Emergency dismounts - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 35 Old 04-06-2011, 11:51 PM
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This is something I was never trained or shown how to do, but if you mean the ability to be able to very quickly leap off a moving horse, I happen to think it definitely has its place. As a last resort.-
I have done it once on a trail ride. Guiding a trail, lady behind me was disabled, her saddle was slipping and she was going down. I just dropped the reins, leapt backwards off my horse and caught her before she fell. This was just at a walk.
I currently ride near a major highway, 4 lane, 100 km/60mph speed limit, transport trucks. If my horse happened to bolt toward it, (we do cross it) and I was absolutely unable to stop or turn him, I would bail the minute his foot touched the edge of the road. I love him like crazy, but I don't need to die with him. He has never in 16 years executed an unstoppable bolt, but who knows, accidents can happen.
A friend of mine was crossing a wooden bridge when his horse's leg went through the boards, and this guy was off the horse before the fall was over.
So yes, I think this move is very valuable in certain circumstances. I have never attempted it at faster than an easy trot, but I am glad that at least I have done that on the odd chance that dire circumstances should arise.
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post #12 of 35 Old 04-06-2011, 11:54 PM
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Haven't read all the posts, but I've seen both sides of the fence:

1- when I was a new rider, I ED'd becuase I was riding bareback and she took off and I was scared. I broke my ankle as a result.

2- a lady was killed that lived on my street because her horse took off and nothing she did to stop it was working. They both were hit by a semi-truck.

It can be a good thing to know when to bail. However, in most circumstances, you should try to control the horse IMO as I should have done in my instance. However, being a new rider, I thought falling to be the scariest thing ever. Guess I should have stayed on lol.

And as someone said above, I too don't fall alot, simply becuase I am afraid to lol.

Last edited by SAsamone; 04-07-2011 at 12:01 AM.
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post #13 of 35 Old 04-07-2011, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SAsamone View Post
Haven't read all the posts, but I've seen both sides of the fence:

1- when I was a new rider, I ED'd becuase I was riding bareback and she took off and I was scared. I broke my ankle as a result.

2- a lady was killed that lived on my street because her horse took off and nothing she did to stop it was working. They both were hit by a semi-truck.

It can be a good thing to know when to bail. However, in most circumstances, you should try to control the horse IMO as I should have done in my instance. However, being a new rider, I thought falling to be the scariest thing ever. Guess I should have stayed on lol.

And as someone said above, I too don't fall alot, simply becuase I am afraid to lol.
I have the same opinion as this. I wouldn't ever teach anyone to just hope off if you got scared or at high speeds, but if it was something that was life and death, I am all for bailing. I am lucky enough to have the ED installed in my instincts, when its all hitting the fan I always manage to bail out of the way. My horse has reared and flipped over twice (this problem has been solved....) and has fallen a few times. ( Balance issues and he could careless where he puts his feet) I have NEVER been landed on because I always made sure to bail when I knew it was going down. I also have had a tack malfunction once (My Bit came unsnapped in the middle of a barrel race, I will never use clips on my bit ever again) and my horse was full speed running towards the gate. Knowing my horses personality, if I didn't tell him to stop or turn he was going to be as honest as he always had been and either run into the gate or try and jump it. And without a bit there was going to be no cue that he would listen to at a full out gallop. I was lucky enough that the gate guy opened the gate (which he shouldn't have as I had no control and he wasn't paying attention, but thank god he did) and Jake slowed down on his own once outside the arena and turned at a wall that even he wouldn't try jumping and I was able to grab his tie down and turn him. Anyhow, end of my rambling. If the gate hadn't of been open I would have bailed, and now that I think about it it would have been nice to know the ED.
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post #14 of 35 Old 04-07-2011, 12:59 AM
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Mixed feelings. Given how quickly a horse can do a 90 deg turn, I'm hard pressed to think of a situation where I would want to do an emergency dismount at speed. By the time I knew he wasn't turning, it would be too late.

That said, I've needed to get off a horse that would slow, but wouldn't stop for anything. In that case, I turned her enough to slow her to a walk, did a very fast but largely regular dismount and ended on my feet.

I don't have much experience, but all the folks I know who do say to stay on until there isn't a choice, then roll if able (but you usually don't get that choice).
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post #15 of 35 Old 04-07-2011, 01:22 AM
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I believe that emergency dismount is a good thing to train. It isn't supposed to be just getting off the horse when you feel uncomfortable. Its not any different than learning a one rein stop. It's not always going be right for every situation, but it is still good to know.
I got tore my rotator cuff and screwed up my back trying to stay on a horse when I should have bailed.
Knowing when to stop is not necessarily a bad thing.

So in lies the madness, the pursuit of the impossible in the face of the complete assurance that you will fail, and yet still you chase.
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post #16 of 35 Old 04-07-2011, 02:05 AM
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I've never been taught any sort of "proper" form for emergency dismount, but if I get in a bind, I'm sure going to get off in the quickest way possible if I know I can't fix the issue and it's only going to get worse with me in the saddle. If I'm on a BAD bucker and I know I'm coming off, for instance, I'm looking for the first semi-stable moment to reach the ground on my own terms, rather than getting flung face-first into a fence. Or if a horse is spooked past the point of no return....

