Horses - what have you learned from falls?

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by casablanca1, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. casablanca1

    casablanca1 Happy

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    So, I saw a comment on a horse forum about what you learn when you're sitting in the dirt looking up at your horse. For me, personally (bear in mind I'm a chickenish novice who only lessons, so my falls have been limited):

    Fall #1 (first fall)
    I lost a stirrup while trotting very fast away from a series of crossrails, slid perilously toward one shoulder and thought, ah, what the hell, gotta go sometime. Sitting on the ground, I developed a whole new attitude toward riding--it hurts to fall off, so I will never, ever think 'what the hell' again. Giving up is a mistake.

    Fall #2 (totally not my fault)
    Cantering nicely around the ring in half-seat, I suddenly lose all support in one leg and plunge perfectly overboard without even an instant to try to stay up. I land on my head in what I can only assume was a perfect upside-down boink, as the only part of my body that hurt at all later was the very top of my head, and my own momentum sends me up into a perfectly normal sitting position in time to watch my horse go winging off around the ring, my instructor and the barn. When we finally retrieve my horse, it turns out the stirrup iron (not the leathers, the iron itself) had snapped in half. Sitting bemused on the ground, watching my horse galloping off, I thought, "the weirdest things happen around these animals" and I've never worried as much about falling.
     
  2. SummerRiot

    SummerRiot Dog Show Addict

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    Out of the 15+ years of riding I have only fallen a handful of times..

    the most painful would have been;

    1- I was trail riding my Dressage mare(used to be an Eventer) she was 17hh and a BIG girl she was a Canadian Sport Horse mare.. so she was bigger then you'd think with heavy bone... anyways..
    It was winter time and we were in the back woods.. when all of a sudden two cross country skiiers come zipping out of the woods.. spooked the crap out of my mare, she rears up and in mid rear spins as well.
    There was no way I could have stayed on, I was riding in an A/P saddle so I flew off smacking into a pine tree first, then fall onto a huge prickle bush and then rolled onto the soft snow.
    I had gotten up just quick enough to see my mare gallop off across the field.. I just sat there watching her spazz out, after a few minutes she galloped back to me in a huge snorting fit like "OMG.. did you see that.. phew that scared me.. hug me.. i'm really scared".. lol
    Neadless to say I had to switch horses with my friend who was riding with me because my back was in such pain i couldn't mount my mare(she was TALL) lol luckily her mare was only about 15.1hh lol MUCH easier to get on..

    2) I was riding my next mare around in the back field bareback with just a halter and lead rope. She was my trained Barrel Racing mare.. beautiful little girl but a little crazy. She didn't let anyone else on her back.. she'd throw rearing and bucking fits. Oddly enough she was the only one I trusted to gallop around in next to nothing worth of equipment on her. She was fabulous.. nearly bombproof except for sudden noises (she was blind in one eye) and white objects lol
    Anyways, we were galloping down through an open space in the Summer time.. there just happen to be a nice bed of rocks beside the trail we were on as well.. something spooked her(not sure what) and she side stepped at a quick gallop, she was a Morab mare so she had narrow shoulders, which is harder to stay on with when barebacking..
    I slipped to one side and she decided to drop her shoulder at the same time so i went rolling off, landing on my back square onto the pile of rocks. She stopped dead in her tracks with her head down and walked back to me and just stood there while I was screaming in pain. My back and legs had gone numb.. it was scary. Anyways, I managed to sit up and crawl back onto her back somehow(no clue how..) and she walked me back to the barn.

    3 - I wasn't even ON the horse at the time.. it was winter time and we were riding bareback on the horses with just a halter and lead rope.. I was getting on a mare that was new to bareback riding so I used a round bale to get on her back.. well just as I went to jump on she side stepped and I landed on my feet next to th ebale.. although I landed on ice.. my feet slipped out from underneat me and I fell back onto my butt and smacked the back of my head against the frozen round bale giving myself a lovely mild concusion.. so for the rest of the day i spent it on the couch lol
     
  3. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    What I have learned:
    - sit deep in the saddle
    - don't try and ride standing on the horses back
    - Sho Sheen is not supposed to go under the saddle
    - my little horse did not like to jump higher than 3'
    - '' cross rivers
    - racing down hill on muddy slopes is not a good idea
    - jumping in an icy field ''
    - don't try to ride backwards
    - if your horse spooks circles are you friend!
    - don't get too cocky - your horse will prove you wrong
    lol

    there's more I'm sure
     
  4. Gustav

    Gustav Don't encourage me..

