Take the fall, or hang on to the horse's face? - Page 6
   

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Take the fall, or hang on to the horse's face?

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  • Horse and bit tube - girl wrenches horse's mouth

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    03-12-2013, 07:59 AM
  #51
Weanling
It is truly one of my pet peeves, watching people fall over there horses head with reins still in hand. Those poor horses get their mouths cranked open! I've seen some with martingales where their mouths get kind of "stuck" open. /: I always release the reins when I fall, because I know my horses stay by me. Plus, having that one big yank in the mouth when I have a soft dressage horse, can really put his training back. :/ I just don't want him to have consequences of me falling
     
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    03-12-2013, 10:09 AM
  #52
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by minstrel    
I was determined to get back on a horse as soon as possible, but after a few weeks I realised that I wasn't the same - every time a horse looked at something, or had a spook, I tensed up and tightened my hold on the reins. Took a year of breaking and riding young horses to cure me of that. Sounds crazy, but starting young horses myself was the best thing - while they are unpredictable, and can spook or buck, twy generally haven't learned how to do anything horrible yet. So I got my confidence back by dealing with horses that are unpredictable yet predictable in how they are unpredictable... If that makes sense. I'd say I'm a much braver rider now than before, but I'm not stupid - I've learned to judge what I will and won't risk riding!
I'm usually one of those people that seems to try to hang onto to the very end but the one time I did decide to bail was definitely the right decision. I was just about to get off a young horse I'd been schooling over jumps for someone and had taken my feet out of the stirrups and looser contact with the reins as I prepared to get off when someone decided to shoot at a rabbit in the next field & the horse bolted off, I was already unbalanced and it was heading at a fence that had been put up to keep the horses off a patch of ground that was full of rabbit burrows. I hit the ground at such speed that I did a series of backward gambols before I stopped, the horse jumped the fence and fell on the other side - I could well have been underneath it. As it was I was left with only badly sprained back ligaments
     
    03-12-2013, 12:19 PM
  #53
Foal
No problem, Barry, the discussion is still relevant to the topic of falling, though what I was griping about in secondary were riders who fall as a result of their own mistake that could have been more or less easily prevented. The other kinds of falls, though, surprises and horse accidents, are part of the deal when anyone sets foot near a horse (much less decides to handle or ride it). However... I do believe that when a person has self-discipline and finesse, that only comes from proper experience and training, to be quick on the draw when handling horses, the person can almost surely prevent any horrible damage. Sometimes these people are only the ones that have the natural feel, in such a way that horsemanship is second nature to them. It does depend on what area you work in, as in, bull fighters on horseback run the very high risk of serious injury to all involved whether or not they are highly skilled. I haven't seen nearly as many deadly accidents in pony jumping as I have in a hunter derby. Perhaps a portion of that fact could be that foundational flaws and weaknesses a person/horse has are drawn out when the task at hand is strenuous?

Personally, my worst horse-related incident did not happen under saddle or even purposely training a horse. I was interning at a stable and the manager's horse mauled me--- I was going into each stall cleaning out hooves that hadn't been cleaned in weeks. The incidentally bitey and grumpy horses I interacted with were no issue, but this attacking horse in particular had, unbeknowest to me, a list of badly injured victims, and the horse himself was warping into a real psycho due to abuse. I chose to back off and leave him without cleaning his feet after I realized quickly that he was not calming, but when my fingertips touched his flank on the way out of his stall, he apparently assumed that I meant to strike him harshly as he always would be by other handlers, so he spun around and meant to defend himself.
Both bones in my arm were broken clean through so that the ends were floating, I had a nasty bite wound on my shoulder, and my left side was temporarily paralyzed. The manager, who was standing nearby and present for the entire incident with the full knowledge of the horse's history, having never told me, and knowing I walked in there, did nothing... Oh, besides call to me casually as I lay on the ground in shock, "Don't go in there; he'll throw you." No sign or lock existed to differentiate the horse from the other horses.
For a few months after the attack, I would tense when horses moved past me, and anxious when horses nuzzled my shoulder. I kept expecting them, subconsciously, to grab me with their teeth. I never went back to that stable besides to see the veterinarian twice. After I bought my lesson horse my post-traumatic terrors eased as I was able to interact with her every day and steadily was desensitized. I've never been injured while riding; I've had some areas rubbed raw and my leg scraped against the fence, sometimes a bruise from falling on my side. My worst fall was when I was jumping a 3ft fence and got left behind, so was jolted right over her shoulder mid-air and tumbled... however ended up bouncing to my feet and holding the reins with one hand at the buckle while my mare halted on landing. If I had felt resistance on the reins, I would've let go entirely. I always tense up and ache a few seconds after I fall hard, not before or during.
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    03-12-2013, 01:19 PM
  #54
Started
Tercio - that horse which broke your arm(s) had no place on a stable yard frequented by third parties. The owner was grossly irresponsible. Yes, the horse may have issues with humans but that is no excuse for aggressive behaviour towards other
Unsuspecting humans.

