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Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after four and a half years and over 400 rides on Elle, my lease horse... I fell off her for the very first time.

I was just thinking the other day how remarkable and statistically unlikely it was that I hadn't yet fallen off of her. Any other horse I'd ridden for any significant length of time -- and they've all been a fraction of how long I've been riding her -- I have fallen off of at least once. Well, one should never EVER think those sorts of thoughts -- and I know this from experience -- because they will always, always jinx you.

Anyhow, today I was feeling a little funny and realized it was because I had missed lunch. As I rode around in the ring a little to warm up, I suddenly realized that I also hadn't changed out of my rubber boots and into my riding boots. They're not unsafe to ride in, but they are uncomfortable. Oh well, whatever, I thought. I just won't do a schooling ride. Instead, I'll do a relaxed walk around the property. It's what I had done on Monday, and it was nice, so why not do it again today? Nice relaxed walk in the sunshine? What could go wrong?

Well, everything was going great until I decided we should go explore a different section of the property. It was unremarkable, except that the footing was somewhat thick, tangled, damp, squishy grass. I could tell Elle wasn't crazy about it but made her walk on a little ways. She hates crossing water but will usually put up with it if you're firm. Aaaaaaaaaaaand... sudden DUCK, 180 SPIN, BOLT and I had that moment where you feel the horse has gone on without you and your body is staying in place and mentally screamed "YOU SUUUUUUUUUUUUCK" as I hit the -- thankfully, soft -- ground with my right hip and rolled up into what I would like to imagine looked like one of those cool superhero stances (see below). Elle stopped about one stride after I had hit the turf, and stood perfectly relaxed with her eyelids and lip drooping, looking at me like, "What?" I'm convinced that not even the best rider would have stuck that spook. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

I walked her back to the arena, had a commiseration call with my coach who has never, in six years of owning this horse, had ANYONE fall off of her. Then I got back on Elle and cantered her into a good sweat and finished with some relaxed sitting trot for both out sakes. Nary an ear twitch nor a look askance. Sigh!

Anyhow. That was my day!! If I was going to fall off her eventually -- and let's face it, it was bound to happen -- at least I landed on soft ground. Soft ground that probably, you know, caused the fall... So it cancels itself out, right?? :D
 

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Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry about that fall. You didn't say. Are you hurt??? I know you've had some issues with pain. Did the fall aggravate those issues? Hope you are OK.
Thanks! :) I think I'm good, but tomorrow will tell! I was lucky in that it was super soft there, I had a split second to actually coordinate my landing, and just... also... lucky!

In a way I'm weirdly glad when this sort of fall happens (as long as they're very very rare, and falls in general remain very very rare!!) It's a reminder that not every fall is catastrophic and I usually just get up, dust myself off, and give the horse dirty looks (and no cookies)!
 

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Sorry to hear! But it sounds like you're ok.


Yesterday I had a bit of a spill on Rusty for the first time. He lost his footing in the canter, went down on his knees, then on his side -- right on my foot still in the stirrup. There was a split second as he got up when I had enough instinct to kick my foot out of the stirrup so he didn't pull me up with him. Then he just kind od stood there shaking his head, looking at me like "what just happened"? My ankle is pretty swollen but I can walk on it so it should be ok in a few days. It was just such a freak thing, he just tripped I guess.



My daughter got on him to canter him one more time and he was great. I got on to cool him down (stirrupless - my ankle was already hurting).


I'll get back on as soon as my ankle allows. It's just par for the course I guess.
 

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Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry to hear! But it sounds like you're ok.


Yesterday I had a bit of a spill on Rusty for the first time. He lost his footing in the canter, went down on his knees, then on his side -- right on my foot still in the stirrup. There was a split second as he got up when I had enough instinct to kick my foot out of the stirrup so he didn't pull me up with him. Then he just kind od stood there shaking his head, looking at me like "what just happened"? My ankle is pretty swollen but I can walk on it so it should be ok in a few days. It was just such a freak thing, he just tripped I guess.
Thanks! Yeah, I had a very good landing!

Oooof, that sucks. These are the types of falls that make me cock an eyebrow when people say they won't wear a helmet because "I trust my horse." Well, trustworthy horses still sometimes do faceplants!! It's no one's fault, but there's still a potential to be hurt. Glad your ankle sounds like it'll be okay, and hopefully no one will be the worse for wear!