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    Oh god, if I listed all the times I have fallen off it would take up about 6 pages!!

    Mine were mostly due to ridiculous stunts though, for example deciding that it is totally do-able to jump your rather reluctant pony without a bridle, saddle, headcollar.. Totally naked! LOL! And before Buck get's too excited, I meant that the horse was naked, not me! ;)

    Have I learnt anything from it.. Well it didn't knock any sense into me! I'd probably do it again! ;)
     
  5. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    Hm. Naked. There's something I've never tried! I think I'd get frostbite right now though lol
     
  6. skyeboxer

    skyeboxer New Member

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    I learned it's not nice to land face ploughing through a patch of sheep ****. I also learned that it's very easy to make excuses not to get back on - but when you do - you are that much less afraid of falling of the next time. Though it hurt like a bugger when I fell off and my left eye swam for about a week after.
     
  7. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I learned you stop keeping track at 36 falls....

    A few more memorable ones:

    When I was showing my beloved Boston (he of the 10 foot stride) and I was so determined not to add any strides in the line. So when I saw the long distance, I threw myself at it. You know the saying "Throw your heart over the jump and then go catch it"? Bullsh*!. Boston was far too experienced and not willing to get himself in trouble, so he added the extra stride. I was so far ahead of him that my leg slid all the way back and the stirrup leather came off the bar.
    The moral of that fall - 25 year old horses are a lot smarter than 16 year old girls.

    When I was riding this Clyde/TB cross for his owner. The horse was the size of a small truck, with about the same IQ. At the time, I had no idea what had happened. I was trotting around the corner, then I was on the ground in extreme pain.
    The moral of that fall - When somebody stacks the jumping blocks on the wall of the indoor, they need to make sure they are stable. Horses don't like it when the blocks fall just as they are going by.

    My first fall off of Tristan. He was the quietest baby on the face of the earth, and as a result, nobody had ever fallen off of him. He is also a horse with a strong sense of self-preservation, whose motto is "kick first, ask questions later". It was a stupid fall - I was walking him out, had my feet out of the stirrups and the reins in one hand. Then the snow slid off the roof of the indoor. It was a fairly mild spook, but I wasn't i any position to stick. I slid off the side, and as Tristan noticed this enormous thing crashing down next to him, he spun and kicked out, making contact with my knee before I even hit the ground.
    The moral of that fall - Keep your young horses barefoot behind until you've had at least one fall. And never, ever ride when there is snow sliding off the roof. Seven years later, I still won't. Oh, and if you are going to ride in a potentially scary situation, shave your legs first. I didn't go to the hospital at the time because I hadn't in a few days. It was 7 months before it felt mostly normal, and even now bothers me occasionally. That's my new version of the "wear clean underwear" rule.

    Oh, I could go on. Mostly I learned horses are big, falling hurts, and always always wear a helmet. Because it will happen when you least expect it.
     
  8. squirtsmom

    squirtsmom New Member

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    Always thought my horse was a SOB.
     
  9. Saje

    Saje Island dweller

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    oh oh oh! most important lesson. If you do fall GET OUT OF THEIR WAY! lol And if you fall off when you are way out in the bushes try not to let go of the reins! lol
     
  10. sam

    sam New Member

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    don't look down for spare change in the dirt when jumping- you'll find your self in the dirt PDQ

    don't assume your horse is leaving the ground (jumping) when you see the right distance-- you actually have to ride it. My horse figured out pretty fast If leaned up her neck that I was screwing up throwing myself at the distance I wanted. she didn't need to try to jump with an extra 120lbs on her neck so she'd stop and I'd be looking for change in the dirt again. Sadly I took a while to learn that lesson.

    when jumping up the neck like a loser your hands easily slide up the neck and remove your bridle as you fall. The ultimate humiliation is when you are lying breathless on the ground (preferable at the biggest show of the summer) and your horse comes and stands over you looking down as if to say "whatcha doin down there dummy?"
     
  11. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    My one and only fall:

    I was riding a 15h QH. Nice enough guy, though a little lazy. Anyhow, we were jumping cavaletti (LOL, this was like 3 years ago and they seemed like big jumps back then) and he tripped over the jump. He fell, and LUCKILY I fell/was thrown out of the way. Otherwise, he would have landed on me! :yikes:

    Anyhow, I was off school for a week with a concussion.

    ~Tucker
     
  12. Kase

    Kase New Member

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    Only one fall as of yet.

