Strange New Fear-- tripping?! - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
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Strange New Fear-- tripping?!

Several weeks ago I was riding a perfectly sound pony with shoes and everything in a perfectly maintained ring.

We were cantering (not very fast) around a not very tight corner and suddenly he tripped over his feet and fell on his face. I fell and got kicked and banged up. The horse just got back up and was perfectly fine (thank goodness). It had never happened before.

I've been riding since then, but whenever my instructor wants me to canter a circle I get really nervous. Especially when I start seeing the horses' body bend in the turns. I'm afraid he... or she is just going to tip over. Consequentially I always slow down drastically in the turns and eventually break. It's not good for courses either.

These horses NEVER tripped (seriously anyway) before... so I shouldn't be scared, right? Why shouldn't I fear cantering a large circle (20 or 50 meter)... what are some things to take into consideration?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 04:03 PM
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Now, if something underlying caused the trip, that's a whole different story. But...

When something like that happens, the only thing that works for me is to do it until I'm not scared anymore. This is silly, but I used to be terrified of picking up my mare's back legs because she'd jerk them away and act like she was going to kick out. I just made myself do it (with a helmet on for the first couple times...) and now I'm fine. But that's just what works for me. Unfortunately, that also means a lot of stuff goes undone because I'm too scared to ever make myself do it...
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 06:09 PM
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My worst injury came when my horse tripped while cantering. While it didn't cause fear so much, it definitely makes me sit square and secure whenever I'm cantering or galloping so as not to invite disaster again. I try very hard to stay centered over him, so if he does stumble, I'm not in his way and he can recover.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 06:46 PM
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Just some food for thought - how slow was his canter? A horse moving lazily has a much higher tendency to drag his feet which can easily trip him. I know it's going to seem like the opposite of what you want, but if you encourage the horse to move a little bit more forward he's less likely to trip in a well maintained arena.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 06:54 PM
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Just a question I have to ask about tripping (not trying to steal the thread, might help OP, too)
My Clydesdale is HORRIBLE about dragging her feet. I was told by one person that when she trips, to take the reins, make contact with the bit, and try to pull her back up. Is this true?

"All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and she'll listen to me allll day."
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BackInTheSaddleAgain View Post
Just a question I have to ask about tripping (not trying to steal the thread, might help OP, too)
My Clydesdale is HORRIBLE about dragging her feet. I was told by one person that when she trips, to take the reins, make contact with the bit, and try to pull her back up. Is this true?
I think what the person meant by telling you this is that when the horse trips, if you pull it's head up it will step upwards with it's front legs. Something to do with the anatomy of a horse, I think? When I was in a horse camp we were taught the same thing, and it does keep the horse from going down if it's a bad trip. If she's just stumbling a little but not actually loosing her balance I wouldn't pull on her face that hard. Hopefully someone else can add on to this, specifically with the science behind it.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 09:10 PM
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^ I guess it has to do witht he way their neck connects tot he shoulder, which connects to the leg... So if one is up, the rest are. But I don't really know, that was an educated guess. It's like when you give them a bath, and they go to roll right after, and you yank up on the lead rope, they get their entire front end up. Kind of the same thing I guess.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-13-2010, 09:21 PM
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To the OP, I agree with just take it as a learning experience. Anyone who has ridden for very long will have this happen at some point in time. Not everyone will fall off but it'll happen. I've landed on a few necks myself and I think its only the fact that I ride in a western/endurance type saddle that saved me. If I'd been riding english I would have gone off for sure.
Just be aware that this can happen. Don't let the fear of it overwhelm you but keep a plan in mind for if and when it happens again. Pulling up on the reins will sometimes right a tripping horse and keep him from going all the way down.
Grabbing the back of the saddle will help you stay seated as well as just leaning back instead of letting the horses momentum throw you forward. Once you have a plan you can relax and ride
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