Getting back on after a bad fall
 
 

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Getting back on after a bad fall

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  • Fell off horse hurt sacrum
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    07-16-2013, 05:55 PM
  #1
Foal
Getting back on after a bad fall

I fell off my horse when he jumped sideways and suffered an L1 compression fracture. I still have sacroiliac (SI) joint pain so I am getting an injection at the end of this month. At my follow up appointment today, my spine doctor said I could ride the horses again if I take it easy. I am new to riding so I only walk around my farm, so taking it easy isn't a problem. I have fallen a few times in the past when my gelding spooks. I also recently found out that the statins for cholesterol were causing muscle weakness and severe pain. I am now convinced that I fell because I didn't have enough strength to stay on him. I don't have any research to back me up on this but I think if I don't fall again the mystery will be solved. So, how do I overcome my fear of falling? I have a mare that doesn't spook so I plan to start with her to build my confidence.
     
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    07-16-2013, 06:46 PM
  #2
Foal
To me, feeling secure after a nasty fall is all about easing yourself back into things carefully and slowly. Put yourself into a safe environment (like an enclosed area or arena) and, honestly, just go slow. I haven't had too many bad falls myself, but I watched my mother get thrown and break her back when I was young (probably ten or so?), which absolutely terrified me. Any spook would send me into hysterics, and the thought of falling off seemed like a death sentence. Now, I very rarely get nervous - just simply because I've grown to be comfortable in the saddle again. I've fallen off several times myself, as I'm sure we all have, and for a period after each fall I was nervous - but, you just need to get the will to try again. Don't think about the possibilities of falling, but instead think about what good riding has provided you in your life.

When on the horse, relax! If you are nervous or tense, your mount will feel it and therefore react to that! I definitely think that starting with a non-spooky mare is the best approach. Good luck! C:
     
    07-18-2013, 12:30 AM
  #3
Foal
Personally I have never fallen off so I can't talk from experience, but I have heard about and seen many other riders falling. My best suggestion would be to take it slow if you are really nervous. Maybe start out with just spending some time with your horse and doing some ground work. Once you feel comfortable enough to get back in the saddle ask a friend to join you. You could have them lead your horse around while you are just sitting enjoying the ride. After you feel really comfortable then just ride around in the round pen or small pasture if one is available. Eventually you could go out riding in the open again if you feel confident again.

It's important that you feel comfortable at every stage and don't try to rush yourself. It is kind of like training a new horse. You don't want to move onto the next stage until the horse has mastered the current one. But instead of training a horse you are training yourself. Sorry to hear about your bad fall and hope you get back into the saddle again.
     
    07-18-2013, 12:48 AM
  #4
Yearling
I've fallen so many times that getting back on isn't a big thing for me (except for subconsciously avoiding riding sometimes).

By what I remember of back when I was afraid of getting back on, your best bet is probably to think of WHY you fell. In your case, you said it was lack of strength. You know that now, so the odds of the same thing happening again are reduced. Try to think of it as a learning experience (albeit a painful one). If you DO come off again, try to work out what's going wrong - is the horse too skittish for you? Do you not have enough feel for when the horse tenses? Are you off balance? Do you lean too far forward/back (big one for me)?

That's just a method that works for me. When I had my bad fall that landed me in hospital, I knew what the cause was - I pushed my new mare to far too fast, and I'd been overconfident. When I finally could get back on 2 weeks later, I took things easy, but problems with the mare ended up with me on my butt again. She needed an education that I couldn't give her, and she wasn't the horse that I thought I was buying. I knew no good would come from getting back on her, so I didn't that time.
     
    07-18-2013, 12:08 PM
  #5
Foal
I am a hospital nurse, as for cholesterol meds, it depends on how long you have been on them for and what statin you are taking... Also your age and how long you have been riding for. If you are afraid of muscle weakness from cholesterol meds, you should not try to only strengthen your muscles when riding...but honestly in general by working out more, or simply doing some cleaning around the house.

As for falling, the first time I ever fell I don't even to this day know why or how it happened or what I could've done... and that's what scared me into avoiding riding for a week and going slow... The second time I fell, from a spooked horse when I was pushing him to go too fast as is and a loud firework went off.. I knew why I fell then and that one hurt more than anything I bruised my sacrum and couldnt walk right for a week... but because I had fallen before and knew why I fell, I knew what to expect and in all reality it wasn't as bad as the first time I fell off because really I think it's the shock of falling off then the pain.. So because the shock value of it wore off, even after that nasty fall where I knocked the wind out of me and bruised my bone I still got up and got back on.

When I ride, I don't think of falling off. I just make sure that I focus on what I am doing ALL THE TIME. I see girls riding and jumping to loud music and I think of how I could NEVER do that because I focus when I'm riding 100 percent of the time. Trying to get intune with my horse and in doing that, you can almost feel if something is right or the more you ride focused you know what's normal and what isn't when riding.

Everytime I ride, to strengthen my core I always at least ride without sitrrups, ride in two point, and practice the right diagonal for a good 2/3s my ride

I hope this helps, if you have questions for the cholesterol meds let me know.
     
    07-19-2013, 01:44 AM
  #6
Foal
I had never fallen off a horse until last year, then again this past March. The fall in March really scared the crap out of me. In fact, the horse's owner pushed me to get back on, and ride again...fell again. I was shook up, but, kept calm. It was later that night when I felt the full effects from the two falls. Let's just say that I was very bruised and sore, my tailbone isn't the same yet. The owner admitted that to me after finding out for herself that he didn't have the correct fitting saddle on each time he had been ridden.