As for your original question: at home we always ride our horses on the mildest bit we can justify for being used with the horse in question. Some of the Western levered bits are regarded as being too fierce by we Brits. Most of us expect to be discarded sooner or later, so it is important not to wrench the horse's mouth - so the only answer must be to let go as one falls off - that's if one is quick enough to do anything other than shout out: "bug**r, this is going to hurt"

BG

PS "tercio" = Latin? , Italian? Spanish? Or Portuguese?
What does the nametag mean ??
     
    03-12-2013, 04:57 PM
  #55
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clava    
Interesting video of professionals learning to fall correctly
How to fall with Horse & Hound - YouTube

I know this is serious but heck that gave me the giggles
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    03-12-2013, 07:14 PM
  #56
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Godden    
Tercio - that horse which broke your arm(s) had no place on a stable yard frequented by third parties. The owner was grossly irresponsible. Yes, the horse may have issues with humans but that is no excuse for aggressive behaviour towards other
Unsuspecting humans.

As for your original question: at home we always ride our horses on the mildest bit we can justify for being used with the horse in question. Some of the Western levered bits are regarded as being too fierce by we Brits. Most of us expect to be discarded sooner or later, so it is important not to wrench the horse's mouth - so the only answer must be to let go as one falls off - that's if one is quick enough to do anything other than shout out: "bug**r, this is going to hurt"

BG

PS "tercio" = Latin? , Italian? Spanish? Or Portuguese?
What does the nametag mean ??
"Tercio" is Spanish, the nametag means "Velvet Horse," I had the idea because my horse's nickname is "Velvet" and I speak Spanish, as well as some Italian. My father's Austrain bloodline ended this generation, before that the family spoke Italian and German, we all tend to travel widely but like to marry eastern Europeans to keep the families familiar.

To sue or not to sue is still a question, as unfortunately I was not the first or the last victim; a few months after I was injured, a girl was picked up by her breast in the same manner. Knowing what my shoulder looked like, I can imagine the girl wouldn't be back either. I ask about the horse when I get the chance, and now he apparently was moved to a stall in a corner, as far from other people as he could be however still in easy access. They used to gear him up with God knows what to ride him over jumps, but now it seems they can't even get close enough to tack him up without him becoming defensive (which I understand, because the first day I came back to the stable to officially quit, I watched the stable hand cleaning stalls punch the horse in his eye immediately upon entering the stall and exiting regardless of what the horse did in his small stall).

Maybe he had an issue before that made them start hitting him in front of the throatlatch like that, I don't know, but I will say that no matter how he behaved when they brought him on property, striking him certainly hasn't helped. I believe this is not a respect issue, that the horse is just being bossy, because once I was flat on the ground out of breath the horse had automatically retreated and pressed himself against the far side of the cramped stall, head down, tail swishing, his whole body shaking terribly. He did try coming into my space unwarranted when I asked for his leg, and I would tell him Hey while flicking my hands to shoo him which did have him surprised; I remember he pinned his ears when I pointed to his leg and after I pushed into his space with the intent to tell him to listen up, he did take a minimal step back as much as he could and raised his head with a "What's this?" expression. He was perfectly quiet as I began to leave the stall, only when I touched him he shook so terribly it looked like he had a seizure, and as I lay on the ground he pressed himself into the far wall, tail swishing, ears pinned, shaking all over, and made no further move as I limped out. It's my belief that he only wanted not to be hurt, or else he would have put me out like a fire while I was on the ground or gone after me as soon as I started moving again.

The only other time I saw him react violently was when a horse passed his stall, he literally hurled his body against the wall between him and the horse, ears pinned, mouth gaping.

