tuck and roll - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-01-2011, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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tuck and roll

Just a question to you riders and trainers out there.
During your training were you taught how to tuck and roll if you accidentally come off the horse? Toss yourself away from the horse if possible. Basically get away from the feet as fast and safely as possible. Where were you taught this and was it a mandatory teaching? Such as you couldn't go on from one step to the next without this training.

I was taught this before I was even allowed to walk, then again before trotting and again when cantering. With each new level I reach I was taught more safety procedures that went along with it. I'm 23 now and have fallen off, been tossed, almost trampled (knock on wood), bolted, pushed, shoved...a lot of things and thanks to the different trainers I've had I've been able to come out with bumps bruises and sore joints but thankfully and luckily nothing too much more serious.

I just read a blog from a girl, not sure of her age, she had her first experience coming off hard. She landed under the horse, watched as the horses hooves passed over her and a back foot hit her in the head. I don't know if she was wearing a helmet because it wasn't mentioned. The following comments were anywhere from "oh my god I hope you're ok" to "the horse needs to be put to sleep it's a dangerous animal" (that's a little extreme!). The thing that caught my attention though was this girl stated she's had formal training but for the few years she's been riding was never taught how to come off a horse as safely as possible. When tucking and rolling was mentioned she stated she didn't believe in it if her trainer didn't teach it. I didn't post a comment but I had to wonder even if the trainer didn't teach it wouldn't your survival instinct tell you to get away from the pounding hooves? Maybe the shock of impact would delay that reaction but I just don't understand how something like that could be missed or just left out in training?

Maybe it's just me and I was lucky enough to have trainers that preached safety in all forms like it was the law. I'm glad this girl is ok from what I read but it leaves me scratching my head? Posts like that worry me. If I can dig the link up from my history pages I'll post it.

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post #2 of 23 Old 11-02-2011, 12:16 AM
Join Date: May 2010
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I was never taught how to fall, and have only ever done one emergency dismount. However I naturally fall very well (& almost always on my hip..but better that than my head). My personal view is that when I'm prepared for something to happen i tend to tense up and loose it. Whereas if I just go with the flow I always keep my seat. For me, I don't take the time to think, I just act. I'm practically getting up before I even hit the ground.

However, like I said, I fall well naturally. If things were otherwise I would learn something to protect myself and I think it's a good skill. It only took me catching myself with my hand once to learn to never do that again!
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-02-2011, 02:51 AM
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I was never taught how to fall or do an emergency dismount.
I am not sure I am in favor of emergency dismounts though as I have seen them used when the riders should have been on their horse and regaining control.
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post #4 of 23 Old 11-02-2011, 03:09 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
I was never taught how to fall or do an emergency dismount.
I am not sure I am in favor of emergency dismounts though as I have seen them used when the riders should have been on their horse and regaining control.

I WAS taught the emergency dismount, and had the worst fall of my life while practicing it. I also found that when things went wrong I immediately dove for the ground. I realize now that regaining control is the best way to go. My current trainer teaches the emergency stop - first at at walk, then trot and so on, as opposed to the emergency dismount.

And yes, I realize there ARE times when you should bail off - like if your horses is headed for the highway - but in general terms I'd rather just stay on!
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-02-2011, 06:08 AM
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I was never taught how to fall off. I fight to stay on until I can't.
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-02-2011, 06:40 AM
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A stuntman friend of mine told me once that the safest way to 'fall' off a horse is to eject oneself off the stirrups bars, forwards off to the right or left with face down. The hands go up to protect the face. The overall appearance is of a swimmer diving off the side or a swimming pool.The ground onto which the stuntman falls is carefully prepared to be soft and absorbent of the fallen riders weight.

He said that the big danger was getting caught up with the stirrups and not getting away from the horse's feet. The biggest risk of all was for the horse to fall on the rider with potentially a lethal result.

I asked about training - he replied that there was a higher risk of injury during practice than warranted taking the chance. Anyway the stuntman would be using body protectors including knee and elbow pads.

Under modern health and safety rules it is unlikely that any authorised training centre would volunteer to teach and practice falling off a horse.

The problem for the rider is that it is probable that in many cases he/she will land on their backs in which case both the spine and the base of the skull will incur concussion.

In this era safety helmets and padded riding jackets are available and undoubtedly they should be worn at all times by novices.

ALso the surface of the training arenas can be softened with chopped rubber infill.

The risk of falling cannot be eliminated in horse riding but much could be done to reduce the risk of serious injury to the skull or spine by wearing protective gear. The rider who rides without a hat and who jumps without a jacket represents a danger to themself and a bad example to others in the sport.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-02-2011, 07:53 AM
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I believe in, and have taught both the emergency dismount and the tuck and roll. US Pony Club teaches the emergency dismount and requires it at different gaits at different rating levels.

How it's taught is crucial: I taught it as a game or gymnastic exercise, starting with students stirrupless or bareback, and after the students had mastered it and thought it was fun, explained its practical application. And I never made it a requirement, as in "You must leap off the galloping horse in order to advance to the next level." I saw that approach cause some problems, even at PC ratings.

Teaching it as "how to bail off a horse if you're in trouble" leads to it being used badly or in the wrong situations. I do agree that 90% of the time, you're better off staying on and attempting to regain control.

The other important concept is that if you feel yourself going, let go all the way. Go limp so you'll land softly. Fighting to stay on once you're truly unseated can lead to some really hard falls
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-02-2011, 03:14 PM
Green Broke
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I was never taught an emergancy dismount, or the tuck and roll.

I fight to stay on, until it is impossible to stay on.

It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. --Epictetus
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-02-2011, 03:39 PM
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i was taught the emergency tuck and roll and never had to use it but my sister wasn't and she was a natural when she had to use it (saddle literally was falling sideways since the pony liked to hold his breathe :p
you would think the reaction is to get away from feet but i guess hitting the ground unprepared could took away reaction time to get out of the way...espesically without a helmet.
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-02-2011, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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I've seen people throw themselves from horses when the horses trip which I think is absolutely ridiculous. If you can stay on regain control then absolutely. The few times I've had to throw myself where when it was going to be a disaster. For example, Legacy summer saulted over a jump in January. There was no way I was going to stay on and go for the roll with her. I hit that ground at the same time her back did. That would have not been a good outcome had I stayed on her. And up until that point I had done everything in my power to pull her up off her knees but my trainer said when I bailed she was already at tipping point. My dumb mind thought, where's the camera instead of oh my goodness!
That's just one example and most of my falls and bails are after trying everything to regain some kind of balance and control. That's how emergency dismounts and tuck and roll should be used. After all other options have been exhausted. I will admit though a few have been caused by not paying completely attention to the horse. I've only had two falls off of my girls luckily but in training horses and riding for the last 20 years I've had a good share. I even had one where a huge manure pile saved me. ick. And I've had a Monty python one! Some guy thought it would be a good idea to ride without a muffler past a green horse I had offered to ride on a trail ride. Horse spooked, locked it neck caught me completely by surprised and not 6 seconds later headed under a tree that wouldn't fit the two of us and a branch took me out. I think I hung in the air for a couple sections before landing on my tail bone. I was 17 I think? Favorite fall.

When life gives you lemons....chuck em at whoever is giving them to you!
I don't want lemons! I want cookies!

Last edited by drafts4ever; 11-02-2011 at 05:33 PM.
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