
time is a great healer
Of course it's not your fault. Those who choose not to take your experienced advice are making their own decision to take a risk, regardless of how emphatic you may, or may not be.
Any way you go about it, life has its risks. To blame yourself for a freak accident will only make this experience more difficult for you. Make the choice to see a grief counselor -- even if it's for only an hour. I'm positive things will become much more clear for you as a result.
Flyingbabydoc From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (9 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3171 times:
Oh Martin, that is a bad situation... I am so sorry for all this that has happened.
You know, this is a feeling I know all too well. Sometimes patients die. You do all you can, you operate on them, you give them the best possible treatment but they just die. And you feel hopeless, defeated, cheated and sad. Utterly sad.
However, you know deep down you have done what was right. You have given the best advice and a fair one too. Perhaps it was her time to go, and nothing you would or could have done would have stopped it.
So this is my suggestion to you. Do not blame yourself, rather think it through and see if there is anything you could improve for the next patient (friend or student). And then tell yourself loud and clear, that you have done your best. And then let it rest. Really rest. Otherwise, it will come back to haunt you endlessly.
I am so sorry you are having such a though year. It is cheesy to say, but I really believe that after every storm the sun will shine again. So hang in there, you will feel better again. I promise you that.
UA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 10
Reply 24, posted (9 years 7 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3148 times:
Quoting AR385 (Thread starter): I have not even gone to the wake nor will I attend the funeral.
I think this a major mistake. If she means as much as you say she does to you, then you're better off going to her funeral even talk at it. My neighbor died last month and I didn't want to go to his funeral. He was a good friend, worked with the NTSB, DHLS, and was a pilot who introduced me to flying when I was only 10. I was dragged to it and eventually stood up in-front of everyone and told them all how much he meant to me. What importance in showing me aviation had done to me, etc. I think if I hadn't talked, it would have killed me in the long run.
Go, you'll regret it if you don't.
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
: Couldn't have worded it any better myself Oh, and I agree, go to the funeral man! Lee
: Horseback competition, many sporting events for that matter are inherently dangerous. You, your friend who passed, her father, family and friends knew
: Damn, this strikes a cord for me. Back in February, my sister was in a jumping competion and the horse tripped up. Thankfully, the only thing bruised
: Your sister and AR385's friend could have easily become paralyzed. I'd bet the majority of equestrian accidents result with injury rather than death
: Hmmm. I know how you feel. Recently, my pager went off for a possible heart attack. It was suspected to just be a seizure. I decided against going, as
: I am going to write this and it may be long, but at least it will help in part to get it out of my chest. First, I have to thank all of you for the ki
: I really don't see that it is your fault. I only can recommend out of own experiences: GO to the funeral! It is very hard but it helps you to handle i
: Your recount is very touching. You almost got me crying. You seem to be taking the right steps. Sounds to me as if it was caused by the horse, not by
: Such a sad story Its not your fault, its only one's fault if there aim was to kill the victim, In this case it was fate.. a cruel one at that... Just
: If you let what ifs run your life, then your life will become a wreck. If you don't want to train again, fine, but don't stop doing it because of a w
: AR385, looks like you're already thinking things through. I'd like to say a word about the father. Nothing like that ever happened to me, but I can sy
: Agree completely. Her tragic death wasn't your fault.
: I hope this isn't misunderstood, but what is so bad about giving your life for something you enjoy so much. I think I would much rather give it my all
: Well done for going to the funeral. I'm sure the person who is carrying a massive feeling of guilt is her father - he would need a lot of support at t
: It's great that you went to the funeral, you had a connection with someone who unfortunately passed away in what is no doubt a terrible accident. I ho
: Dear God, you just left me... speechless. Don't blame yourself for this, Martin; it wasn't your fault, you did all that was in your hands. I understa
: When a horse stops in front of a fence, we call it "a refusal", I mean, that would be the Spanish literal translation, I don't know it in English, ma
: I'm no expert but I will try to answer some of your questions as best as I can. I think that she must have just snapped a vital bone in her neck mayb
: I am glad you are able to talk about it, it really does help. Emotions as strong as these should not be locked up, they will only do more damage to y
: Thanks a lot. It is nice to hear this things right now. I plan to return to my duties with horses in two weeks, after I finished getting over this. I
: Today I went for a mass in memoriam of my student and my friend. I thought I would not be able to go, but in the end I decided it would help me, simil
: Hang in there. If you are not ready to talk to her father, respect this - you do not want to make things worse for him or for you. When you are ready,