To this day whenever I ride near that stable, the boarders will move to the far side of their arena away from me. There were only two girls who acted polite toward me and liked to talk with me. I used to clean the dirtiest horses to a spit-shine, and at least they appreciated it. The others are real standoffish. I advise anyone who wishes to intern or volunteer for horse care to please, please, please go to a place such as an equine assisted therapy center or a horse adoption center, because I now realize that many show stable owners get a greedy gleam in their eyes when you mention working hard for free. I'll volunteer for any farm or stable, but I'll be ****ed if I work at a show stable again.

Heh, that's getting off topic, but I felt it deserved some elaboration.
So regardless of what one does in the horse world, it is important to plan ahead what one might do should a ride go sour, like having a fire escape plan, and identifying the warnings signs. When I rode with other people for the first time, I would point out everything, and they didn't appreciate it, but it did make them pay attention better and I had less spooking-breaks on trails. Of course, the Plastic Bag that Flapped in the Wind may jump out to eat your steed at any time, in which case the rider would need a good deal of balance and a little glue for the unexpected.
     
    03-12-2013, 07:58 PM
  #57
Foal
I don't know about anyone else but no matter what I always try to stay on... But along with this I have gotten into the habit of letting go or loosening my reins without thinking so I more use my leg strength and the saddle if I have one. But if I do find myself falling for sure, I always make sure I drop the reins, and now I do it without trying. But I always make sure that I am completely off the horses mouth before I do anything because it makes me mad when riders cling to their horses mouths.
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    03-12-2013, 08:20 PM
  #58
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow Puppet    
I don't know about anyone else but no matter what I always try to stay on... But along with this I have gotten into the habit of letting go or loosening my reins without thinking so I more use my leg strength and the saddle if I have one. But if I do find myself falling for sure, I always make sure I drop the reins, and now I do it without trying. But I always make sure that I am completely off the horses mouth before I do anything because it makes me mad when riders cling to their horses mouths.
Exactly what I do I atcually find I drop the reins really quick if my girl is going to try and get me off Sucks when she goes to spazz, then doesn't and I have to grab back my reins
     
    03-12-2013, 09:18 PM
  #59
Weanling
It really depends. If I am using split reins I will hang on to the end of one of them, but I usually only ride in snaffles and my horse always stops when he feels me falling. If I am in closed reins, I will just let go. If I am at a show, out by a road, or on a trail, I will always hang one, but like I said my horse just stops. Like once I was galloping inside and he stumbled and threw me forward but got right back up and kept going. I was hanging on barley and when I let go I feel forward and right in front of him and my grandpa said he has never seen a horse stop so fast I literal rolled over after the fall and his front hooves were inches from my nose, and I had let go of the reins.

Another time one of my friends was riding my old horse bareback and was canter and was wearing sweats and fell of and slammed in the arena wall and her arm was twisted in the closed rein and as soon as my mare felt pressure she stooped dead in her tracks and put her head down toward my friend until she untangled her arm from the reins. It could have turned out a lot worse. A trainer that saw the whole thing looked over at another boarder and said "have you ever seen a horse do that?" and they replied "never" then they looked at me and said I give kudos to who ever trained that mare. I was never more proud of my horse as I was that day.

Anyway with holding onto the reins, it depends on the horse, the time, and the extent of the fall!
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    03-13-2013, 01:30 AM
  #60
Trained
I am seriously disturbed by how many people fall off their horse unnecessarily.

I am not formerly trained, I learned by age 11 to stay on regardless of the situation. I was usually miles away from home, alone, bareback, riding rough terrain. (most of the time even barefoot!) Falling was not an option. I haven't taken a fall in over 20 years and have been in some pretty serious and hairy situations. Of course the inevitable can happen, like the horse falling, flipping over, etc. But, if someone is jumping (which I have done plenty of on the trail, way more dangerous than in a paddock over some plastic tubes in an arena) they should be far more advanced in their basic skills to ride out a refusal at that point than what I often see and hear about. It's just far too dangerous, for both involved.

When I rode my daughters horse for the first time at home (dead broke) he got spooked by something. One second we were moseying along the fence line, head hanging down after a long ride, the next we were 20 feet away from it in one solid leap. I was certainly not anticipating him to do something so extreme and was pretty relaxed on a super loose rein. Still, something inside me knew the split second before and I gracefully stayed with him. There is usually always a warning sign.

Maybe I have a super strong sense of self preservation, and also for my horse. But, riding (to stay on) is not in the hands or arms and shoulders, it's in the core and thighs. It's reading their movement, anticipating their reactions, and balancing your body with their momentum.
When people fall and hang on the reins hard enough to slam the mouth, well...
They need to go back to the basics.
     

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