Just wanted to squeeze one little tidbit of my opinion in here regarding getting off a horse who is acting up.
If the horse is just being stubborn or throwing an "ordinary" tantrum, no, don't get off.
HOWEVER, if you are in danger, there is no shame in getting off.
I have been riding for 10 years and until last week have never had to get off a horse because of its behavior. I have always ridden them out and finished on a good note.
But last week my horse had a mental breakdown on the trail. She was literally shaking under me- my whole body was vibrating from her trembling. She became drenched with sweat in a matter of two minutes. She was trying to bolt, doing small bucks, etc. I rode it out for about 5 minutes and was able to get her to walk on for a little bit.
But then it escalated and she began to rear. Not little rears, but coming VERY close to flipping over on me, and nothing was making her stop. You bet your hiney I got off of her immediately.
Of course, as soon as I was off, she bolted back to the barn.
It set back some of our training, but oh well. I'm alive and so is she and now we have the opportunity to work on the issues that caused the meltdown.
So, if you feel your life is in danger, do not be afraid to get off.
Sorry for the semi-rant. I know those of you who said to always stay on didn't mean ALWAYS stay on, but I still felt the need to clarify to eliminate any confusion.
"There's nothing more humbling on the planet than horses." --Sean Crocker