Bad Horse Riding Accidents & How did you overcome it?
Almost 2 years ago, I was riding my horse Storm down the road that I had lived on & all of a sudden there was a dog hot on our heels & before I could react, it was to late. Storm jumped akwardly to the side on the pavement & we fell. I don't remember much of the fall, I just remember heading face first toward the pavement. After I regained consciousness, I was all ready standing & I have no clue how I got to an erect position. By the time got home, my parents were in total freak mode. I went to the emergency room and was transported to a trauma center. The injuries I sustained were a bruised hip, elbow & knee. Internal bleeding from where my intestine was tore open & had road rash the whole way down my face. I spent almost 2 weeks in the hospital. I have been riding since but the fear is just over taking the passion I have for horses & riding. I would like to hear from people who went through something traumatic like a riding accident & how you got back in the saddle.
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WELCOME to the forum. You will find some good friends here!
Gosh, I have broken two legs, had several bad concussions, a separated shoulder, and numerous "rolling along the ground".
One of my reputations, as a coach, is working with fearful riders. I had one girl, who after an accident, couldn't walk her horse across the pasture. It is understandable, believe me.
We would work on her "pretending" that she was not afraid. She was to pretend that she was her favorite rider and was to ride her horse as she thought her "hero" would ride her horse. Visualization or, "pretending" is a mighty tool! As you practice pretending to be calm and confident, you start "being" calm and confident. It really made a HUGE difference for her. She went from crying when she was asked to ride her horse across the pasture to jumping and competing in eventing again....successfully.
Don't give up on yourself. You have had every reason to worry. Just spend time practicing being calm and brave. Even sitting there at you computer.....BECOME braver as you sit there. It is a frame of mind.
I got a grade-3 concussion after doing an emergency dismount when a horse ran away with me in the ring. I don't remember anything between kicking off my stirrups and dropping my reins and getting ready to come down before we both got injured, and waking up lying on the ground with paramedics talking to me.
I got right back on as soon as the doctor cleared me, and just had a couple of lessons on the lunge line. When I came down it was kind of a freak accident, not at all the horse's fault, not really mine, so I definitely had a moment or two of "urk! should I ride again" but after spending 30 minutes on the horse and the line, everything was fine.
Thank you for the inspirational words:). I am trying so hard to overcome my anxitey and my horse is being such a good sport! We have been riding a couple times, mostly in the round pen.
Traumatic accident #1: New mare (rescue) that I had taken out on the trails spooked suddenly when we were probably 20 minutes from home. I felt her back end coil up and she was GONE. I was hanging off her side for a good 30 seconds, then dropped. Stupidly forgot to roll, and I shattered my right wrist and had to have surgery to repair it. I passed out but woke up about a minute later uninjured except for my wrist. Almost 5 years later I STILL cannot use that wrist to full function, there is a piece missing and so I can't bear weight on it or it feels like its breaking again. I pretty much just wear a brace when working out (since I lift weights) and thats all I can do, really. I did take a few years off from riding, and when I did get back on, it wasn't so bad.
Traumatic accident #2: Riding my gelding in a saddle I knew didn't fit him, so its really my dumb self. He decided to tell me that it didn't fit, and bolted, yanking the reins out of my hands. I tried to reach for the reins and ended up falling over his left shoulder....I did roll, but kind of rolled under him, haha. I actually landed on my head, or so the onlookers say, and although the hoof print on my butt said he did step on me, the girl who saw it said it kind of looked like he jumped--so I think he realized he was stepping on me and tried to jump over with the back end. I did not pass out for that, I actually rolled over and watched him finish his trek to the gate, then wait there patiently for me LOL. I walked away with a bruise from the pommel on my groin, a hoof print on my butt, a minor case of whiplash, and one hell of a headache. I did go to the emergency room but left before I was seen (the service was atrocious) after about 45 minutes and I hadn't passed out and I didn't have any signs of a concussion.
I'm kiind of over this..I have been back on him since then, but I haven't ridden him... I took like six months off while he was getting his weight back up and then got him 60 days of a refresher course with my trainer. I'm nervous on him, but I am also nervous on all horses...I am a really nitpicky rider and so I like to a)know what my horse is capable of and b)know how to control it. So when I am on an unfamiliar horse (aka a lesson horse) I get a little nervous and I just have to ride through it. So right now I'm working on my trust issues with my gelding, and riding issues on other horses, and I have promised myself that whenever I get a western saddle, I will start taking lessons with my pony.
All I can tell you is, it is completely possible to fall off a horse (at all speeds) and walk away without a scratch. My last 3 falls (one just yesterday) left me with just some minor stiffness from the landing. Try not to get caught up in the falling off again thing. While your fall was bad, it is not likely to be repeated.
I seem to fall off at a rate of once every two years. I've somehow morphed that logic into telling myself that I'm good to go for another 2 years now where falling is concerned since I just came off yesteray. It makes me more bold, not less. Go figure.
I have been pretty lucky in all my falls heres some of them
Thought I would share one of mine. I used to be a trail guide for a very large ranch.
