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Equineluv26 02-18-2012 08:47 PM

Safety Vest
So I had a terrible accident in Sept when riding. Thankfully I was not awake when I fell off the horse, I had passed out before hitting the ground so I do not remember it... I remember the recovery tho...Since then my confidence and riding has been horribly shaken. I am back riding but I am still finding it very difficult. When I had my accident I had a concussion, two pelvic fractures and a finger fracture. I always ride with a helmet. But lately I am considering getting a riding vest and hoping that it will give me that added comfort of safety. I know I will fall again and I am SCARED butI know it will happen.

Any thoughts on a riding vest.. does it help? Safety and confidence?

SorrelHorse 02-18-2012 08:53 PM

It definitely helps. After my trainer got hurt I'd been the first one on the backs of many colts....And everytime I have a helmet and my security vest.

It's no replacement for confidence but it sure does help. The confidence will just have to return with a lot of baby steps.

MyBoyPuck 02-18-2012 09:33 PM

I think, if nothing else, the vest would give you that added level of security to allow you to get back on a horse and start working through your fear. Sorry to hear about your accident. I can see why you would be reluctant to get back into riding. Baby steps and time will do wonders.

Equineluv26 02-19-2012 09:33 AM

My instructor is being very rough on me- atleast I feel like she is. She said at my lesson yesterday that if I dont get over my fear and trot then there is nothing else she can do with me.. kind of depressing and hurtful. :cry:

xxBarry Godden 02-19-2012 03:47 PM

Equi, From your description of your accident there is no surprise to hear that you are frightened. There is no instant magic pill which you can take.

If you were my daughter I'd send you along to meet with a clinical psychologist to discuss your accident and to explain how your brain is thinking - not the section you think with, but the section which controls your reflexes. The brain is questioning whether you are yet fit to ride mentally and physically.

The likelihood is that you are tensing up - which most horses will sense. You have to relearn how to relax in the saddle. That will take time. There are little ways you can help yourself like wiggling the toes and singing to yourself
but what is important that nothing further happens to you. The key is the horse. What you'll need is the very calm placid type to be found in a training school. What you don't need is a typically sensitive responsive privately owned horse which will pick up on your tension.

What you also need is an experienced riding instructor who will lead you thru your route back to what you once were as a rider. The younger you are, the more determined you are, the better the chance that you will regain your riding skills. You should go back to basic training in a calm, quiet environment - an indoor arena is perfect. I found that a trusted companion riding a steady horse helped to encourage me to go forward, at the times I hesitated.

You are not alone, horse riding is a dangerous sport Others who have suffered serious falls have recovered with time. Most eventually ride out alone again but perhaps not as boldly as once they did - it is up to you and your determination.

As for vests - yes protect your spine. But try to find a vest which does not impede your movement. If necessary have one tailored to measure.
Hat - very important - one with chin straps and a quality mark. Then of course gloves & riding boots.

Make a plan of progress - but leave yourself some flexabilty in the timing.
If you feel hesitant before a lesson then sit down, breathe again, have a cup of coffee and wait. If the horse is excited, then let some one else take some steam out of it. Horse riding is a sport not a test of survival.

Also, don't be frightened to talk of your fears but don't hide behind them. Learn to understand how your brain and body works.

Keep fit in the areas that matter - lower back, stomach, under thighs, abdomen, calves. Take Pilates exercises and in addition to the classes do the key exercises at home. Get that stomach hard.

If you make it, then well done. If you give up for a week - then go back and try again at a lower level. Little and often works wonders.

Best of luck - sorry but you'll need the help and understanding of your friends.

Ladytrails 02-19-2012 04:08 PM

Barry said it perfectly. I would only add emphasis on his words about baby steps - little and often work wonders. And you should acknowledge to yourself those little baby steps as often as you achieve them - you're trying to get back your moxie and that's the first big step! Hang in there!

equiniphile 02-19-2012 04:14 PM

My vest was a great investment, BUT you have to make sure the one you get is certified or else it will not offer much security. I have an Airowear that I like, and I know a lot of people that have Charles Owens, but they're a tad more expensive.

xxBarry Godden 02-19-2012 04:24 PM

Equi - one other thing. Meet with a physio therapist in due course and check that your pelvis has regained its correct position. Your pelvis is very important in riding.


mildot 02-19-2012 04:55 PM


Originally Posted by Equineluv26 (Post 1367634)
My instructor is being very rough on me- atleast I feel like she is. She said at my lesson yesterday that if I dont get over my fear and trot then there is nothing else she can do with me.. kind of depressing and hurtful. :cry:

Well, she's right.

It seems more and more young people today come unglued when an adult lays the cold hard facts in front of them without the sugar coating.

You need to come to terms with your fears and either conquer them or give in and move on.

xiamsvetlanax 02-19-2012 08:36 PM

Midotl, I'd be willing to bet the OP isn't as old as you, and maybe that was her very first time falling. Ever. No adult training anyone riding, a 3 year old, a 32 year old they should not ever be so harsh.
You try having a pelvic fracture..oh wait, no 2..

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