Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: West Central Illinois
• Horses: 0
I will try my best to answer your questions:
1. Well, if you mean practicing for a fall; there are some bailing methods, but I don't know much about those. Usually you can practice this with your instructor on the proper way to fall from a horse if you absolutely felt you needed to bail. If you fall because you lose your balance or the horse tries to buck you, that's a different story (see number 2.)
2. The method I use to remember what to do when I'm falling is:
Let go, go limp, roll away.
The faster you can think and do this phrase will make it second nature to you. To explain this phrase.
If you ever feel you have reached that "point of no return on a horse", (and there is no physical way you can get youself back into postion, usually you think something along the lines of "Oh cr*p" or "Holy sh*t" or "I'm going to die".) Let go. This means let go of the horn or reins and anything else you are holding on to. And don't try to hang on the stirrups, you could get dragged, and would be in a whole lot more danger then just hitting the ground.
Next thing to do is to go limp. As you await to hit the hard cold ground, don't resist the fall. You will walk away with far less injuries if you "fling like spaghetti" than "thump like a rock" (does that make sense?)
And the third and possibly most inportant part is once you hit the ground, use your momentum and roll away. You should roll away from your horse. This eliminates the risk of you getting trampled by your horse and also helps absorb the impact (because you are letting your momentum move your body).
3. After you have fallen, it depends on your situation. NEVER worry about your horses safety over your own. What I normally do is stay still for a few seconds and get my barings and ascess my pain and figure out where it is coming from. If you feel that you shouldn't/can't move, DON'T! You could worsen a fracture or worst case scenario, paralyize yourself. If you feel ok enough to sit up, do so and if you are alone, call for help.
As for getting back on the horse, you need to asap, but only after you are positive you have sustained no physical damage (besides a bruise or two) and are capable of getting back on the horse. You also need to check that your horse has sustained no injuries from the incident and if the need be, make sure the horse has calmed down enough he is safe to ride.
4. If you are the only one around, ALWAYS check on the rider before getting the horse. First aid will depend on the injury. Follow basic first aid procedures for cuts, scrapes, and brusies. If you believe more serious injuries were sustained by the rider, call 911. It is better to be safe than sorry. If there is more than one person around, and somebody is attending to the rider, then you may attempt to catch the rider's horse. Be sure to look him/her over and that the horse needs no immediate medical attention. And don't for get to encourage the rider to get back on as soon as it is safe to do so. Falling off is a leading cause of why people lose their passion for riding, and the sooner they get back on, the less chance they have of giving up on riding.
Hope this helped!
P.S. There is no reason to be sorry for wanting to be prepared in case of an emergency. I applaud you for asking something some people look over as they learn to ride.
Last edited by A knack for horses; 09-13-2010 at 08:49 PM.