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Woman reveals shocking images of horrific leg bruises after she was kicked by a horse

A woman has released shocking images of her horrific leg bruises after she was kicked by a horse.

Antoinette with her own horse

Antoinette with her own horse


Antoinette Burger, 32, from Cape Town, South-West Africa, suffered catastrophic leg injuries after the horse named, Chinook, booted her in the thigh after being spooked by an oncoming car.

The keen horse rider thought her leg was broken after trying to walk the horse back into his stable, but the kick had actually torn the muscle in her thigh and she suffered a severe hematoma, which is swelling of clotted blood, in her right thigh.

Antoinette’s ordeal happened on July 7 and she has been left with horrific bruising ever since – and when photographs were circulated online, it attracted thousands of messages of support.

Her right thigh had turned completely black but after drainage of the hematoma, she is expected to make a full recovery.

Antoinette said: “I was blinded with pain, I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t put weight on the leg and thought it was broken.

“Luckily I had my phone with me and phoned my friend, who brought her car to the stables to fetch me.

“We immediately started icing the injury site, it felt like my skin was on fire and I was crying with every step I took.”

72 hours post injury

72 hours post injury


The horse rider, who is currently completing her doctorate degree in neuroscience at the University of Cape Town, was taken to a nearby hospital, where her leg was x-rayed over concerns that her thigh bone had broken.

Her bruising was so severe that doctors had to test Antoinette’s kidneys to make sure her organs were not damaged.

She suffered a huge hematoma in her leg, which is a solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissue.

Antoinette said: “Luckily the bone was intact and my kidneys cleared but the muscle in my thigh, which is right in the middle, was partially torn.

“I also had a hematoma just below where the hoof print was on my leg and I was given a pain and anti-inflammatory injection before I was sent home.

“I was in constant contact with my physiotherapist, doctor and paramedic from Cape Town, as well as two vets and a wound specialist from Johannesburg.

“All of them told me to not pressure bandage the leg, as it could create compartment syndrome, which would have me worse off than what I already was.

“I kept icing the leg when I was sitting still. Pain killers didn’t do much to lessen the pain. Naturally, I didn’t compete in the championships.

“I flew to Cape Town and started ultrasound therapy and kinesio taping with my physiotherapist to assist the draining process of the bruising and hematoma.

Antoinette was shocked at the seriousness of her injury, and she was petrified it would cause long lasting damage.

Antoinette still loves horses

Antoinette still loves horses


She said: “The hematoma was so dense the radiographer and radiologist couldn’t see the muscle underneath it.

“The surgeon also said the hematoma would definitely have to be drained.

“At that stage I became scared, and burst into tears, I didn’t realise how serious my injury was and it was quickly dawning on me.”

Antoinette then had surgery to drain the hematoma, which was causing her severe agony. A vacuum drain was fitted to the leg to drain further blood after the operation.

She said: “The drain was removed after draining an additional 115ml of blood from the injury site.

“I had to measure the output of the drain twice a day, and keep record of it.

Two weeks after the operation, she had a blood clot scare when the injury became hot and very painful.

After 24 hours of no further symptoms, Antoinette continued taking anti-inflammatories for another two days, before the pain subsided.

24 hours post injury

24 hours post injury


Antoinette plans to compete horses again from 2017, and she even took her own horse for a walk last week to overcome her fear of being kicked again.

She said: “I felt like taking my one horse for a short walk to the beach but I was petrified, I had never felt fear like it.

“I will not compete again before next year, but I will compete again.

“I will get my confidence back and I will be OK.

“What I have learned from this incident was that even though you have been around horses all your life, you can never be too careful.

“Always be aware of your surroundings and things that might spook your horse.”


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