I’m proud of all our children for various reasons.  Our 13-year-old daughter Alicia — our “Cinderella” — gave us good reason to be proud of her on Sunday.

Alicia had stayed overnight at a good friend’s house Saturday and went with her friend and the friend’s siblings to a birthday party Sunday afternoon.  Her mother and I were not at the party, but we heard a lot about it after the fact.

Alicia rides her horse Gypsy in a controlled outdoor riding arena while wearing a helmet during a Pony Club riding lesson a couple of years ago. (Photo By John G. Miller)

There was horse riding going on at the party, with two full-size horses and a pony.  It was held in someone’s back yard, not on horse property.  That was mistake No. 1.

There were around 20-30 children at the party, running around on sugar highs along with the horses in the back yard.  That was mistake No. 2.

The children were given opportunities to ride the horses whenever they wanted.  No helmets were used.  That was mistake No. 3.

There was a horse handler at the party, which was good.  Alicia was on one of the full-size horses with another girl sitting right behind her, and the horse wasn’t moving.  The handler pulled out a whip and cracked it a bit, in a typical back yard with three horses and rambunctious children all around … which was bad.  Mistake No. 4.

The horse that Alicia and the other girl were on — seated in a Western saddle — suddenly bolted and ran toward a fence.  Alicia instinctively reached around to wrap her right arm around the girl behind her to keep her more secure as the girl slid off and landed in a safe area as opposed to falling in a spot with bricks, suffering no more than scrapes.  Alicia — who’s ridden horses for about five years and has gone through some good training herself — stayed on a bit longer and she tried to turn it, but the horse started bucking and threw her off, with Alicia landing on her right side.

The horse brushed Alicia’s head with a hoof and stepped on her right thumb before it finally stopped somehow with no further incident.  Alicia stood up for a little while in a bit of shock before she was taken inside to lay down and get checked out.  Once she was checked out, none of the children at the party wanted to ride any longer.  But Alicia herself — sore thumb and all — got back on the same horse and encouraged the other children to keep riding, this time in a more relaxed atmosphere.

The handler said that Alicia “saved the party.”

Alicia was taken to the hospital after her mother was called to come and get her, where Alicia was x-rayed with no broken bones but a diagnosis of maybe a slight concussion and a right thumb that is heavily wrapped to keep it from moving.

She is very sore along her right side today.  No surprise there.

My “Cinderella” never ceases to amaze me with her presence of mind, no matter what kind of situation is thrown at her.

We are counting our blessings and offering praise that she wasn’t hurt much worse, at the very least, and that none of the other children at the party weren’t badly hurt themselves.

I’m proud of our “Cinderella” being called a “hero.”  I just pray that she never finds herself in that kind of situation ever again.  My heart wouldn’t be able to stand it.

She means too much.


5 thoughts on “Our “Cinderella,” the heroine

  1. Good for her, and I’m glad she was OK, all things considered. Sounds like the folks throwing this party dropped the ball in a big way. As a parent, it just kills you to know that sometimes you have to trust other people for providing a safe atmosphere for your kids, and it’s also tough to realize that sometimes they might not do that the way we would ourselves.

    1. All I could do was shake my head and cringe when they came home last night and I heard what happened, and it just got worse the more I was told. It was also amazing that Alicia’s mom had to give a bit of a lesson in horse riding safety when she got there to get her, both to the property owner throwing the party and the horse handler. The handler’s not inexperienced, he’s a trainer, and it just boggles the mind how the situation got to the point that it did.

      Amy was cool about it, the people involved felt bad about what happened, but it does make you wonder …

      Amy has thrown horse riding parties before, but it’s been in an area with a fenced arena where hyper children can be kept totally separate from the animals, totally controlled, and WITH HELMETS! After all, these aren’t chihuahuas we’re talking about.

      Could have been a very tragic ending.

    1. Some lessons are learned the hard way. Luckily — or through a guardian angel or two — it didn’t turn out any worse. Hopefully, some lessons were learned by those who need to learn from it, though.

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