About twenty minutes into our schooling session today, Willow bolted, alternating high speed galloping with crowhopping. I stayed aboard for two circuits around the arena, but she finally managed to throw me into the wall. I don't really blame her; not too far away there were two bulldozers lifting dug-up tree stumps and dumping them into a dump truck. It was noisy, with an extra-loud CLANG! every four or five minutes. Willow had been spooking with every clang, but she had also been coming back to me, or so I thought. Sometimes she is very deceptive about just how much tension she is harboring.
I hit the wall first with my hip and right arm, and then with my head (which I was trying really hard to protect, but I just hit too fast). I think I was out for a few seconds, and then I sat up quickly to make sure Willow wasn't galloping straight at me. She wasn't -- just passaging and blowing at the far end of the arena. I was way woozy, so I laid on my back in the dirt for awhile. Then I got up slowly (ow) and made my way to Willow, who seemed relieved to see me, stopped passaging, and walked over to me. I had a strong urge to get back on, but I kept having white-out conditions behind my eyeballs, so I called it quits and we went back to the barn. Luckily some friends were there, so they tacked Willow off and took me to the emergency room. I'm sure that's just what they wanted to do on their day off.
Diagnosis: mild concussion and two spectacular hematomas. Lessons learned: don't overface your young horse with bulldozers and clanging. And, wear your helmet, which I will start doing again, perhaps as soon as tomorrow, as the doc cleared me to ride if I'm able to clamber up into the saddle.