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rottenweiler 12-25-2010 04:27 PM

A little shaken
I was riding in a lesson last wednesday on a horse I have been leasing for a month. I've been riding him 2x a week, with one of those being a lesson, and having no problems. This past wednesday I was riding him in a lesson as usual. He seemed to be acting a little 'off'. He was being a little more forward than usual and 'jumped' forward at one point, I blamed that on a branch I heard crash behind us in the trail area. So, I was cantering poles and he was being a little fast. He went over the first pole and was getting too fast so I was going to turn him in a circle before the second one to slow him down a little. Only he swapped his lead over the first pole. I was turning him left and he was on his right lead, I couldn't turn right because there was a fence to a pasture there. So I didn't turn him too tight because I didn't want him to slip or fall since he was on the wrong lead. Before I could get him to turn completely, he took off across the field at a gallop. This horse is normally LAZY and needed a crop when I first started riding him or you couldn't get him to GO. So I was pulling back on the reigns trying to slow him and I heard my instructor say he was trying to change his lead but I was holding his reigns too tight, so I released them a little. All he did was speed up, so I grabbed up the reigns to give another go at getting him to STOP. When I did that he came to an abrupt halt which threw me forward, I recovered in a split second and sat back up but then he made a sharp turn to the right and took off at a gallop again and down I went. I hit the ground pretty hard...but it didn't seem too hard at first. I landed and looked up to see my horse galloping back to the barn with his head in the air neighing as loud as he could. I felt my neck was a little stiff, which has happened before when I came off. Just knocks my spine out of whack a little and it's sore for a couple days. They caught him and I got back on and just trotted a few circles and back over the poles (so he would know he couldn't get away with what he did). That night I didn't get much sleep because my neck was SO sore. I have bruises and scratches on my elbows and I think my helmet must have hit the bridge of my nose, which is now swollen and red. I've fallen before, as I mentioned, so this wasn't a big deal in that respect. BUT what has me a little concerned is that I wasn't even jumping. Just doing flat work. I normally jump. I'm just thinking that I'm getting older (34) and I don't bounce as well as I used too. I'm a little concerned that I might REALLY get hurt one time! My instructor said I should have tried to keep him in the 'area' we were riding in, rather than allowing him to gallop off as he did...not that it was my intention to do so. I don't really know who to 'blame' for this 'accident'. Partially I think my instructor should have seen that there was something 'off' with the horse and done something to prevent it from happening to begin with. I have since found out that this horse was sold and returned because the people who bought him said he was 'crazy'. Obviously it was MY fault for not being able to control him properly. My lease with him is over so I'll be back riding a different horse next week anyway. Any advice? Words of wisdom? Tell me it was a freak accident and I shouldn't be so worried!

mbender 12-25-2010 04:44 PM

A learning experience. All I can tell ya! The reason you couldn't stop him is he must have taken ahold of the bit. Next time, one rein stop! I know how you feel. I'm 38 and it is super scary to fall! Don't be afraid to ride this horse or any other. Remember, ONE REIN STOP! :)
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Zeke 12-25-2010 04:52 PM

I would not blame your instructor for not taking you of the horse. You as a rider felt the horse was acting up and can always talk to the trainer about that, they cannot read your mind, if you're uncomfortable you need to voice that. Working with horses is always risky, your instructor cannot take you off the horse at every little scare, you'd never get to ride or learn to deal with it.

How long have you been riding? Have you heard of a one rein stop? Sounds to me like you needed to execute a one rein stop and get him under control, then hop off and take him back to the training area. Do you not ride in a gated arena?
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JessXxX 12-25-2010 05:03 PM

