Originally Posted by Buckcherry
I don't think falling off makes you a better rider but I do think dealing with the problems horses give you that tend to leading to you falling off, such as bucking, rearing, and spooking, gives you more experience and does make you a better rider. Someone who has experienced these things knows how to deal with them and how to stay on better than someone who has ridden perfect horses all their lives.
I still think it's a lot to do with luck. I have ridden far from perfect horses all my life. I've dealt with my fair share of horse craziness. The pony I had all through high school was the one infamous for rearing, running jumps, and dumping just about any kid that got on her. She still dumps any rider she thinks she can. Our warmblood is the one infamous for her spectacular spooks and bucking fits. She can spend several minutes at a time in practically a continuous bolt. I'm working with a Lusitano now who has temper tantrums when he feels like he's having to work too hard. He'll stop dead and rear/buck/toss his head until he thinks he's had his say. Now that I'm in college and don't have a horse of my own to ride, I'm being offered all of the very green or very challenging horses that aren't suitable for the more novice riders.
In 12 years of riding and all of these less than perfect horses, I've only come off about five times. None of them were anything to write home about and three of the falls were my own fault when I was gallivanting bareback.
I don't like to toot my own horn too much, but I think I'm a pretty well rounded rider... and I don't think the number of times I've fallen off has anything to do with whether or not I'm any good.
I'll have to knock on some wood... I've been lucky so far, but considering that I intend for riding to be a lifelong thing for me, I'm probably going to have a violent fall or two. Here's to hoping they aren't too horrific and don't happen any time soon.