Bad fall trail riding/non-riders give unhelpful "input" about riding again
(Sorry, long)I trail ride pretty frequently on my 7 yr old QH mare, and was bucked off on the way back from a pretty normal ride (a few "distractions" but nothing unusual). Ended up with a broken femur because i hit a tree- so convalescing now, hearing all sorts of comments from non-rider friends, from "are you really going to ride her again, she bucked you off before"( true, 6 years ago and i ended up with a pneumothorax - i am fairly sure some huge horsefly bit her butt), to "hope you are sending her to a trainer!" (this from a show rider!). My horse rarely spooks, is lazy and mellow, is curious and loves people, scared of very little...( Honestly dont know what set her off, and the rider behind me missed most of it) ... But stuff happens- At least that is what i am trying to tell myself as i sit here staring at my huge swollen leg feeling sorry for myself (and missing my horse!)
She is my first horse and i have had her since she was 2... I am never happier than when i am with her. Hubby and people at the barn where i board her are supportive and tell me to ignore the nay-sayers(!), but i am getting in a funk about all of this, and i am afraid those other voices (and i know they are trying to be helpful!) are only fueling me w/self doubt. Im 55, a good rider, wear a helmet and vest and im calm and careful on trail. I also do equal amounts of ring work with her... Thanks for any words of help/mantras/etc!
It's perfectly normal to go through a phase of doubt after a riding accident. That is your self-preservation instinct kicking in.
IMO don't take what non-riders have to say to heart, because they just don't get it.
Even the best trained horse can spook and lose it, that's just part of the risk that you have to accept if you want to continue riding, but if you are concerned that the underlying cause may be a training issue, consult a professional for help.
I got bucked off 2 weeks ago, though I tell everyone I had an unexpected dismount, lol :-) it was a normal day out riding doing some loping on the normal trails, nothing out of the ordinary. Abby was quiet chill on our way home and me and a friend were chatting away when out of the blue, I'm on the ground! Turns out she was in such a la de da mood she forgot about the dog behind her and I guess he kinda bumped/ ran into her legs and she kicked out and did a buck. Completely not her fault at all. She is an 11 year old mare who has loads of miles both on the trail and hauled to rodeos so she's seen everything. All I'm trying to say is it happens to the best of us. I am sorry you got hurt in your accident, and that some people don't understand why you want to ride again, but we get it. The good times always out way the bad. Its typical they focus on the one bad ride and not all the other great rides you've had and obstacles you both have overcome!
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I've had my horse Red for about a year and a half now. He gave a few sissy bucks barely off the ground when I first got him, I reprimanded him and never had a problem since...... until in the middle of a horse show in June, he was a little scared of the brown gunny sack my mother and I were doing the sack race with. Long story short he started bucking like a BRONC in the middle of the arena. I have no idea how I stayed on. But I would have never expected that from him in a million years.
Stuff happens. Even the best-trained "bomb proof" horses are unpredictable.
Of course your brain is going to try to protect that body of you. It's going to think about the "what ifs" and "Oh maybe I shouldn't ride anymore" etc etc. Your brain instincts are just trying to look out for you. That's normal.
Don't listen to your non-horsey friends. They don't have a clue what they are talking about.
Go at your own pace. When you are ready to ride again, do it. If you need to wait a while and just do ground work, then do that. Do what you need to do to prepare yourself to ride again, on your own schedule. Don't let anyone else influence what you need to do. You'll get past it on your own terms!
I'm very sorry you are injured.
Don't let the non-horse people get to you.
I am not sure how long you will be unable to ride, but something to consider.
Do you have someone else that can keep some miles on your horse while you are off.
Huge confidence builder knowing your horse is behaved and ready when you are.
Non riders are going to say the same things to you that they would say to anyone getting hurt in a sport or other activity.
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a gal who gives lessons at the barn offered to ride her a few times a week - i had lessons with her and she knows my mare well- so i feel really good about that ( she said "i would let you know if she needed a trainer!").
Good to hear about the self preservation instincts- this is the first incident where i really experienced incredible pain (and a copter ride to a trauma center for surgery!), so i am really having an internal debate.
Re: broken femur. Sorry to hear it (something I hope to NEVER repeat). After it's finished mending you can look forward to an even longer time doing physical therapy to get full use of the leg. (did they rod it?)
Took me longer to return to completely normal after my femur break than it did for cracked ribs or any other injury I've had.
Re: disparaging comments. Just ignore it. One of my children only in recent years finally stopped telling me I was too old to be working with young horses (of course my then 82 year cousin who had started working a pair of young new horses might have had something to do with it :lol:). There are always people who don't ride telling people who do ride about riding or why you shouldn't. Easy way to deal with it is to tell them to give up the things they enjoy doing the most.
As for the folks who ride for show telling you to get your horse trained. Trained for what? Barrel racing, penning, dressage, jumping, endurance racing, competitive trail riding, etc., etc., etc. Training a horse for things you're not going to do is a bit pointless. If you're never going to ride dressage why spend the time and money to train for it. e.g. the last thing I want is my horse jumping.....I had to raise the fence when she started jumping the 44" dividing fence, because I wanted to discourage her from jumping.
If you're happy with your horse and it's training then that's what matters. There's nothing wrong with more training, providing it's what you want. If it's not what you want then don't.
Wait... She's seven. She's bucked you off before - 6 years ago? That would make her a yearling... but you bought her at two? What am I missing here? :lol:
As for the comments, ignore them. One accident in that many years is a great record, IMO. It could have happened to anybody, you just were caught off guard. I totally agree with the above poster - it's obvious that the horse is good at what it does and this was a fluke incident, not that the horse is crazy and untrained. Further 'training' would be silly.
And so sorry to hear about the femur! A femur is a HARD bone to break, the most difficult in the human body... And it takes a looooong time to heal. I hope it goes by fast!
Sorry about your femur, sounds painful!
I was bucked off and broke a vertebrae about two years ago. It was the most intense pain Ive ever felt.
It never really crossed my mind to not ride again. (I'm stubborn like that) It did take about six months for my back to heal enough for me to get back on a horse. I'm 45 and they said I had really good bone density and it healed well, but still I'm a bit stiff these days, have to use a block to get on now.
When I did get back on a horse I was shocked at the level of fear I had. I read somewhere that the body as well as the mind can carry fear. I was literally shaking just sitting on a horse even though in my mind I knew that I was being ridiculous.
I found a very patient trainer, did lots of confidence building/ trust exercises etc and learnt better emergency techniques (one rein stop, emergency dismount) This was important for me, as I had seen my accident coming but didnt know how to stop it. I'm not saying that you will need this, just saying; be prepared for some fear because pain can do strange things to your mind/body. You can work through it though, I'm fine now and a much better rider in the end.
If the people who actually know what they're talking about ( ie. hubby and people at the barn) think you're a safe rider then I wouldn't even bother listening to the non-riders. Just tell them that you love riding and as an adult you choose to the risks.
The three sports Ive been into in my life ; motorbikes, ultralight aircraft and horseriding all attract the same sort of comments. "oooh, thats dangerous, you could get hurt etc etc"
I just tell them "Id rather take the risks and do all the things I love than live a totally safe life waiting to die of old age and boredom"
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