Ok so I'm only 15 so still bounce ^^ haha but I have had this happen to me I was riding my normally calm well mannered pony Rascal (I know his names just asking for trouble but hey I didn't name him) we had to ride in a large field as the small one we normally rode in was filled with sheep :/ the other horses were calling him and he just got excited he galloped off at full speed and there was nothing I could do to stop him he had locked his nech and wasn't responding to any of my aids however I managed to turn him just before he jumped the 4ft field fence! everyone thought he was going to jump and I've only jumped 2'6" haha so anyway I came off or kind of jumped/fell as I was concentrating so hard on turning him I kind of forgot about my seat so when he did turn I was completley unready, so onto the point I was terrified of riding him, however seeing as he was my pony I knew it was get on him or sell him and I was not prepared to do that however once I found that because our bond had strengthened due to me spending less time riding him and more time with just him he was an angel and now I'm not scared at all I ride him bareback and everything he has his odd cheeky moment but now I just laugh at him rather than panicking so maybe if possible try to get some kind of bond with the horses you ride I know this is hard with a horse that isn't yours but if you can spend time with them stroking them in the field reward them when they're good and make sure they know who's boss, I find if I do start to panic I sing I look like a twit but it takes my mind of things and helps me to calm down also in terms of hurting yourself.. was your hat lose as it shouldn't hit you in the face when you fall unless it's lose and has slipped and also body protector! I wear one every time I ride some people call me a whimp etc but hey it hurts a hell of a lot less when you fall trust me ^^ so yeah if you can get one that would be good as I also find it puts me at peace of mind as I'm quite a nervous person by nature and am always wondering about the what if's :/ which can be a pain when I love horse riding as much as I do haha anyway hope this helped if not well.. sorry ^^

rottenweiler 12-25-2010 05:20 PM

yeah I know about one reign stops but haven't actually DONE one and all i can picture is the horse flipping onto its side if I yank on one reign...I don't know why. I used to ride when i was younger. I competed in hunter/jumper and did pretty darn well (if I do say so myself). I have only recently started taking lessons seriously again. The area that we ride in does have fencing around it but it is not gated. The horse I was riding galloped back to the barn but didn't stop, he ran past it and galloped through the pasture area (the walking path between the pastures). No one knows why he went that way as he is pastured back where we were riding, he's never been up there.

Zeke 12-25-2010 05:31 PM

One rein stops do not often end in a flipped over horse, you also do not have to "yank" the rein to one side. If you take one rein and begin pulling it in a circle just hard enough to get the horse turning you will be fine. You also do not need to do a very tight circle, you can start big and work your way in as the horse slows down. If you lean to the outside of the circle and keep calm until the horse slows you will both be fine. Maybe you should talk to your instructor about doing some circle work that starts out with big circles that spiral into smaller slower circles to see how it feels and show you how safe it can be? I would especially practice this since you're riding in just an area that is fenced but not gated. I'm imagining a large open space that really requires a rider who can control a run away horse (I'm not trying to imply you're a bad rider), because it is not safe to you or those around you if this happens again. Galloping past the barn does not sound good...

rottenweiler 12-25-2010 05:32 PM

Oh and as for the helmet thing, maybe that is what has me a little concerned too because I have injuries that I have no idea how I got. The nose thing is one of them. I don't recall the helmet, or anything, hitting my face. I didn't even know of any injury to it until that afternoon I was out to lunch with my husband and he asked what happened to my nose. I had been home, taken a shower, washed my face etc...and not noticed anything. It wasn't until he said something and i went home and looked in the mirror that I saw what he was talking about. I also don't really recall hitting both my elbows on the ground, but I have bruises and rubs/scratches on both. When I started to fall I just thought "don't step on me!" I know I landed on my bum/cheek and my instructor said that as well. I went forward and put my arms out so I could see how I maybe scraped my elbows on the ground....I just have no idea how I hurt my nose but my helmet hitting it seems like the most rational reason

Oxer 12-25-2010 06:55 PM

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i got tossed when i was 14 and was in a coma for 15 days. let me tell you how much i want to do that again. at 27 years old, i am now a lot more in touch with my mortality. But i got disability insurance through my work in the event that i have an accident, and i don't jump anything that i'm not comfortable with. i also don't ride horses that aren't a pleasure to ride. while i know that any horse (even an Olympic level trained animal) can go nuts and kill me, the likelihood of the gentle schoolmaster doing so is much smaller. no more 3 year old studs... just my 14 year old gelding. haha!

Lovehorsesandrunning 12-25-2010 08:03 PM

You are not getting to "old" you can ride just as well as you could in your teens and twenties if not better youve had expeirnce, dont let this little learning lesson through you off(:

tinyliny 12-25-2010 08:19 PM

Not to worry, you will still be able to fall with the best of them for many years to come. I had a very similar fall (horse changed trajectory and I did not) anda good speed which ploughed me into the ground. Man, I walked like an old woman for days afterward. Thought I had cracked my pelvis. I am 52, so falling is not so keen anymore. But it STILL isn't the end of the world
. Look at it this way, now youve got it out of the way, statistically speaking, you won't have to fall for some time now.

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