Ex) I was riding Bones (a very spooky, freaky horse) a few years back and my cantle saddle bag came untied on one side, swinging down and hitting her in the stifle with every step. She panicked and tried to bolt and buck at the same time. Things were getting worse by the second. I managed to do a hop-of that left me standing on one leg and kneeling on the other, completely unhurt. I still had a hold of my reins, and I managed to longe her in a circle around me, gradually pulling her to a stop so I could remove the offending saddle bag and calm her down. Had I stayed mounted, I probably would have eventually been thrown, and hurt, and she would have bolted back to the barn, dragging her reins the whole way...
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post #17 of 35 Old 04-07-2011, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
I think you should just not ride a horse that is out of your league. Problem solved. Even if something ridiculous happens on a well-trained horse, the good training will enable a decent rider to quickly regain control, you know?
I have a new gelding, that was not on dairy pasture before I bought him, and was fine on it for a number of weeks, when one day I rode him and he suddenly went off on a bucking fit. He's not out of my league by any means, but I never felt this particular episode coming, and by the time I realised he wasn't going to stop, I was halfway off him and decided for my own safety I was just going to kick my legs out of the stirrups.
- I say for my own safety, because I have spine issues and I would rather dismount on my own rather than be thrown from a 700kg horse, right into his own path. Even so, this "emergency dismount" was only a half decided one because I knew I was coming off anyway.
-He is well trained, while only 7 and an ex racer he is actually very well behaved, that particular type of grass just got the better of him and I have since solved this problem.

-However I do agree with you saying that people should not ride horses out of their league. Like I wouldn't put my 6yo learning sister onto anything apart from her own pony, who is very well trained.

R.I.P ~ Bubbles - 25yo tb mare - 13.04.2011 ~ 8:30am ~ passed away naturally and peacefully in my arms
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post #18 of 35 Old 04-07-2011, 07:25 AM
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I actually did it couple times when I was a young kid (which was pretty while back ), and both times horse bolted badly and I had no control of it (nor I could turn it in circle because the trail was very narrow). Overall I don't think it's a good idea though - you never know how you'll land.

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post #19 of 35 Old 04-07-2011, 07:42 AM
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I definitely think most if not every rider should know the basics behind an emergency dismount.

I think a few of you are confused behind the thinking on this. It is NOT getting off when you feel uncomfortable (but more on that later), it is knowing how to get off IN THE CORRECT WAY when all else fails. If your horse is out of control and heading towards a situation that means big trouble- maybe even death- then I believe the rider should try to get off if they've already tried everything to get the horse under control.

I think the trouble comes when:
One: People use this the wrong way.
Two: People fall in the wrong way.

Part of an ED is knowing how to fall. I was taught NOT to fall by the horse at all- but to try to get as far from the horse as possible. Now, someone may get hurt during an ED depite everything, but the POINT of one says that this injury is better than whatever injury you would've gotten had you stayed in the saddle.

Back to the getting off while uncomfortable thing. I see no problem with it in the correct situations. If a beginner rider is riding a horse that is spooking once every five seconds and there is no calming the horse down, perhaps it is better for the rider to dismount safely than to be thrown off and hurt. A rider's safety is the most important thing. However, I do not agree with just hopping off a horse if it breaks into a trot without someone telling them too, or if a horse trips, etc. Just situations where things could be potentially dangerous and staying in the saddle is really no use. While riding, you want to prevent falls AND EDs and the situations that bring them as much as possible.
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post #20 of 35 Old 04-07-2011, 09:36 AM
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Being able to control when and how we fall in an emergency (not simply because we are slightly uncomfortable) is one of the best tools we can give both ourselves and our horses and the time to learn this is not when the horse is collapsing underneath us or threatening to kill us in some other manner. I don't care how experienced you are, you simply never can know when a horse is going to fall out from under you or have a bee sting it under the girth or whatever. Saying that if you only ride horses at your level, you will never have to worry about this is about as naive as saying that if your horse is perfectly trained, you will never need to wear a helmet because they will never do anything to hurt you. Both attitudes are inviting severe injury or worse.

If a horse is going down and possibly over, you don't want to go down with it. Knowing how to dismount safely in this type of emergency situation kept me from being crushed when the horse I was on tripped out from under me and went down in a head over heels rolling motion that would probably have resulted in my leg being crushed and my rips broken at the very least. As it was, because I had been trained and had the wherewithal to fling myself off and away from the horse as I felt what was happening, all I got was a bruise on my hip. This dismount/fall had nothing to do with bolting, or spooking or being overfaced. I was on a well trained horse that simply tripped as I cued a transition from trot to canter on a trail.

Knowing how to get off a horse safely if you have to is invaluable.
A. Because it keeps you from getting crushed/hit by a semi/etc, and
B/ Because by requiring you to learn how to dismount/fall safely, it takes the fear of falling away. You build instincts that will kick in without having to think, whether you are choosing to dismount in an emergency or you find yourself falling despite all best efforts - maybe say like in a rotational fall on a x-country course. If you have developed the instict to land on your side, push/roll away from the horse, drop the reins, etc., by practicing in a safe, controlled environment, you don't have to think in an emergency, you just do. And you don't fear falling when it comes, you just do what you have to do to get through it safely and get back where you belong - in the saddle.
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