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Old 02-23-2007, 12:12 PM
casablanca1 casablanca1 is offline
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Default Horses - what have you learned from falls?

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.
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:27 PM
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SummerRiot SummerRiot is offline
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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
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:31 PM
Saje Saje is offline
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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
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:55 PM
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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!
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Old 02-23-2007, 01:56 PM
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Hm. Naked. There's something I've never tried! I think I'd get frostbite right now though lol
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:02 PM
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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.
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Old 02-23-2007, 02:18 PM
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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.
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:22 PM
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Always thought my horse was a SOB.
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:24 PM
Saje Saje is offline
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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
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Old 02-23-2007, 04:54 PM
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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?"
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