Well Im riding a horse, and hes just being SO difficult. Hes rearing up(not little baby rears, Like high as you can go without flipping). Im trying to help the others and keep a little girl calm on her horse( I was only about 14 at the time)
Well the little girl somehow gets dragged through the bushes(dont know why she was put on that horse)
So I end up going through them and I just unmount and walk through the bushes and I grab the little girls reins and pony her through them(on foot), and get her back in trail and offer to pony her the rest of the ride she declined(tough little girl) hehe. Im stressing out, its hot. I just want to get back on my horse as quickly as possible. So the family is now riding back and I go to mount(dont know how I make this mistake) but I end up putting my leg behind the saddle seat and he freaks by the time I realize. and just TAKES off full speed Im riding his but trying to get him to stop and luckily their was a nice patch of dirt I seen coming up, so I jump off into it because if I wouldent have taken the dirt pile the rest was barbed wire and then a turn I would of surly been serverly hurt, possibly killed.
Another time I was trail riding with friends going full speed gallop through the wide trails I was booking it. the horse I was riding was a bit of a princess and didnt like being dirty so here comes a mudd puddle when I book it around the corner( crap -.-) I pull back and I can barly slow down by the time I get their she FLYS so far up in the air over that puddle (btw I ride western) the highest ive jumped was about 2 and a half feet over a log on trails. So I end up falling off ito the puddle LOL. Im just covered in mudd and sore I ended up checking and making sure she was okay and she was fine so I mounted and rode back.
Ive had some falls, one where I broke my wrist another were I was sore for weeks and convinced I had internal bleeding. But I dont feel like writing my life storys of falls lol.
Sorry mine arnt traumatic, but hey they were falls. Actually I have a extremely tramatic fall...Ill post a thread of its own though its horrible.
I have had my share of bad fall's...broken back was the biggy...and then seeing some of my closest friends almost loose their live's and one that did... here's an
article from Horse.com that might help you...sure helped some of us on another forum... best wish's to you...
by Mike Kinsey and Jennifer Denison
from Backcountry Basics
Posted: Tuesday, July 12, 2011You're out on a trail ride, pointing out scenery and wildlife to your riding buddy, when suddenly your horse jumps to the side, dodging the horse-eating monster lurking in the bushes. Shaky in the saddle, you wonder if the rest of your ride will be this nerve-wracking.
If your horse is terrified of things along the trail, you must build his confidence and trust in you, and you must become an alert, active rider, anticipating scary stimuli and gaining control before he can take charge. Otherwise he or you could get hurt.
He must have the skill to:
-- Move forward, backward and stop readily.
-- Yield laterally to direct-rein pressure in both directions.
Signs of spooking include becoming excited, tensing his muscles, raising his head, pointing his ears forward and/or snorting. You can reduce the severity of his spook and, in some cases, teach him to "spook in place" by developing his confidence, sharpening your communication and diverting his attention from the scary stimuli and to your guidance and control.
1. Read his body language.
As you ride, look ahead for possible spooky spots, and monitor the horse for signs of spooking. Place one hand on each rein and be ready to take charge of the situation with direct-rein control. Your goal: Anticipate his urge to flee, and keep him moving under control. You might not be able to move him toward the object, but you can make him move in the direction you specify.
2. Turn toward the object.
Ride two-handed for direct contact with his mouth. If you allow him to stop and fixate on the object, you lose his attention and your control. If he spooks and attempts to run, calmly, confidently and immediately use direct-rein pressure to turn him toward the scary object and then perform a training maneuver. This prevents him from developing a habit of bolting from scary objects. Bolting is much more dangerous than jumping sideways.
3. Work in your horse's comfort zone.
Once you turn your horse, immediately circle or weave 10 or 20 steps away from the spooky object. Allow him to enter his comfort zone, where he relaxes and listens to you. Remain calm and use consistent cues, assuring your horse there's nothing to fear.
4. Encourage him to relax.
Continue to work him in the comfort zone until he relaxes, complies with your cues and moves willingly. With both reins in direct-rein control, work toward the spook-producing spot performing the same maneuver to keep his mind off the scary spot and locked on you. Return to the comfort zone if he gets upset. Move closer to the scary object in small increments until you are next to it. If possible, move around the feared object (on both sides) to further build his confidence.
5. Work toward the scary stimuli.
When you reach the object, stop and allow your horse to rest near it. He might look at the object out of the corner of his eye, but use direct-rein pressure to prevent him from turning to look at it. Your goal is to convince him to trust your judgment -- to accept your guidance over his fear. If you've done the exercise correctly, your horse should approach the object and stop without hesitation, because he's confident and attentive to you. Now you're ready to ride without reservation, because you have a sure-fire way to settle your spooky horse.
I agree with Allison that visualization is VERY powerful. I've had some pretty bad falls: 3 concussions, dislocated shoulder, torn calf muscles, impacted break of both forearm bones, fractured wrist, broken ribs, and the worst, fractured vertebra and crushed disc. I went back to riding after all of them - they were all separate accidents, which may lead you to believe that I really suck at riding or am hideously lacking in safety consciousness :) But I was riding lots of greenies and so-called 'problem horses', half a dozen a day, so it's not as bad as it sounds :)
Other than imagining yourself being brave and calm, the only advice I can add is to give yourself and your horse time. Don't stress yourself out if you're still a bit nervous - it's normal. It means you have a healthy sense of self-preservation! As Allison said, if you keep seeing yourself as you'd like to be, you'll wake up one morning and be that person. Hang in there!
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