I Broke My Finger – ugh

July 27, 2019

On Sunday I went on a trail ride and at the 10 mile mark, with two miles to go, I got my rein wrapped around my left ring finger. I pulled hard on the rein to get Simon back out of brush and onto the trail and the rein slid over the end of my finger and I felt the end of my finger snap. Crap.

I knew instantly. I quickly grabbed my phone out and was lucky I had service. I called my husband, Rich, who jumped in his truck to meet me at the trail head. Of course while he was driving he lectured me over the phone about riding alone, how much water did I have with me, was I on too long of a ride, and so on, but he showed up and met me at the busy road crossing to the parking lot.

Disclosure: there is vulgar language in this video clip.

Note: I am horrible at videoing and tend to think I hit record when I didn’t and then actually hit record when I want to stop.

On this ride I had been attempting to tape a little clip for my trail report blog post and apparently hit record instead of stop and had my phone in my hand (recording for a solid five minutes) when I broke my finger. You can’t see anything but you can hear my reaction.

Luckily the two miles I had to ride back were easy trail. Simon was also quite aware something was wrong and was perfect. I carried my hand up in the air, mostly resting it over my helmet to help keep it from swelling as much. I did find that deer flies took to landing only on that hand and now I have quite a few bites. I am not sure if this is because my hand was in the air above the rest of me or if they sensed with their evil fly senses that this hand was compromised and they should attack.

The parking is on the side of a mountain which rt211 passes over, and the trail head is across the road. It’s a relatively blind crossing and I lead my dog and pony across, one in each hand. In my compromised state I wasn’t sure how I was going to dismount without hurting my hand. I also wasn’t sure how I was going to lead them both across the road with one hand. Luckily I only had to wait a few minutes. Rich pulled up and came over and got Daisy and led her back to my rig. Then he helped me get off, which wasn’t nearly so challenging as I thought it would be, I basically just jumped off.

Rich was a champ and held Simon while I unsnapped everything and then he pulled my tack off and loaded up Simon and then my tack into the trailer and finally put a confused and upset Daisy into my truck.

I grabbed a few things and hopped in Rich’s truck and he climbed in mine and off we went. He took Simon and Daisy home and took care of them while I drove myself to Urgent care in Harrisonburg (I wonder why there is no Urgent care north of Harrisonburg until you reach Winchester). I continued to keep my hand up in the air, when I wasn’t changing gears, and I got a lot of waives so I assume people thought I was waiving at them.

On the way to urgent care I decided my finger was probably just popped out of socket and they would just pop it back in and I would be as good as new. Wishful thinking.

They took X-rays and sure enough, the end of my fourth finger showed a break even I could see on the X-ray. They put a splint on it and sent me home with instructions to see an orthopedic surgeon and I may take Tylenol for the pain.

Monday my finger showed minor swelling and some purpling. And I made an appointment for Tuesday with an orthopedic.

of course, I kept my team in the loop through all of it.

Tuesday I went to the RMH Sentara Orthopedics Center. I explained what happened at check in and was told, “oh the doctor is a horse person, this will be a good one for her”.

When the doctor came in she said, “so I hear you had a riding accident”. I said yes. “And I suppose you need to be back on your horse right away”. I laughed, yep.

My understanding is that the end of fingers is made of softer bone and it breaks more easily. It also gets limited blood flow and there is not too much they can do for it.

She advised me to take it easy on it because “I assume you have an important show coming up soon” and that I would want to be in as good of condition as I can for it. I should expect it to hurt for a few weeks and it could show swelling for up to a year. Crazy right?

They gave me a smaller splint and I was told I could wrap it in vetwrap.

On Wednesday (so three days after the break) I decided I needed to ride Possum and see how my finger held up. Getting on sucked. Surprisingly I didn’t think about it much, which is my normal down fall with mounting, over thinking it, and I just got on. And I smashed my finger in the process. That hurt. Holding my reins was awkward, as expected. And I was really wishing Possum had a solid neck rein (it’s coming) but all in all it was doable.

Although I took a Tylenol early in the morning, I did not have any pain meds in my system by the time I rode at 730 in the evening and it wasn’t too bad.

So I need to take it easy so I am at my best for MGAA Nationals in just over two weeks. And really my finger is not that swollen or bruised and it doesn’t really hurt unless I hit it on something.

Bottom line – I got this.

Leave a comment


  1. Marci

     /  June 27, 2019

    I’m so sorry! But I bet you’d take that over multiple breaks in your leg any day!!
    I’m glad you can still ride!!
    A year of swelling? Crazy!!

  2. Mel (Wales )

     /  June 27, 2019

    Looks painful, get well soon x


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