I'm not riding at the moment, since I'm resting up to let my broken tailbone heal. The injury occurred two weeks ago when I was doing some arena work with my horse. He was standing still, and suddenly decided that something was suddenly deeply terrifying and bolted top-speed across the arena. He changed direction at the gate, whereupon I came off, hit the sand and then bounced off the the arena fencepost. Voila, much bruising and a broken tailbone.
So I've gotten to thinking - to what degree was this preventable? While I've only got a year or so of riding experience and still have a lot to learn, I've been feeling quite a bit more secure in my seat lately - I've stayed on through some fairly dramatic spooking incidents where my horse did the leap-and-wheel-and-skitter thing, and I felt reasonably stable and balanced throughout. But clearly I'm not there yet, as the bolting incident demonstrates. So I'm looking for ideas, suggestions and advice regarding things I can work on and practice that might help increase the odds of me staying mounted the next time my horse decides that the arena is goblin-infested and he needs to run for the hills right now. Are there any exercises I can practice or things to try that might help me deal with a bolting horse more gracefully (i.e. Not falling off)? Any suggestions or advice?