So, I stopped riding english because I just had too much pain in my back and ankle. Somehow, I resprained my ankle in the two falls. So, I went back to riding western pleasure in a comfortable synthetic saddle, and eased back into riding. I also bought a horse and moved her to a more positive environment, hired a trainer to work with me and my horse. This has helped me and my horse tremendulosly!

Since I'm getting older, I need to try and keep good leg strength and balance in my seat position. I do simple one legged strengthening exercises, especially for my weaker leg. I also do warm pool therapy to help reduce stress on my joints and get some cardio with swimming, simple water exercises. It helps to stretch my muscles while in the warm water so that I can keep my heels down and keep better balance. I stretch my calves on a short step and do some simple exercises for inner thighs.

Having a L1 fracture, you should consider wearing a lumbar support or a safety vest that eventers wear. Protecting your back is very important while riding, especially after an injury such as yours. Since you are having SI joint pain, you may have a possible bulging disk in your L5-S1 joint. It is one of the most common places to have bulging or ruptured disks. I use Lidoderm patches for my pain, helps alot. Also, I would keep your riding to 10-15 mins at first, and would recommend that you start walking on a flat surface to help build your back and leg strengths up. Walk a half mile if you can at first, then build up to a mile. When you feel stronger and have less pain, then try walking up and down gentle hill or use a treadmill.

Just take it one day at a time and enjoy the time you can spend with your horse. That's what I've had to do, and am not as afraid of falling as I was, but, it is still in the back of my mind alot of times.
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    07-22-2013, 06:30 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prunella1    
I had never fallen off a horse until last year, then again this past March. The fall in March really scared the crap out of me. In fact, the horse's owner pushed me to get back on, and ride again...fell again. I was shook up, but, kept calm. It was later that night when I felt the full effects from the two falls. Let's just say that I was very bruised and sore, my tailbone isn't the same yet. The owner admitted that to me after finding out for herself that he didn't have the correct fitting saddle on each time he had been ridden.

So, I stopped riding english because I just had too much pain in my back and ankle. Somehow, I resprained my ankle in the two falls. So, I went back to riding western pleasure in a comfortable synthetic saddle, and eased back into riding. I also bought a horse and moved her to a more positive environment, hired a trainer to work with me and my horse. This has helped me and my horse tremendulosly!

Since I'm getting older, I need to try and keep good leg strength and balance in my seat position. I do simple one legged strengthening exercises, especially for my weaker leg. I also do warm pool therapy to help reduce stress on my joints and get some cardio with swimming, simple water exercises. It helps to stretch my muscles while in the warm water so that I can keep my heels down and keep better balance. I stretch my calves on a short step and do some simple exercises for inner thighs. This is very helpful advice for me. I have a bulging disk at L5-S1 joint. I recently got a gaited horse and am thrilled that I can ride again. No soreness outside of what you would normally expect.

Having a L1 fracture, you should consider wearing a lumbar support or a safety vest that eventers wear. Protecting your back is very important while riding, especially after an injury such as yours. Since you are having SI joint pain, you may have a possible bulging disk in your L5-S1 joint. It is one of the most common places to have bulging or ruptured disks. I use Lidoderm patches for my pain, helps alot. Also, I would keep your riding to 10-15 mins at first, and would recommend that you start walking on a flat surface to help build your back and leg strengths up. Walk a half mile if you can at first, then build up to a mile. When you feel stronger and have less pain, then try walking up and down gentle hill or use a treadmill.

Just take it one day at a time and enjoy the time you can spend with your horse. That's what I've had to do, and am not as afraid of falling as I was, but, it is still in the back of my mind alot of times.
When I was a teen, my horse spooked while I was bareback and I lost the reins. I stayed on by hanging onto the mane. A passerby stopped my mount and urged me to get back on. But I was wayyy to sore at that time. I still remember (via muscle memory) it and will have to work with my trainer to get past it.
     
    07-22-2013, 10:45 PM
  #8
Foal
I have had a really bad wreck. A few broken ribs, broken femur, and a few facial bones (I was wearing a helmet, the horse tripped on me) anyway, I was scared to jump for a while, but I am so thankful I got back on, and worked up to it. It took a long time for me to feel confident again.
     
    07-22-2013, 11:06 PM
  #9
Foal
I fell back in december. I had three rotation fractures in my back L2, L3 and L4. I just got back on about 2 weeks ago. I used a slow and easy beginner horse. I found it much more reassuring than my thoroughbred mare who something's can give me a hard time. I really have no other choice to ride a slow horse since I am no longer friends with the person who owns the beginner horse. I have to hop right back on my mare after only riding again once. I'm not to happy and a bit nervous. I keep telling myself it is normal to feel that way and that I have to get back on sooner or later. I can't let my mare just sit there. If you have a slow and easy beginner horse that you can ride that would help build your confidence and I also had my frien who has had a lot of experience with horse there. That helped me stay calm. Once I got back on it was so much fun. Good luck! I know how you feel!
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    07-22-2013, 11:41 PM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muriel    
When I was a teen, my horse spooked while I was bareback and I lost the reins. I stayed on by hanging onto the mane. A passerby stopped my mount and urged me to get back on. But I was wayyy to sore at that time. I still remember (via muscle memory) it and will have to work with my trainer to get past it.

I never had a fall until this past year....and boy, did that shake me up. I was always so confident, had great balance, etc. But, all it takes is for
One horse to catch you slightly off balanced, and they know how to get you off their back.

Had to take a long hard look at riding again after my fall(s). I now play it safe, and get a feel for my horse before I do more than walk or trot. She's still new to me and the new barn, and still has issues once a month, lol. She's an alpha mare and gets moody like most of them. :)
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