He hit the ground with a hard thump. His whole body bounced once and then lay still. He tried to catch his breath, but it was difficult. He thought he might have broken some ribs when he hit the ground, but he soon determined that he hadn’t broken anything.
He spit the corral dust out of his mouth. Somehow, it didn’t taste like regular corral dust. It had a foul taste and as much as he spit, he couldn’t completely rid himself of the taste.
Men were running towards him as he rolled over and tried to sit up. Not being able to sit completely up, he fell back down.
One of the men reached him and asked, as he helped the fallen rider sit up, “You all right, son?”
The rider, not being able to speak, just nodded his head in a weak “yes” reply.
The man helped the rider slowly to his feet. The rider was struggling. Standing upright, the man asked the rider, “Can you make it?”
“I think so,” replied the rider.
The rider was unsteady on his feet and another man arrived and helped steady the rider.
“You better let us help you,” said one of the men. “We’ll get you to the first aid station.”
With the help of the tow men, the rider was half carried and half walked behind the chutes to a waiting ambulance.