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Ellieandrose 09-20-2012 04:13 AM

So a shamed
Well, I was giving a lesson to a girl today. I put her on Zoey and it went SO well in the arena! So we went in to the jump paddock and all was going well in till she started loosening the reins, I kept telling her to keep contact. Then something must of happen to spook Zoey and she took off at a full gallop and did a few laps of the area before galloping out with the girl still on her(she did very well to stay on) the Zoey went around the stables and the finally dumped her in a patch of long grass. What I'm trying to get at is that I'm so upset that this happened. I don't know what triggered it. I really don't know what to say to her and her mum. She got up and said that she was okay and she got back on and I walked along side her and Zoey for a few minutes. But I still feel so bad about it.
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goneriding 09-20-2012 07:26 AM

Maybe now she will listen you. She is ok, lesson learned.

boots 09-20-2012 07:53 AM

Could happen with any horse that is physically capable of the moves. Glad the student is okay.

Why are you ashamed? We can only try to make a riding environment safe. But, horses, even the best of them, can and do do this for who knows what reason.

ChingazMyBoy 09-21-2012 11:11 AM

Don't be ashamed, it wasn't your fault.

All horses spook, you told the rider to keep their contact and started them off in the arena before taking them out to an open jumping paddock. You kept the situation safe and could have done nothing else to prevent it. What to say to her and her mum? Apologise, mention spooking is what horses do sometimes and ask the student if she's ok again. Don't blame yourself :)
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Copperhead 09-21-2012 12:16 PM

The best thing I ever learned was how to listen to my instructor when poo hit the fan. At first my self preservation instincts would take hold and I would find myself either on the ground or in the saddle by chance. One time poo hit the fan and my instructor belted into the microphone "NOW LISTEN TO ME!" It was loud enough to open my ears outside of what was happening on the horse's back she she said it with such authority that I suddenly became more afraid of NOT listening to her than I was afraid of what was happening on the horse.

A little fear and respect of your instructor will go a long way!

Once I learned to listen to my instructor, I realized that I was saving my own butt. I automatically searched for her words when poo hit the fan and she would work us through it. It eventually happened enough that it became second nature, I was able to bring the horse back without her saying much at all.

I do remember this one time where a school horse was bucking a student off and I just so happen to be in the arena for jump crew. She told me to get on and I used the student's helmet, which was way too big. But hey, it was just a couple bucks and I didn't feel like I really needed a helmet, so I put it on. The horse LAUNCHED into the air with a big leap and when we landed, the helmet fell over my eyes. No time to pull it back because he was broncking around. I had no sight and wsa about to fall off to the right. That trust I had in my teacher and my listening skills saved me. My instructor belted into the microphone and my ears picked up "Left seatbone! Sit back, sit back, pick his head up, low right seatbone, you're leaning too far in!"

The entire ordeal lasted a couple seconds but she talked me through a bucking fit while I was literally BLIND. I'll never forget that ride. Once the fit was over, I switched the helmet out for one that fit better and continued and the horse fought a bit more and then settled in.

As an instructor, you need to talk your student through what is happening and the best thing you can tell your student is "Whatever the horse is doing, just ride it. The horse is running away from you at the canter? Then you're cantering. Just ride the canter" People tend to panic when they aren't in control and the gait wasn't their idea. Teach your student to just ride the gait. Its just another gait.

And then you have to worry about your student listening to the advice ;-) I know you feel bad, but you probably did everything you could to work the student through what happened. Now that she knows what CAN happen on a loose rein contact with this horse, she just MIGHT pick up the slack! Bad experiences have a tendancy to make us take the advice we should have taken before the experience!

Amanda B 09-22-2012 08:36 AM

Horses are unpredictable. There is no such thing as a totally bomb-proof horse. It happens. That's why you have everyone sign a release of liability before they are allowed to handle your horse, right? I do wonder, though, why the horse was able to get out of the arena. Was the gait open or is there no gait? Is there something that can be done about that in the future? Also,l would suggest that you talk with your students about strategies for what they can do to stop a horse if it bolts, like circling or a one-rein stop. I also teach all of my students to do an emergency dismount, first at the halt, and then as they get better at it, we practice at all 3 gaits. These things will give you and them peace of mind that you are minimizing your risk of anyone getting hurt.

PunksTank 09-22-2012 10:01 AM

I'm an instructor too, who's had 2 students get dumped, luckily they were both my Recreational riders, not my therapy students (we take extreme measure so that could never happen). I'm licensed in both recreational and therapeutic riding instructor - so no one flip :P.
It's a horrifying experience, because you can think and feel and shout everything they need to do to fix the situation, but you're completely out of control. You shouldn't feel bad - how many times did you fall when you were a student? It happens.
But there are still a few lessons for you out of this situation.
Gates being the first one, that's the most important thing, arenas have special footing for horses, it's also a softer landing for us than potentially, gravel, pavement, hard ground, ice, snow anything. And when the student does fall, the horse is still contained and can't as easily get hurt.
So if you have gates - shut them, if your student isn't in control enough to rider where there are no gates, put a lead on and stay with them. Assuming a student who isn't perfect yet at keeping contact and maintaining control on a horse is only walk/trot you can help be there just as back up and walk/trot with them. Whenever I take a student on a 'trail ride' around the property, if there aren't gates, there's a lead on.

You did very well to go to her before the horse (sometimes that's hard to do :P) and usually at that point there's tons of people around to go catch the horse. I'm glad your student was ok, you definitely couldn't have for-seen that, you did everything right - sometimes stuff just happens.

I agree with Amanda, most of my able body students are taught one rein stops or emergency dismounts, at least talked through how it would work. Also remember to remind them to get a new helmet :P

loveduffy 09-22-2012 10:20 AM

this is what horse do some times horses do things

churumbeque 09-22-2012 12:24 PM

I would make sure she is in an enclosed area. Not sure if you didn't have a gate or neglected to close it.

trailhorserider 09-22-2012 03:10 PM

(This isn't directed to the OP or a specific person, just at the replies in general.)

Gee, you guys sure rely on arenas and gates a lot, lol! I don't even have an enclosed space to ride in, except for a round pen that isn't even round and has no special footing. I have never actually ridden in it, although I plan to work my colt in if he needs it when he gets back from the trainer. For me, every ride is a ride out in the open.

I understand beginners need help and instruction but people really need to learn to ride out in the real world too, not just in the safety of an arena to contain the horse. I mean, are you really riding if you have to have a fence to contain the horse? I kind of feel like arenas are for training or for showing. Not something you use to keep the horse contained while you ride. :think:

Even thinking back on my round pen, I wish I hadn't used it as a crutch when my colt was a baby. Because he does excellent in the round pen and is flighty out in the real world. I think as horse people in general, we rely too much on round pens and arenas.

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