I know that this is true, but I hope lots of little "hurts" will qualify as one big one. I have been tossed or fallen many times and come away with some hefty bruises but never have broken a bone. Been stepped on and had my eyebrow split by a flying head, but no stitches yet. Do those qualify? Can I still expect "the Big One"?
Hmm...I dunno. I'm inclined to say it really depends on what kinds of horses a person rides, and their skill level (and, of course, a little luck). Little injuries are a given, but I'm not sure about the 'Big One'.
Obviously, any horse can spook and we can fall and get hurt (or not fall and get hurt
), but your risks are naturally going to be quite a bit lower if you generally ride broke and quieter horses, and you're less likely to get 'the Big One'.
I've dislocated my shoulder before falling from a horse, but otherwise I'm like you - tons of 'little' hurts, no big, serious injuries that put me out for weeks or months or required me to get surgery or anything.
Though, I expect to be hurt bad at least a few times if I decide to pursue a real career in horses. That sounds bad, I shouldn't 'expect' to be hurt, but I know it might and probably will happen. The fact that I've gotten by with minor injuries so far is surprising, and I am just waiting for the Big One 'cause I know luck can't last forever.
Accidents happen regardless of training and skill level, but I think going about it safe, and riding horses that match your skill level lowers your chances of getting badly hurt.