Road Riding Accident

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Road Riding Accident

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  • Horse sliced in Road accident

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    08-02-2014, 03:05 PM
Green Broke
Road Riding Accident

Before I hear anything negative, I'm going to state I don't want to hear that we were wrong and stupid for doing such. We've been riding the roads for the past 4-5 years and have had no incidents. I just wanted to show what can happen when things go wrong, even after they've gone right for years.

Yesterday, we went out for a short trail (about 2 hours) after getting grain. Most of our riding is now on the road, though we have plenty of wooded trails, there's just road riding to get to them all. None of our horses have shoes and we regularly canter on uphill and flat stretches on the roads, never had a horse slip. Ever. We even race up some of the hills. Yesterday, we figured we'd let them out to their own desired canter/in-hand gallop pace up a hill with a VERY slight bend (you'd barely turn a steering wheel in a vehicle). All went beautifully and not one of our three horses cared about the motorcycle coming down the hill in the other lane. Pistol was in front, I was behind holding Alahna back from passing him, and Toby was in the rear. All of a sudden, Pistol went down. When Alahna raced (she still has flashbacks every now and again, which I deal with because of how well she does everything else I ask) she would come directly behind the front horse and cut to the side to pass at the last moment. I was in the process of moving her over when Pistol went down. I thought we were going right over Pistol and my buddy. I got her moved over just enough that we missed them, but my steel toe boot got Pistol in the mouth. I tried to pick my leg up, but I wasn't fast enough.

Pistol got right up and tried to take off again, my buddy still just fine in the saddle, but we pulled off into a side street to inspect the damage. In my opinion, he's going to be out for atleast a month, minimum. His pasterns and left knee got the worst of it, but he has a big chunk out of his right stifle (accompanied by heat and swelling slightly below), and he must've clipped his right front leg with his hind and has a gash about an inch deep there.

On a good note, we were only about a mile from home and we walked them all home (well, me and my other buddy rode). Pistol was lame on both hinds (the left had little visible damage) and lame off and on on his front left. He also ended up with a small cut in his mouth from when I kicked him, but nothing serious at all.

He's all bandaged up and turned out in the paddock. I'll be checking again today (Buddy and I both know a good bit, so haven't called the vet out yet, we'll determine that in a few days) an getting some pictures. It was too dark by the time we got back to take any decent pictures.

Anywho, again, not looking for any bad comments, just want to state my experience with how things can still go wrong after years of going right.
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    08-02-2014, 03:23 PM
You are talking about galloping on paved roads?

That is insane. I don't see how you are going to avoid negative comments. You are very luck that your horses have 1) stayed sound 2) that your horse wasn't injured worse and 3) your friend wasn't killed.

I hope you change the way you ride in the future. I think the only reason this didn't happen sooner was because you were lucky and at some point that luck is going to run out.

I've spent most of my life riding in the "city". I always ride on the side of the road on the grass. I trot on flat stretches, but slow to a walk over every driveway.

I knew a girl who broke her back when she fell off her horse on a concrete driveway. She was only 16.
    08-02-2014, 03:35 PM
I'm not sure what you're expecting to hear. Cantering on paved roads is dangerous and isn't very good for the horse, either. You knew it, you did it anyway - so yes, you can't be surprised that something bad eventually happened from it. I hope you take away more from your experience than that there's a reason people say not to do certain things.

I also hope that there's no long term damage to the horse.
    08-02-2014, 03:35 PM
Green Broke
That's what I meant..Obviously we won't be galloping anymore, but if we want any trails, we have to canter on the pavement. I'm not walking around a bend on a 45mph route. Our roads don't have grassy shoulders, usually no shoulder at all.

I'm not all that worried about the soundness, the spots we canter aren't all that long, and we don't just canter to get the trail done faster. We canter up some hills and either trot or lope around bends. I would worry more about a heavy performance horse than mine for how often it's done.

Pistol is not mine, he's my buddy's horse. Personally, I'm not sure I'd ride him anywhere that isn't fenced in because of how unpredictable he is.

