After bad fall, how to get back on? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 07-03-2010, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Flower Mound, TX
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After bad fall, how to get back on?

Two weeks ago I had a really bad fall. I don't remember what happened, but I ended up in the hospital. I got to spend one night in the ICU and was sent home the next day with a lovely concussion and whiplash. I was very lucky though, as I didn't break any bones.

After talking to the one person who saw it, we sort of pieced together what happened. We think JT tripped and lost his footing, basically he lost his hind end and he went down dumping me on my back and my head hit the ground hard. I was wearing a helmet, I don't want to think about how bad it would have been if I had not. JT did not look upset, he did not look like he was rearing and I apparently was not pulling on his head, but the person only saw the fall, not what caused it.

I'm not cleared to ride again until the neurologist gives me the go ahead and my appointment isn't until the beginning of August. Today was the first day I was able to lead JT to turn him out by myself and I hosed him down afterwards and put him back without any help. This is huge progress for me as I haven't felt strong enough until today. JT is not the best behaved horse at the barn...

JT is a 5 year old NSH and pretty darn hot. Now I never had a problem with hot horses, I somewhat prefer them that way. I've had him since December and he's been making huge progress. This is a picture from last month: JT Foothills Stables 051210 :: JT051210-4.jpg picture by knaskedov - Photobucket

Now I'm worried I won't have the guts to get back on once I've been cleared. There is a really calm gelding I can borrow for my first couple of rides to get my confidence back, so I've thought of that. And I will have JT vet checked to make sure it's not a structural problem with his hind end, but I really don't think it is, it was a freak accident.

There are some people at the barn who have mentioned they would probably sell the horse after a fall like mine. I'm having a hard time finding someone who is willing to ride him for me until I can get back on, as he has a bit of a reputation. It's making me doubt myself.

I know I'm a decent rider, I don't think the fall was JT's fault, but I've never fallen this bad and it's making me nervous. Also, normally I get right back on, this time it'll be almost 2 months for me to think about it..

I'll be working on his ground manners until I can get back on, we'll be doing a lot of work in the round pen and we'll go for long walks. It should improve his manners.

Does anyone have experience with this? Any fall, it doesn't have to be a really bad one. Has someone sold the horse and do they think it was the right decision? Or kept the horse and what was that like?
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post #2 of 25 Old 07-03-2010, 12:19 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2010
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About 10 years ago, when I was still pretty much a kid...or super young adult anyway, I used to take care of other peoples horses. I was working on one of them to possibly show. He normally was brilliant and did everything asked but one day he wouldn't pick up his right lead. I kept on him until eventually he did, he then proceeded to take 3 good strides and with one buck sent me flying head first through the wood rail fence. I was NOT wearing a helmet.

About 2 days later his owner called me and told me he was lame in the right front...which turned out to be a very bad abscess. When I think back, maybe his refusal to take that lead was his way of saying "ow, I'm hurting when I do that" because he had an abscess working up. I don't know, maybe I never will. I do know that I was scared to DEATH to get back on that horse. But I eventually did, and it was one of the best rides I ever had on ANY horse.

I rode him for his owner for another year after that and then he was passed down to his 8 year old daughter to use for 4H. I think it took me at least 3 months of riding him to REALLY feel comfortable again, however. All I can say is take time. And I think your spending time on ground work, etc will probably help a lot. You won't be just a human rider anymore, you will be part of his "herd" which puts you at a good standing with him :)
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post #3 of 25 Old 07-03-2010, 04:13 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
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It can be very difficult to climb up again after a major fall like yours. It took me about 6 months and my fall wasn't as serious as yours.

"When you're young and you fall off a horse, you may break something. When you're my age, you splatter." -- Roy Rogers
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post #4 of 25 Old 07-03-2010, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Northern Utah
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Place your left foot in the stirrup, stand up and swing your leg over. The only way to get back on is to suck it up and do it.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #5 of 25 Old 07-03-2010, 11:29 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Georgia
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The more you waver and the more you wait, the harder it's going to be. If you stand there on the mounting block and think about what you're about to do, you'll never to do it. It's like sky diving. The longer the stand there with your toes hanging off the edge and think about what will happen if your parachute fails, the less and less likely you are to jump off. You have to abandon youself and just ride.
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post #6 of 25 Old 07-04-2010, 11:13 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
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As a person who has suffered from some of the same issues, I would ride the quiet horse that you have access to and just ride that one till you get over the nervous feeling and get feeling better. If your horse is like mine, you crawl on feeling nervous and he is feels it and wonders what there is to be scared about and then he gets all nervous and spooky.
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post #7 of 25 Old 07-04-2010, 11:48 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: wisconsin
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i agree with kevin !! but in your case, & i know how you feel because once i wasnt cleared to ride for 6 months, the wait will do you good. you are probably feeling physically weak & comprimised & that is part of whats making you nervous. in two months you will feel as strong as usually & will be dying to get back on !

