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if you can get back on and ride, even for a few minutes, right after the fall , it helps.

It all depends so much on the person; their age, personality, state of health and the severity of a fall.

I've fallen many times. every time I say to myself, "Ok, that should be my last one". as if it won't ever happen again. I am not sure I can always trick myself into believing that, but if I don't try, I wont' get back in the saddle.
 

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I was given some good advice by my trainer when I had a particularly bad fall which was, "Get up, dust yourself off, take a deep breath and get back on. It was a long way from your heart." It might not be easy but I have found that it's crucial to get back on as soon as possible and try again.

How I personally overcome a fall is as follows: While I'm falling and/or on the ground I make sure I know exactly where the horse is and get up as quick as I can. I take a deep breath and pat my arms and legs down and see that I'm not missing any body parts or have any bits sticking out of me and then I shrug it off. That was then, this is now. Over analyzing it won't help any so the best thing to do is chug on and fix the problem. I tell myself that I must get back on the horse (or any for that matter) within thirty minuets. When I get the horse I might take it in a smaller arena or simply just walk it around or trot a little but I always make sure that me AND the horse end on a good note and in a good place mentally.

I one time fell head first while cantering my mare (through rider error and a spunky horse lol) when I was ten. It scared the crap out of me. I got back on within five minuets and walked and trotted around but didn't canter. Years later I still had a fear of cantering so my trainer made the best decision for me: whenever she put me on a horse she made me canter the entire time. If I stopped or got off she would literally chase me around with a lunge whip (me on the ground, not the horse(s) which just stood there while I ran around screeching). For three weeks I did nothing but canter, and on week four I didn't have that fear anymore. Same's true for if you have a fear after a fall. Expose yourself to it and muddle through it. If you have to, find someone who will chase you around with a horse whip if you stop or get off and push through it until it becomes comfortable again.

Now the remedies from the bruises afterwards are many. Personally I like a nice hot shower to loosen up my muscles and then I crash on the couch for a couple of hours. After that I'm up and moving, just like horses after a trauma you keep them moving so you don't tie up and are in double the pain. On rare occasions I've taken a couple of asprins or small pain relievers and iced different parts, but recently I found something that works twice as good: tincture of arnica.

I had a bad fall and was literally swollen from head to toe, my boss put some of that stuff on the worst parts and after resting on the couch for a couple of hours I felt better than any time I used asprin or the like. I've used it several times and trust me- it's worth it! It's not a gimmick or a hoax it's the real deal in the herb stores. :)

Everyone falls and it's natural to be scared or intimidated but just remember: that was then and when your on the ground staring at your horse - that's now. Push through and shrug it off (you can get checked by a doc later :wink:) get on the horse and prove to yourself that you can in fact get back on. Happy riding!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did get back in the saddle it just scare me a bit knowing that it could have been worse and for the past 3 mouth or soo I have been falling at least once a mouth and it is start to bug me a bit that it keep on happening. Thought the last two was because of the saddle slipping
 

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that's tough! if you are falling that often, you do have to look into why and what you can do to change that. you don't want to be TOO casual about it. even a simple fall can break a bone.
saddle slipping is one that you DO have some control over. (Ive come off ONCE from that. I now am more careful to double check girth/cinch)

Do you think you are falling due to some kind of negligence, or just bad luck , or are you working hard, pushing boundaries, and thus putting yourself in more risk in order to become a better rider?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
more like bad saddle. I was not doing something I had a hard (cantering) time with it is one of my best gaits. The horse is just rounder in build and the saddle not the best in the world. But what scare me is I am start to black out when I start falling like I can't remember what happen when I am fall I just remember that I am on the gound and that I am sore. And the fact that the fall seem to be getting worse last time I went flying in to a wall the time before that it was a garbage can we use for mounting game. But I am not scare of riding I am just scared of getting and not being aloud to ride agin or getting hurt so bad I can't ride.
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I don't know if it's normal but I don't exactly remember when I'm falling either. My brain just registers when I hit the ground and gets me caught up later. I can tell you the general direction of where I fell off of but nothing more.

Are you keeping yourself limp when you fall or feel your saddle slip? Or are you tensing up? Work on going limp because I've been told from my doctors that that has kept me from being hurt worse. As for the saddle slipping would maybe over-tightening it help? I know it sounds horrible to say but if it's on it's on.

Also, if it helps any, on the topic of getting hurt so bad you can't possibly ride again I lifted a haybale and practically shattered my knee. It was so bad that the doctor said that I wouldn't be able to ride again ever or be around horses. I'm back on a horse six months later (through sheer tenacity and stubbornness). My point is that anything can get you to that point, I always thought it'd be a fall too that did me in but it wasn't.
 

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Sometimes your adrenaline and the shock of it all, is just too much for your brain. If you're moving fast, your brain is going and you have a fall, it's just too fast for your brain.