And yes, obviously we know we're lucky that it wasn't any worse. That's why I'm posting this, not to be told how stupid we were for doing it in the first place, only to give an example of what can happen.
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    08-02-2014, 03:38 PM
Originally Posted by Iseul    
And yes, obviously we know we're lucky that it wasn't any worse. That's why I'm posting this, not to be told how stupid we were for doing it in the first place, only to give an example of what can happen.
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One of the reasons so many people say don't canter on pavement is because we know what can happen. :) It's not because we've lost our sense of adventure or don't canter or whatever, it's because we recognize the danger and don't want it to happen to someone else.
    08-02-2014, 03:44 PM
I am glad it wasn't worse but it doesn't sound like it was great anyway.

I have had a 17.2HH TB slip and fall on me when just crossing a road... at a walk.

I hate riding on paved surfaces and even though my boys are barefoot I never go over the speed of a walk if I have to ride on them.

I have no problem loping or galloping on dirt roads or trails but what you guys are doing sounds crazy to me! I hope pistol makes a fast recovery.
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    08-02-2014, 03:44 PM
Green Broke
I don't see cantering as an issue, the galloping I do see as an issue. Our canter (on all 3 horses), is not fast. It's a lope, maybe like the small circle on a reining pattern?

I, personally, have never seen a pavement accident, nor had a horse slip at all, at any gait. So yes, I know it can be hard on their joints, but I don't view the amount we do as detrimental. I wouldn't take a shod horse past a trot on a paved road. I've never had any issues with a barefoot horse on pavement (I'm not talking freshly paved either, I'm talking roads that were either concreted or paved YEARS ago).

In all honesty though, I'd rather take the risk of loping (I usually use canter, but some people think canter and lope are different) around bends than only having a paddock and a half hour worth of trails to ride.
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    08-02-2014, 08:12 PM
'd rather take the risk of loping (I usually use canter, but some people think canter and lope are different) around bends than only having a paddock and a half hour worth of trails to ride.
But why can't you walk or at least trot on the road to the good trails? Why lope your horse if you don't have to?
    08-02-2014, 08:24 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Roux    
But why can't you walk or at least trot on the road to the good trails? Why lope your horse if you don't have to?
Well, I feel safer loping because people fly 50-60 around the bends and there's no shoulder or grass to ride off into if a car comes flying up behind. There's a much higher chance that they'll slow down enough if we're loping to not hit us than if we were to be walking/trotting. It's not just that they're good trails either (great for getting a horse in shape and advanced enough (hill and cliff wise) that it's never boring), but there's enough that I don't have to cross over and re-ride trails to take more than a half hour ride. The majority of the road we walk when there's visibility/space, but I'd much rather risk a canter than a walk where there is no visibility or space to move to. People around here seem to think we don't ride on the road (I've seen the same people haul ass around the bend we have to canter up at the same time three days in a row when we had scheduled rides since we worked the same hours). I'm trying to get the boroughs to put up signs, but apparently it's not feasible for some reason.
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    08-02-2014, 08:47 PM
Wow! Iseul, I have to tell you. I understand. I live in a very rural area. When we moved here, the roads were all dirt, very little was paved, very few people lived here, etc. Now, 13 years later, asphalt everywhere, housing developments, fences. I used to ride the road to get to the national forest across the highway. No big deal. Until I almost got hit. Now, I have a small trailer to go where I want to go. My horses safety and well being is more important to me than convenience.

Also< when I was a teenager, my parents bought a beautiful QH for my younger sister. ALL of the roads where I grew up where dirt. BUT, hard pack wash board. My sister wouldn't stop running, or trotting that beautiful mare on that road. She ended up with shin splints really bad. Of course, my sister didn't recognize it and would let her rest a day or two then go at it again. All in a hurry to get where she was going. That lovely mare ended up so bad, she had to be put down because we couldn't afford the treatment she needed. I still get teary eyed.

Please! Get a trailer and stay off those roads. I've lost 2 friends because they were adamant about not letting the encroaching housing developments stop them from riding where they had a right to ride. YES!, they had a right. They proved their point. But their families sure miss them now.

Please trailer out beyond those roads. I'm not harping or criticizing. Things went well for you for a long time. Please take care of yourself and your horse.

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