Well, I haven't been tossed in over 2 years. Guess I was due. I was cooling my horse off from his workout with a nice 10 minute ride through the woods. He had a biting fly in the middle of his face and couldn't get it off. I stopped him and brought his head around so I could get it off for him. Right as I get into a forward compromising position, a rather large deer springs up out of nowhere. I'm guessing he was asleep in the tall grass. Anyway, my horse who already is not fond of large wildlife proceeds to produce his patented rear/spin/spook/bolt maneuver that he's got down cold. Gravity takes over and off I go, luckily onto a nice soft spot of dirt narrowly missing a few rocks and rather large oak tree. Landed on my nice mid 40's butt, so I got away without a scratch.
So my sweet horse stands there about 20' away, waits for me to get up and check for all my body parts, and then takes off for the barn which was just around the corner. Jack**s!!!! While it's lovely to watch a TB in a full graceful gallop, I didn't appreciate it in that particular moment. I don't hold onto the reins if there's no danger involved, but would love to hear anyone's suggestions about possibly training a horse to stay put when the rider comes off. I thought about teaching him ground tying, but technically that doesn't fit since when I come off, the reins are still over his head. Thoughts?