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AlexS 04-06-2011 10:03 PM

Emergency dismounts
I had never encountered this idea til I moved to the US, it's very possible it exists in the UK but I was not familiar with it.

Personally I think it is not a good idea, unless you are 1'' from a brick wall. I feel that you should be riding your horse and trying to control it and minimize the damage at all times. If you are in a situation where there is little you can do, I think you can still do something to prevent injury to your horse.

What's your thoughts?

Clair 04-06-2011 10:24 PM

They make a rider feel mentally more safe, knowing you can safely dismount and remount efficiently. (Usually they are practiced in tandem. Its good training for the horse... I've mostly read about it for when a horse trips and goes to its knees, or is otherwise compromised by human weight.

I've personally never had to execute one, but I feel safer knowing I could if I needed to. Especially like on a trail ride.

But I agree most situations are not helped by just getting off.
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riccil0ve 04-06-2011 10:38 PM

I think it's a waste of time. As the above said, in most situations it would not be ideal to just get off. Ad why should we have to be taught? It's just getting off with a quickness. O_o

I think you should just not ride a horse that is out of your league. Problem solved. Even if something ridiculous happens on a well-trained horse, the good training will enable a decent rider to quickly regain control, you know?

HowClever 04-06-2011 10:47 PM

While I think the idea comes from a well meaning place I don't think they are a good thing to drill in to people, especially kids.

My 11 year old cousin took riding lessons for a while and the first thing they taught her was the emergency dismount. It was always made a huge deal of that if the child felt unsafe at all to do an emergency dismount.

Now, if she is riding out on a trail and her pony starts to trot without being asked, she jumps off. She is inadvertently teaching every pony that she rides that if they break gait she will get off.

And this is a kid that has sat through a horse bucking in the arena!

Clair 04-06-2011 10:58 PM

Huh. That's weird. I read about it in horse&rider magazine, which seemed to praise it. I think its supposed to be more about accidents than control. Like if your horse stepped into a hole or fell or something you can't honestly do much to help and are just endangering yourself and your horse by staying on. They do those kind of drills for trail all the time. Sounds like its being used in the wrong way.
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AlexS 04-06-2011 10:59 PM

I have had moments of being out of control despite many many years of riding experience.

For example I took Lucas out on the trails planning to ride him to my house, there was one section of road it was about 200' at the most. He is fine with traffic, used to trucks and all that. However a bunch of motorcycles came up and were revving their engines. Lucas started to turn in the road, which is a section of road where the traffic is slowing for a light. I put my hand out to tell them to wait a second while I regained control and straightened him, the bikers ignored me and one passed. Lucas was sideways in the road after this so I put my hand out firmly to tell the rest to wait, they didn't and passed anyway. Lucas reared and tried to bolt. We were cantering on the spot a second.
Thankfully the other traffic stopped and I crossed through a parking lot rather than waiting for the intersections and so was back on the trail again.

So I understand that despite the experience level, things can happen. However an emergency dismount in this situation would have left my horse dead or very injured or just running through traffic and lost.

I did feel that if this had gone worse then my life could have been in danger as I was in traffic. However, his life would have been worse if I had just hopped off.

As a teenager I was on a horse that bolted, and kept going. I was seesawing her face and pulling the bridle hard one direction, and got nowhere. If I had just jumped off, who knows where that horse would have ended up.

To me it is just an odd concept, I would never fling the door open on the car I am driving and bail ship, I would try to minimize the accident as much as possible. It doesn't make sense to me that you would not do the same with a horse.

Clair, if a horse was on its knees I would just hop off, that is not the same as an emergency dismount to me.

AlexS 04-06-2011 11:02 PM


Originally Posted by HowClever (Post 989128)
My 11 year old cousin took riding lessons for a while and the first thing they taught her was the emergency dismount. It was always made a huge deal of that if the child felt unsafe at all to do an emergency dismount.

Interesting, and it makes me wonder if it comes from a liability issue for a teaching barn, that they don't want to be sued for injuries to a child.

Clair, I am meaning more practicing jumping off a moving horse. The practice this in walk, trot and sometimes canter.

HowClever 04-06-2011 11:06 PM

Maybe it is a liability thing Alex.

I know sometimes it was scary to watch though as sometimes these kids would fling themselves off and land in front of the horse's shoulder. All very well and good with school horses that have been taught to stop when the rider comes off, but I always had visions of these kids out riding their own ponies, pony takes off, kids dismounts lands in front of the shoulder and pony continues right on over the top.

I would think that learning to ride properly, have a good strong, balanced seat and the like would prevent more accidents then people jumping off all over the place!

Iseul 04-06-2011 11:20 PM

I seem to have an issue with this. ;;
I've been taught that emergency dismounts (quick dismounts, keeping as far from the horse as possible) were only to be used when I was on the verge of falling off, or my horse was on the verge of falling over.
I ride a reared, and I can count a few times where I should've jumped off and away. I dislike falling, a lot. I haven't fallen too many times because I despise it, I'm not positive why but it makes me feel like I'm running away like a puppy with its tail between it's legs. Not sure why, since falling for safety is obviously a good thing, since my life is more important than a horse's.
But the only time I would ever use an "emergency dismount" is if I fear my horse will lose his balance and flip (we're still working on the rearing thing..) or if we're running, he just so happens to trip, and I just so happen to become unseated and/or lose reins completely.
I would teach all riders to be able to dismount at each gait and in emergency situations. The horses I work with/fix training issues on -will- stop when I leave their back, and I'll work their asses off if they don't. This has carried over into shows where their rider fell and they'll stop dead in their tracks and wait. When I see horses running around without their riders I think to myself about how dangerous it is. Thus, why the emergency dismount is suppose to have to push yourself as far from your horse as possible. I understand the example doesn't match, but it's the idea of getting trampled by a crazed horse I was getting at.
If I have to jump off for any reason, I want my horse to stop and stand there until I walk him off or get back on and stay calm. There's no reason they should be able to run around crazy, but that's getting to a different topic.
My point was that it is for safety. If your horse decides to rear out of nowhere and threatens to flip, you're going to want to be a safe distance away if they do go over. I won't use it until me horse is for sure going over, but I'd rather my horse be injured than me be dead. It'd be a shame, but my life is more important. *shrugs* But, teaching kids to jump off as soon as they feel uncomfortable is ridiculous, IMO. It's dangerous and could create a -nasty- horse.
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Clair 04-06-2011 11:50 PM

In that case I totally agree! There is no sense in bailing off of your horse at speed. That's just dangerous and useless...

"Hey horsey... Wanna be done for the day? Just bolt and you can train your human to leap off of your back! Cool trick right?"

What I know of as an emergency dismount is just the hopping off thing. Learn something new everyday...
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