You just gotta get back into the saddle and end on a good note. I totally understand your anxiety, I may not have the same situation but I've been in other life situations where I've had to just do it. And the anxiety is something you need to work on. Some days I can say, "This is NOT going to happen, stop thinking about it desiree and get over it" and other days it's so bad where I just need to think of other things and push it down. (I've been through two robberies at gun point hence the bad anxiety at times) And also, it helps if you can trust your horse. If I fell off Abby I know it would be my fault, not hers. I know that I can trust her to help take care of me.
 

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1. Learn to fall better. Tuck and roll and try and stay relaxed, like a gymnast. This will absorb the shock and greatly reduce the pain and bruising, as well as really reduce your risk of a broken bone. Takes some practice to get the muscle memory for this but try and repeat the "tuck and roll" mantra regularly.

2. Get back on, unless you absolutely can't. Ride another 5 minutes before dismounting.

3. When you get back to the barn, ice up the worst affected area and raise it above heart-height to minimise swelling and bruising. If you have no ice handy, a drink from the fridge or running the area under cold water is a decent replacement. While immediate rest is good, try and keep moving over the next few days to stop the area from stiffening up and ensure it stays supple. I usually massage in some pain-relieving gel firmly with my fingers.

4. Remind yourself that every fall is a lesson and pain is a natural teacher. I'm not personally a believer in not thinking about falls, but I know some people just like to put it behind them and move on. I critically analyse the lead-up to the fall and think about how I can prevent it or at least reduce its severity next time. I try and identify the crucial point where I went from "might fall off" to "will fall off" and what I could have done in that moment to avoid it. If you're doing lessons this is best done in discussion with your instructor, who should have a good tip to avoid the same thing happening again. Say, if you felt your horse tense up a split second before a big buck or a spook, remember that feeling he transmitted and consider how a one-rein-stop might have helped. Then really visualise yourself doing that, and the outcome being different. Soon enough, that response to that particular situation becomes second nature.

5. Next time you feel you are about to fall off, force yourself to SMILE. I know this sounds crazy but you immediately relax which means, at the very least, the fall won't hurt so much, and at best that it may not happen at all as your seat is more secure (tensing is a great way to unseat yourself) and you're not transmitting your own fear to your horse, increasing his fear levels.
 

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The only time I haven't gotten back on a horse is when I dislocated and broke my shoulder, and my tailbone.

The best thing you can do, is push yourself off the ground, wipe the sand and tears and get back on. Do ten minutes of good work, and then get off.

Hot bath and muscle rub do wonders... We actually have pferdebalsam that the chemists sell... Horse muscle rub... For humans ;)

Falling off is a mind over matter thing, but at times that fear can grip you. As has been mentioned on your other thread, however, definitely best not to get back on the horse until the owner sorts out that slipping saddle!
 

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I always get back on if I can. there have only been two falls where I didn't immediately get back on the horse, the first, because I was 9 and went head first into a slab of concrete. The second, I was trialling a horse to buy and he threw me violently, At the highest I was about 15ft in the air with no horse underneath me, it was just too risky to get on, I didn't want to buy him after that anyway, he was later put down due to ill-use of draw reins ruining his neck, so he was in pain and I didn't realise.

I have fallen off my old mare and broken several ribs in the process, i then proceeded to get back on and go back to my jumping practise... The adrenaline was running, I didn't feel my broken ribs till after I got off. Wooo did they hurt.

I don't fall very often, maybe once a year? But for some strange reason I'm not scared of falling off anymore. It does shake me up a little when it happens, more physically than mentally, but I think the fact that I'm not scared of falling helps.
When you think your going to fall off and you panic, you unknowingly make it worse, you tense up, which not only increases your chance of falling off to start with in a situation where you may have been able to save yourself, but it also increases your chances of being hurt.
If you are relaxed as you fall, you are less likely to get hurt.

I remember the only 2 falls I've had off Mitch so far, the first, he wasn't listening to me, so I smacked him on the shoulder with my crop, theoretically only hard enough to get his attention. Well dang, I got his attention alright, he went absolutely rodeo on me, I had no chance in sitting those bucks and I was in the air before I even realised what had happened. I was high enough up that I was able to look down and literally think "Well Sh**, this is gonna hurt." before I hit the ground, but yet I stayed relaxed, and rolled as I hit the ground. I wasn't physically hurt, but you can bet I was in a very foul mood by the time I caught my horse who was cowering in the far corner of the paddock.

The second time, we were doing xc practice. I took him over a pile of branches. The first time over it he bucked afterwards, I lost my stirrups but I was ok.
Second time over it, he bucked and swerved mid jump, when he landed he pivoted off his front hooves to the right, I lost my stirrups and was thrown to the left, still hanging on for dear life. My feet were above my saddle and my head was about 5 inches from the ground before I realised and went oh to hell with this, and just let go, and again, rolled across the ground.