    I was cantering round the school and lost both stirrups, somehow managed to jump of the saddle and onto the horses neck. Then started to move up the horses neck before he bucked me off. Landed directly on my knees then my face and split my lip. My right knee has never been the same since.

    What did I learn, to keep my stupid heels down and in the stirrups.
     
  13. 12weimgirl

    12weimgirl WEIMARANERS

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    I have never fallen off a horse.... and i've been riding for a while.... hmmm.... im sure i will one day though LOL
     
  14. skyeboxer

    skyeboxer New Member

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    I'm sure you will too but not in a bad way. It happens. I don't know how many times I came of as a kid and jumped right back on. I've got a scar under my hairline at the back from being kicked in the head too, stupid me, trying to catch Kipper when he was stuffing his face in the garden. :rolleyes:

    But now, older and with two kids, I feel more mortal. My mother and both kids were watching when I came my cropper (during cavelleti on a mare that was just returning to riding after her foal matured). That scared me more than anything. My daughter was in tears and my mum was convinced I'd broke my neck. (My son was like Ho hum, can I have another drink please :) )

    The fall hurt and winded me but it didn't scare me until I saw the state of my family. I felt selfish and stupid to be risking my neck, then I got angry. What? You become a mother so you don't take risks anymore?

    So, I went back and I take my daughter for lessons every week. But my mother doesn't ride any more and won't come and watch. She's afraid of seeing us fall. It's a shame because she was enjoying learning to ride at 67 years old and I hope I can convince her to try again. So, I learned that personally, I need to do what I need to do, my daughter has the heart of a lion because after seeing me come a cropper, she's right up there, even now riding the horse (on lead) that threw me, and that my mother will never get over the fact that I am her baby - even at my age. :cool:
     
  15. SummerRiot

    SummerRiot Dog Show Addict

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    Your not a TRUE horse person/rider until you've fallen at least once lol
     
  16. SummerRiot

    SummerRiot Dog Show Addict

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    Another good advice -

    If you fall - GET BACK ON!

    NEVER EVER let a horse get away with something once because they just WONT forget that and continue on what they were doing before.
     
  17. Snark

    Snark Mutts to you

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    Lost track of the times I've 'hugged' Mother Earth in all the years I've had horses... I have learned that I don't bounce anymore, and so, will clutch and claw leather, mane, necks, ears, etc. to avoid a splat.
    My most 'creative' fall involved Rocket (aka Fuzzface) tripping over a tuft of grass, the aftermath was that I, riding bareback, wound up sitting on his ears. That shoved his head into the ground but left his rump in the air. At that point, I shoulda/coulda crawled off his head, let him get back up, and ignored Sis' laughter while searching for something to use as a mounting block. But did I? Nooooooooo...
    Brilliant person that I was, I thought I'd just scoot back up his neck and arrive where I started. As soon as I shifted my weight a fraction backwards, Rocket heaved himself to his feet and stretched his neck as far up as he could, with me perched precariously behind his ears - for all of two seconds. Sis later commented (after she stopped laughing) that I could have fallen from a foot off the ground, but instead fell five feet (and scared poor Rocket to boot). Morale of the story? Take the low road, it hurts less!
     
  18. ravennr

    ravennr ಥ⌣ಥ

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    I fell off once.
    I learned to double check the tightness of the saddle. Doh!
     
  19. darkchild16

    darkchild16 We are Home.

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    No yourn not a true horse person till you fell on a paddock fence or barrel LOL. done that a few times.
     
  20. joce

    joce Active Member

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    After the first time I learned to jump out of the way:yikes: All that horse coming down on you is scary stuff!

    The only other time I wasn't able to kinda jump off to the side I had been riding my boy bareback in the round pen and decided to go off down one of the trails but I didn't feel like redoing his bareback pad which is always hard to get straight so I told a friend to just walk him through the gate since he kinda bolts though them if no one is holding him-but if he feels you holding he's fine. So I lean over his shoulder to fit under the bar-she lets go,he jumps,I fall over his shoulder land on my neck and then he steps on me. then as I'm seeing waaay more than double my frineds sat and looked at me stupid while I had to go run down my horse who was spooking cuz the bareback pad was slipping off. Worst pain ever!

    So my big lesson there was don't trust the low IQ friend who also has no horse experience!

    I don't know how many times I've actually gone off-everyone at the barn used to use me to throw on the horses no one had ridden all winter or ones they had jsut got in. Apparently my jump off was a great skill not many people could master:p
     

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