Gypsy & Scout <3
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #8 of 25 Old 07-04-2010, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Sorry to hear you were hurt. I was bucked off a horse that has a reputation for doing a little bucking. I rode him again but never felt safe on him. Since I was taking lessons at that stable when I saw an ad for another stable I switched. I found Sky at the other stable, a beautiful 17HH thorogbred, and was aprehensive at first but now I am leasing him and he never bucks so I finally feel safe! I think that he actually takes care of me! In my opinion I want to ride a horse that I feel safe on since I'm not a teenager anymore! Maybe if I was younger I would work with a horse like that but not anymore!
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post #9 of 25 Old 07-04-2010, 12:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
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I had a horrible accident - not nearly as bad as yours, but still in my head it was horrific.....a few summers ago, or was it last summer? I can't remember - anyways, I was schooling with my last coach over fences the day before a HT I was signed up to do.

We were riding a large circle, going over 1 fence set as an oxer. She started the fence out small, around 2'?" ish, and kept raising it everytime we jumped it. So it went from 2'?", to a higher 2'?" and kept going until we got to 2'11".

Everything was smooth and great, I was feeling confident. Until my Coach shouted "one more time". So we picked up the canter again and came to approach the fence. As I was nearing it, I kept looking at it thinking "man, that looks much bigger than 2'11". I couldn't stop focusing on the height of the fence, I psyched myself out, stopped riding and dropped my horse at the base of the fence, so Nelson stopped.

I flew over him, smashed face first into the oxer and landed on the other side with a heap of poles over me. My Coach came running over and I slowly started to get up when I noticed blood. I thought I broke my nose since I went face first into the fence...but my Coach said "Ah, what's that in your arm?" I looked at my right arm, and there was a metal rusty jump cup embedded into it.

I have 3 nasty scars on my right arm now from that 1 jump and it shook me mentally big time.

So now, due to that, I have a fear of jumping Stadium Fences. I'm smooth as a cucumber going over fences 2'7" and lower, but anything bigger I freeze, freak out, hyperventilate and vomit.

What do I do to get over my fear? I read alot of Sports Psychology boots, and I do positive affermation cards daily. My Coach is a degree'd psychologist and works at a large psyche ward in my area, so she's helped me out greatly with my fears.....seriously, it was to the point of thinking of going to a Hypnotist to get over this nonsense.

I look back at when I was jumping 3'6" with no fear, and hate myself for this rediculousness, but for some reason I just cannot get past this mental block. So I have to do it daily, I have to get myself over those fences on a regular basis to let myself know "This is stupid"

So what I do:

1) Positive Affermation Cards.

Buy yourself a bunch of Recepie Cards and write on them, everything positive that you want to come out of your rides.

Ex: I am a strong, confident rider who can handle any situation that arises. I trust my horse. etc, etc....

Read them daily, that way you can change your negative thoughts into positive.

2) Get yourself a Catch Phrase

My Catch Phrase is "Stop in the name of sexy, stadium jumping is fun" and SHOUT IT OUT real loud anytime you start thinking negatively about riding. Anytime negative thoughts start to fill your head, shout it out real loud and stop the negativity, and change it into positivity. Then start reciting your Positive Affermations "I am a strong and confident rider who can handle any situation that arises"

3) DO IT!

Get yourself in the saddle and just GIT ER DONE!


You cannot allow anything negative to sink into your daily train of thoughts, keep positive thinking so that you change your subconsience. You trained your subconscience to be negative, you said so, so therefore it is - now re-train it to positive thinking.

Read your Recepie cards daily, everytime you get a chance. When you are eating, drinking, on the toilet, whatever and wherever - read them and believe them - then you can start to change your way of thinking.

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post #10 of 25 Old 07-04-2010, 01:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: in my stables
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I know exactly how you feel.
A few years ago i was riding my then pony around cross country at home with two friends. We came up to this jump i had done thousands of times (a bank with log on top) soo i was not worried at all. My pony caught her two front feet on the log sumersaulted over it and landed on me i was knocked unconcious for a while. Ambulance called etc they thought i broke my neck basicaly thankfully i only broke my entire thigh bone. By break i mean shattered it took an 8hour op with plates and pins to put my leg back together!!
soo i was off riding for a year which gives you a long time to doubt yourseld and other people dont help-your really going to get back up wooow-

so i did as you did lots of ground work etc i also got someone to ride her for 2weeks before i got up to make sure she was not fresh and jumpy. I would tak the opertunity of the other horse and start slowly. there is no need to rush and panic about getting back to the level you were at you must just take time and help

To give a horse your heart guarantees a love that will last forever undamageable
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