We went for a nose dive!

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We went for a nose dive!

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  • Horse gets hoof caught in rein
  • Horse nose dives over jumps

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    08-09-2011, 10:21 PM
We went for a nose dive!

Today I was just exercising my jumper over a few teeny cross rails. He's being very good, just a nice even canter, we come down a six stride line and when he lands on the back side... he trips.
The reins threaded through my hands and I thought he was going to be able to catch himself, but it was futile and he did a total nose dive into the arena sand. I went flying over his head.

I had enough time to realize what was happening, but didn't have any real clue how to either save the situation or save myself! Do any of ya'll have any tips on what the heck to do when your horse starts to lose his footing like that? I didn't know if I should jump off and away from him... or what?!
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    08-09-2011, 11:20 PM
Green Broke
Wow so glad you are ok and walked away. I think I would try to jump free in this situation....a half ton animal landing on top of me doesn't sound like it would be good for me.

I do not jump (too big of a sissy) so I am sure there is someone here that does and will have some practical advice...take care and be careful!!!
    08-09-2011, 11:29 PM
I'm also glad you're okay, that is a scary situation.

IME, a horse normally won't completely somersault over completely on top of you unless they are traveling at a long lope or a gallop. At most, they'll face plant and then fall onto one side or the other before they stop sliding. A broken leg is a possibility but death? Not so much.

I've been trained since the day I started riding that if the horse stumbles and starts to fall, give them their head and hang on. Most folks have the instinct to snatch up on the reins in hopes of balancing the horse or something so that they can re-gain their feet. This doesn't work.

My Dad always told me "A horse weighs over a thousand pounds, if he's falling, you aren't going to be able to pick him up with those 2 little reins. However, if he has free range of motion with his head, he can put it exactly where he needs it to find his own balance. A horse will recover quicker from a stumble/fall and is less likely to go completely down if you can free up his neck the moment he stumbles, before it gets bad."
    08-09-2011, 11:51 PM
I've had something similar happen to me a few years ago. I was scareeeeed. I was helping move bulls and was loping my horse along the fence line and he must have tripped on something, or stepped in a hole. Who knows? Anyways, yeah he went down, and honestly, I think at the point where I felt we were going down, I dropped my reins and started to kick my feet out of the stirrups. Total instict, because my worse fear is being drug behind a horse by my ankle.

The best thing to do would be give him his head when you feel somthing going awry, and prepare yourself for an emergency dismount (as I call it)
    08-10-2011, 12:22 AM
Smrobs, your dad sounds like a very smart man!

I had worried that he would get his hooves caught up in the reins if I just let them go... but it didn't much matter because once he started to really lose it, the reins were pulled right out of my hands. He's a good boy and just kinda' stood there wide eyed... didn't go running off into the sunset with all his tack flapping in the wind.

Kicking my feet out of the stirrups would have been a good idea! Going for a drag is a big fear of mine.
    08-10-2011, 12:46 AM
LOL, he ought to be. He's had countless horses fall with him over the decades.

You don't have to completely let them go, just let them kind of slip through your hands until the horse gets as much space as he needs.

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