Had another spectacular accident - Could I have prevented this one>?

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Had another spectacular accident - Could I have prevented this one>?

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    08-10-2011, 09:51 AM
Had another spectacular accident - Could I have prevented this one>?


I have been taking lessons at this new riding school. Went on the lunge to re-learn my basics. Just got taken off the lunge today. So it was my big day (yay!).. and we were riding on this smaller arena which had a hedge on the side, which slopes gently to a small trail which is sometimes used by polo ponies from a neighbouring riding club.

I was trotting happily on the school horse today when a polo pony came along from behind my horse's blind spot. My horse suddenly bolted and I was thrown off the horse. I fell and my head (with helmet of course) hit the ground. I am still in a daze.

I guess in hindsight I should have anticipated this problem cos I could see the oncoming horse from the corner of my eye. But I had not expected the horse to bolt in such a way. In fact, it didn't even occur to me then that the horse would be frightened. cos I sure wasnt frightened by the oncoming horse.

What could I have done to prevent myself from being unseated when a horse bolts so suddenly?

Also, is it true that I need to get a new helmet should the one I have been wearing encounter some hard knocks or experience "some trauma"?


Also, is it true that I need to get a new helmet if the one I had been wearing had encountered some hard knocks or trauma or protected me in an accident? I heard the reason is because the security factor would be compromised in such an event.
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    08-10-2011, 10:03 AM
Green Broke
Things can happen quickly, can't they?! I would buy a new helmet just to be on the safe side. The few times my horse has tried to bolt, my first instinct is to grab the mane! The best is to turn them into a small circle so they can't get too much speed.
    08-10-2011, 10:08 AM
Hi Mavis, first and foremost, YES! You need a new helmet! Falling of a horse is a long distance to the ground and I am sure you probably dented the helmet. Personally I would not trust it again. Just because you can't see the damage doesn't mean it's not there, and a helmet is cheap compared to a lengthy hospital stay or permanent brain damage.

Second, could you have avoided this, we will never know. Not seeing the accident, I can't know fore sure if you were riding balanced or not. If you have a well balanced seat you shouldn't come off. But you don't say if you rolled off the back of the horse when it bolted or if it also bucked and that threw you out of the saddle. Are you riding english or western, with both you sit a little differently. A little more info would be a big help.
    08-10-2011, 10:16 AM
Hi, I was riding ENglish and posting a trot when it happened :(
    08-10-2011, 10:30 AM
I was riding on the right rein.

The horse bolted off the side of the arena and ran off into the middle. I don;t know if he bucked as well. It all happened too fast. I flew forward and sideways as he ran off to the right and I knocked my head on the ground.
    08-10-2011, 10:37 AM
Green Broke
Things happen. Since you saw him coming, you could have turned you horse's head in a little so that it could see the other horse better. Its hard to say though if that would have worked or not.
    08-10-2011, 10:47 AM
Horses have a mind of their own. I'm not sure how you could have prevented a bolt, unless you could feel the horse tensing underneath you beforehand.

Yes, you need a new helmet. The one you have now is useless for head protection.
    08-10-2011, 01:05 PM
Unfortunately until you learn good balance and other skills to sit through the bolt (and handle it) there was nothing you could do really. Sorry for your fall - that's usually an unpleasant experience! Even well trained horses can bold, and even very good riders may fall off. Part of riding.
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    08-10-2011, 10:42 PM
Thanks! I learnt a lesson from this.

To be more aware of things that will frighten the horse.

But if he will bolt anyway, what could I have done? I could try turning his body into a half circle so he can see the horse coming from behind?

What abt sudden movements in the hedge along the arena? I have fallen twice along this hedge. Should I slow down everytime I go past this stretch? But I actually fell off once when the horse was just walking along the same hedge.

I will make it a point to be more vigilant whenever I go past this hedge. But how do I prepare for the event the horse might bolt/buck or shake his massive butt?
    08-10-2011, 10:50 PM
I don't believe you could have prevented it.
We (as humans) can't always foresee what our horses will spook at. Especially since you just started riding this horse, you don't know the horse very well and certainly cannot know things he will spook at.
As far as riding spooks, just TRY not to panic. Sit back keep your heels down and keep riding through it. If its a very big spook and your horse will not stop, try a pully rein.
DON'T slow down near the hedge every time as that will become a bad habit as the horse will think it can slow/stop every time it goes near it.
Don't even look at the hedge, don't even think about the hedge. Your fear of it will only increase the horses fear of it. If you show the horse that the hedge is nothing to worry about, then probably the horse will think nothing of it unless something pops out of it. Which, of course, is not predictable.

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