I'm a "ditcher" :\ - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 05-19-2010, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Cool I'm a "ditcher" :\

Okay so, somehow, somewhere along the way I became too comfortable with the idea of falling off. It doesn't bother me at all, the problem is, I've developed the tendency to ditch when something goes wrong. Note, it takes a fair amount to knock me off balance, but I think this is kind of a problem. Just last Saturday I was jumping, all was good, but I'm weak and a bit out of practice. The last jump in a line was about a 2'9 oxer. The horse took it at an awkward spot that I wasn't really expecting (totally my fault, I sorta forgot to actually ride cause he was such an easy horse xD). In the end we both landed off balance and I ditched before things had a chance to play out. Unfortunately, I managed to land on my elbow and did more harm than good. Thankfully no fracture, but no riding for a week or two. Not horrible, but not desirable either.

So, I guess the point of this is, is it really a bad thing? Advice? Your own stories? Any reply is appreciated. Kudos if you read it :]

"The art of riding is keeping a *horse* between you and the ground."
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post #2 of 25 Old 05-19-2010, 11:37 PM
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I have no advice, but I have noticed that falling tends to be an elective thing in the situations you're describing. I'm sure you could stay on if you committed yourself to doing so, but at some point you just decide to go with it. That's how it works for me anyway. I'm guessing your horse isn't huge?

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 25 Old 05-20-2010, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Lol, well at the moment I am horseless. But the guy I ditched on the other day was 17.2 xD Apparently my little habit has no height limits.

"The art of riding is keeping a *horse* between you and the ground."
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post #4 of 25 Old 05-20-2010, 01:01 AM
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You could ride on rockier ground and it might help break you of that habit.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #5 of 25 Old 05-20-2010, 01:01 AM
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LOL Kevin ^^

I ditch sometimes too. But I only do it if I really think I'll fall, and I'll keep a good hold on the reins and take my foot out of the stirrups I use my arms to push me up and out of the saddle to land on my feet. I once even grabbed a rope and escaped that way. LOL, that was my best ditch ever.

I wouldn't ditch unless you're absolutely sure. Just the horse taking an awkward jump doesn't mean you'll fall. Just gotta do your best to keep your balance and ride it out. It's hard but its a part of the horse business. And being a naturally nervous person, I have problems with that. But I alo know that I have to ride and take control or I will fall.

And if you jump off when the horse bucks or rears, it will teach them that you will get off them if they do that. And obviously....you could create a monster that way. Its one thing to jump if your horse stumbles or something, but not for bad behavior. =/

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #6 of 25 Old 05-20-2010, 06:36 PM
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There are few situations in which I ditch - heading straight towards a wall in an uncontrollable fashion and heading towards a jumpable object over about 4' tall in an uncontrollable fashion. So far it has served me well. Before I instated this policy I have done similar things including smashing my elbow and head into kick boards, skidding on gravel face first, etc.. Since, I've ended up with a bruise from a situation #1 and a sore kidney from a situation #2. Generally I've found staying on to be quite favorable otherwise.

As previously said - dismounting too often can teach the horse bad things. And when the time comes that you need to ride the sucker through things, you're not going to have the experience or (for lack of a better term) balls to do so.
And it's useful in country bars where mechanical bulls are present and there are bets to be made
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post #7 of 25 Old 05-20-2010, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
And when the time comes that you need to ride the sucker through things, you're not going to have the experience or (for lack of a better term) balls to do so.
Haha this is a really good point. When I used to give lessons, teaching students how to do a safe emergency dismount was something I normally taught. I had one pupil who was on the timid side with her riding, but took to ditching like a duck to water - initially the confidence gained from knowing how to come off safely greatly improved some of her riding skills, but it became far too easy for her to ditch at the slightest provocation, and something she had to essentially unlearn later, because it gave her an excuse to fail to push her own boundaries and learn to become a better rider/have confidence in her ability to stay on....the latter of what sounds like it's the problem the OP is having. It's easier to ditch than to ride out the rough stuff and find out if you could have stuck.


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post #8 of 25 Old 05-20-2010, 06:54 PM
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I have the opposite problem... I don't know when to bail out and off.

MY motto is "when the going gets touch clinge on for dear life, ride it out and deal with things when your blanaced".

When I was a kid I had a HORRIBLE paint draft cross with a fat and short little neck. HE would bolt randomly, I would pull him around to a one rein stop but instead he just put his nose on my boot and kept flying streight... One day we bolted through 300 acres of feilds and woods (and down a very steep him) (2 neighborhood farms) before I finally got him stopped. He was a tricky little bugger but I rode him home then... eventually as I got older and wiser the bolting stopped...
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post #9 of 25 Old 05-20-2010, 06:58 PM
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Oh and once I (was about 15 years old then) was loping a QH gelding down a hill to a freinds farm and my horse slid out from under me (why he had fallen down I'll never know just bad footing on his part).

He went down front first, I went over his head, he rolled over me. We got up and rode home so my barn owner could look him over... I called the vet due to a little swelling in his leg but end result was we both were A-O-K
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post #10 of 25 Old 05-20-2010, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IllComeALopin View Post
Oh and once I (was about 15 years old then) was loping a QH gelding down a hill to a freinds farm and my horse slid out from under me (why he had fallen down I'll never know just bad footing on his part).

He went down front first, I went over his head, he rolled over me. We got up and rode home so my barn owner could look him over... I called the vet due to a little swelling in his leg but end result was we both were A-O-K
Did you learn anything about loping a horse down a hill?

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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