What are your emergency strategies?
 
 

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What are your emergency strategies?

This is a discussion on What are your emergency strategies? within the Horse Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse has suddenly started bolting and rearing
  • Horse suddenly starts bucking

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    02-18-2012, 03:33 AM
  #1
Foal
What are your emergency strategies?

What you do when your horse suddenly starts bolting, bucking, or rearing while you're riding?

What are some emergency dismounts that you've practiced/used?

Also, any tips of what to do when you are thrown off? I've seen jockeys curl up into a ball before they land. Does doing that minimize the chances of serious injuries?

Thanks
     
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    02-18-2012, 03:37 AM
  #2
Showing
There really isn't a definitive answer for any of those questions. What I do on a horse that suddenly bucks/bolts/rears greatly depends on the horse and the situation. I've ridden some horses that responded well to the one-rein stop in those situations. I've ridden others that would just continue to buck/bolt with their nose to my stirrup, or even better, the ones that would just snatch the reins out of your hands and go on their merry way.

As for the falling thing, I normally scramble to stay on as long as possible and when I finally realize that I can't, I just splat wherever I happen to land .
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    02-18-2012, 04:39 AM
  #3
Green Broke
I've never done an emergency dismount, nor have I had a rearer. But I had a horse that would always take off and was super strong, and what I would do is spiral in until I could regain control. If I needed to pull up I would do a tight circle one rein stop style.

I think jockeys roll into a ball to protect themselves from trampling, which isn't as much an issue for someone just riding alone, as there aren't a herd of horses to trample you.
     
    02-18-2012, 05:01 AM
  #4
Banned
I always think the safest place to stay is ON BOARD

It's exceptionally rare for a horse to lose it's mind to such an extend that it's going to put itself in danger and hence risk you too.

Of course though as a trainer who for many years was a jump jockey I do know how to dismount a rear should a horse risk flipping over and I do know how to land a fall with a roll away.

But for the every day rider that's a skill that would soon be lost in the heat of the moment and due to lack of practice.

My advice is that the best thing you can learn is how to ride and how to ride well and stay balanced and secure in the saddle. Then to be able to critically undertake risk assessment and avoid anything that is outwith the bounds of your competence and ability to manage. Finally always ensure you wear correct personal protective equipment: hat, body protector (as appropriate)
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    02-18-2012, 08:16 AM
  #5
Yearling
I've always been taught to stay on and try to regain control of the situation. Circle the horse if you can, use a pulley rein if necessary. Try anything and everything to either slow the horse down or bring them to a stop. Only as a last resort where my life is at risk should I perform an emergency dismount - something like the horse bolting for a busy highway or into another hazard where the outcome isn't going to be nice.

Falling off is another story... some people tell you to "roll" away from the horse but I find in reality you don't have a lot of time to think about how you're going to fall. If and when you fall, if you do "roll" away it's usually based on pure luck not because you planned it out in your head. In a perfect world, you would roll with your hands behind your head and elbows tucked to create a "ball" with your body but it doesn't always work like that.

... and whatever you do, if you are going to fall don't stick your arms out to catch yourself because that's a sure fire way to break something.
     
    02-18-2012, 09:13 AM
  #6
Banned
This has a few tips. The one variable you have to account for is that these riders knew they were going to fall

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WgjVORA9LIE
     
    02-18-2012, 09:16 AM
  #7
Showing
This behaviour often shows up when the horse is being ridden out alone and arrives at the spot when he feels he's gone too far from everything that represents safety to him. If this is the case, he will give subtle signals at first, slowing down, less responsive to leg, quick to turn in the direction of home. Tail switching is a warning. When a horse tightens it's back muscles they feel wider, but he is planning on rearing. He needs to bunch his muscles in order to do so. When you feell that, that's when you want to pull his head around and drive his hindquarters around. As long as his hind feet can't get planted beneath him he can't rear. Tap the inside hip with a crop to make him hustle. His hindquarters likly won't complete a circle and he'll want to quit. So you push a little more. Only when he will stand quietly do you allow his head to straighten.
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    02-18-2012, 09:46 AM
  #8
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
This behaviour often shows up when the horse is being ridden out alone and arrives at the spot when he feels he's gone too far from everything that represents safety to him. If this is the case, he will give subtle signals at first, slowing down, less responsive to leg, quick to turn in the direction of home. Tail switching is a warning. When a horse tightens it's back muscles they feel wider, but he is planning on rearing. He needs to bunch his muscles in order to do so. When you feell that, that's when you want to pull his head around and drive his hindquarters around. As long as his hind feet can't get planted beneath him he can't rear. Tap the inside hip with a crop to make him hustle. His hindquarters likly won't complete a circle and he'll want to quit. So you push a little more. Only when he will stand quietly do you allow his head to straighten.
Yes. I've felt the same uneasy jiggyness when hacking my mare out alone. That's the signal to get busy. Ignoring it will just lead to problems.
     
    02-18-2012, 10:34 AM
  #9
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoopla    
I always think the safest place to stay is ON BOARD

It's exceptionally rare for a horse to lose it's mind to such an extend that it's going to put itself in danger and hence risk you too.
I disagree with this part, but I agree with everything else you said.

Some horses, it's better to get off and refocus their energy and mind to something more constructive than having a freak out. Other times, you DO need to ride it out. And other times, a simple one rein stop or lots of transitions, directional changes, etc.

But for your question, I always dismount my horse in the emergency dismount way. Both feet out of the stirrups, swing my legs over and launch myself away. The important thing to remember is GET AWAY. I would try to curl up but avoid bracing or being stiff or you'll get more hurt.

Don't put your hands out in front of you.. keep your limbs close.

I wouldn't try to hold onto the reins if you fall, in case you pull the horse in the direction you're going and it runs you over. But it's a good idea, if you can, to hold on if it's an open space or YOU initiate the dismount.

It's a catch 22, just be careful.

One last thing, first thing you do is get those feet OUT of those stirrups once you've decided you're going to bail. Get into the habit of doing that without looking down or kicking your horse. Looking down = BAD!!
     
    02-18-2012, 02:52 PM
  #10
Showing
One thing that most people don't know, you don't really have to practice what you would do in an emergency situation, especially if practicing would be dangerous.

Where I used to work, they would advise us to constantly play what they called "the what-if game" where you would constantly think of what you would do if "this" happened or "that" happened. If you thought about it logically and often, you could build up a sort of synaptic memory (similar to muscle memory) in your head and when the emergency hit, your brain would automatically go to one of those pre-thought out plans.
     

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