As for the pain, it's always the worst 2 days after I find. I have hot showers, and rub either arnica, anti-flamme, or deep heat into my sore bits after the shower while everything is still warm and pliable. Wheat packs are good if you can't handle the heat that the Deep Heat and the Anti-Flamme creams bring, they can get rather warm! And keep moving, if you sit down and go ohh no I don't think I'll do this today because I'm sore.. Don't. As long as it's just bruising and tight muscles, your better to keep moving slowly around the place to keep them from seizing up. I don't mean go out and run a marathon of course, but movement is good :)
 

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I have only fallen once, so far. I am under no illusion that it will be my one and only! I fell off during a lesson, at the canter, coming back to trot, taking a left hand turn. I popped off the right hand side, whacked my arm on the arena fencing on the way down, landed and cracked/broke my coccyx. Got up laughing and got straight back on - although bum was hurting quite a lot! Wasnt til later I realised how much I'd hurt it.

I couldnt ride for about 6 weeks and when I did get back on I was scared to death of canter, and especially coming back down to trot. My instructor would usually give me about a 'lap' of the arena notice to prepare for canter, and I would immediately get nervous, usually lose a stirrup or fumble something or let the horse drop back to walk, almost anything (subconsciously) to prevent having to canter. The first time I did canter again I lost my stirrup again coming back to trot!!! Luckily on the straight this time and I didnt panic, and stayed on, but it scared me again.

I didnt actually tell my instructor how nervous I was, but I think she picked up on it, as she started not giving me much notice to canter so I couldnt get stressed about it. As we were coming up to it she'd remind me heels down, hands down, whatever it was she thought I needed to fix, then she'd say, right, canter in the next corner. When i didnt have so much time to think about it I wasnt as worried.

I'm sure that it helped that I knew right away EXACTLY what I'd done wrong to fall off, and what I needed to do to prevent it, but it is scary getting back on again after a fall. Didnt help that I had to have a longish break to let my coccyx heal somewhat. Its actually been nearly 3 months now and my bottom still aches at the end of the day, or after sitting for a while, or after riding especially. Pretty constant reminder of my fall!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
My trainer told me to use a non slip pad because they were both cursed by the same thing but I am not sure that will work. But what bug me the most is that the horse tought we were going to be mad at her. She was scare and I hate that it is going to be bug her as much as me
 

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What do you do to feel less sore after a fall? And how do you over come the the fall?
1. "What do you do to feel less sore after a fall?"
That will depend a lot on what's "sore". An injury from a fall isn't any different the same injury if it was caused by something else. A sprained wrist or ankle is the same whether it happened from falling off a horse or from some other accident so dealing with the pain is the same.
For example if you crack a rib (or two) you're going to hurt for a lot of days. You can take pain medication, but there's really not much else you can do but live with the pain until it goes away.

2. "And how do you over come the fall?"
That's being beat to death here so I'm not going to repeat all that :lol:

I will say that while the concept of getting back on is psychological one for the rider I've never had that problem (I've yet to every be afraid to get on a horse after coming off....so long as I'm still alive and physically able to :lol:). I get back on more often just to make sure that the horse understands that my coming off doesn't change anything. They're still going to be ridden by me.

Also a horse can learn how to dump you and use that when it doesn't want to go somewhere or do something. It's a battle you will ultimately need to win if you want to be in charge and not the horse.
 

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Most of my falls (and I have had plenty of them over my lifetime) were probably much more my own fault and not the horse's. Bad position, not paying attention, whatever.
As far as memory during the fall...well, there is the "oh crap" second and then the "thud." Not enough time to think about it during the in between time.
If possible, once you know all your parts are moving okay, get back on. I believe that gives confidence to both you and your horse to go on about whatever it is you are doing.
 

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1. Learn to fall better. Tuck and roll and try and stay relaxed, like a gymnast. This will absorb the shock and greatly reduce the pain and bruising, as well as really reduce your risk of a broken bone. Takes some practice to get the muscle memory for this but try and repeat the "tuck and roll" mantra regularly.
Second that! It's also useful to take some judo lessons (or similar martial art), where you learn how to fall. Yoga or other flexibility/relaxation exercise is also helpful.
 

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Yeah, it's really important to get back on the horse if you can; otherwise you may end up creating a fear that will stick with you.

I had a terrible fall back in the 80s - it happened at a full gallop during a trail ride. I managed to get back on the horse but I have not been able to gallop since then, even cantering a new horse scares me but I try not to show it.

Regarding nursing bumps and bruises - put ice on it immediately after you're done with your ride and take ibuprofen if needed.
 

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I just fell off the lesson before last, going over a grid (really just two tiny verticals in a row) I didnt sit back enough after the first jump, causing me to be off balance over the second jump. Add to that the horse is a pretty powerful jumper and I popped right over his shoulder when we landed. Luckily didnt have anything hurt other than my pride, and was mentally too ****ed at myself to worry about it happening again!! Got right back on and jumped him some more (only crossrails though)

This week I rode the same horse again, and my trainer set up another vertical with a trotpole in front. Going through the corner before the jump I realized I was worried about the jump and forced myself to physically relaxed. The horse overjumped (as usual) but I stayed balanced because I had overanalyzed the events leading up to the fall and remembered to come back from the two point (had been telling myself/practicing in my mind all week long to lean back on landing)

So I think its is important to shrug off the fall, but it can be useful to analyze what you could have done to prevent the fall.
 
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