Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Both of my falls came when my horse bolted during a dismount. There wasn't time to think about anything. I was dismounting, then I was on the ground. The first time was over 2 years ago, and my lower back still aches.
I made the mistake of learning by buying a rather spooky Arabian. We're getting there, but it was a very dumb buy on my part. Get a horse that matches your ability. If that means renting a horse for a year, do that first.
Use a saddle that matches your ability. English jump saddles don't offer much security, although in my case a 5 point harness wouldn't have helped.
Plan on staying on. Cars and cliffs are about all I would bail from because the ground around here is so rocky. In my first fall, Mia had bolted, she had stopped, but I was afraid she was about to bolt again over rocky ground. And she did, when I was part way thru the dismount. If I had to do it over, I'd grab some mane with one hand and try to turn her around (and disengage her) with the rest of me. I would have planned on staying on. Don't know if it would have worked, but by chance I landed a foot away from 12-18" rocks instead of on them. Had I landed on them, I'd probably be in a wheelchair now. Oh - and with what I know now, I'd have dismounted about 5 minutes earlier since she was obviously spinning up and getting scared...