Actually, I thought of you today, because what Elle pulled sounds just like what Kodak was doing to you! Thankfully it's not a pattern of behaviour, at least, with Elle! *knocking on all the wood*
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Also, I'm currently soothing my nerves (they weren't too rattled, but that's my excuse) with a couple generous glasses of red. :winetime: Been a while since I've fallen (thankfully!!) so I figure it deserves a toast or two. (Though I haven't told my fiance I fell off today. Why worry the boy?? Horses are SAFE, after all!! :rofl:)
 

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I fell off my mare for the first time in four years in November. She never bucked before and since. One moment we are doing a nice, relaxed sitting trot - zero tension in either of us - WHAM - I'm somersaulting to the ground. She bucked so hard that she launched me in one go. I literally made a somersault, all the way over my head, full 360 degrees. She didn't make a single step further, just stood there and looked at me really confused. I got back on and she was completely relaxed for the rest of the ride. I did hurt my ribs quite badly and I needed help getting up from a lying or a sitting position for two weeks. She hasn't even hinted at anything similar since than. I have no clue what happened. I was going to call the vet (kissing spines was suggested by people on this forum) but she is behaving perfectly.
 

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Yikes! I am glad you are OK! I dread the falling off part. I haven't for quite some time and now I have a new hip and am even more worried about it. And my horse is not the most sure footed beast. The joys of riding occasionally marred by the thrill of flight and terror of impact
 

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I'm glad you are OK, and love your description of the fall. Silly beasts these horses can be.

I was thinking the other day that I haven't fallen off my mare yet. Since we are logging more miles, I figure it is only a matter of time.

This past weekend I took her camping/trail riding. We had an 'oops' moment when she decided to launch herself over a wee little mud puddle. I was kind of expecting her to do it, but it still caught me off guard. I didn't fall off, but my saddle slipped a bit and I was sorta hanging onto her side. I managed to clamber my way back up and we continued on. But it was one of the closer calls of hitting the dirt.

Naturally there were about 7 or 8 people watching.

Hopefully no lingering soreness from your acrobatics! :)
 

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Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So here's the next-day damage report:

Matching bruises on my upper inner thighs, small but quite a doozy on my left side. Which makes sense, as I fell off to the right. I think they're from the leather skirt over the stirrup bars. Left elbow is ouchy if I move it a certain way, but my left arm wasn't involved in the fall (that I know of, but who knows), and was bugging me a little before it happened, so I doubt it's related. All in all, not too bad, this time!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yikes! I am glad you are OK! I dread the falling off part. I haven't for quite some time and now I have a new hip and am even more worried about it. And my horse is not the most sure footed beast. The joys of riding occasionally marred by the thrill of flight and terror of impact
I hear that. Not the hip part, thankfully, but the worry! I always, always, always have fear of the exact kind of sudden spook/spin/bolt thing that happened yesterday. Always in the back my mind, every moment of every ride. Wheeeeee. Buuuut, I do it anyhow!
 

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Hi sorry you came off but it's good that the ground was soft and you weren't hurt and also glad
that your mare was polite enough to stop and wait for you instead of larking off back home to leave you to walk.
I hope the rest of the ride was uneventful.
 

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So here's the next-day damage report:

Matching bruises on my upper inner thighs, small but quite a doozy on my left side. Which makes sense, as I fell off to the right. I think they're from the leather skirt over the stirrup bars. Left elbow is ouchy if I move it a certain way, but my left arm wasn't involved in the fall (that I know of, but who knows), and was bugging me a little before it happened, so I doubt it's related. All in all, not too bad, this time!!
Glad to hear!

My three-days-later report: still can't flex my ankle fully, but the lemon-sized swelling on the side where the bone protrudes is subsiding a little. I suspect it will soon turn blue and green and all the beautiful colours of the rainbow! My side/back is hurting a lot when I move, like the feeling you get when you run a lot and get a stitch in your side. I can't get my feet in stirrups yet, but I couldn't resist hopping on the big dangerous fella, aka oopsy Rusty bareback and fully tackless tonight. Not even a halter on him, but we puttered around the paddock on a lazy summer's evening. I do sure love that horse.

Sorry to hear you had a Kodak experience. I still don't get on her much, though my daughter does at times. She's a sweetheart on the ground, but I can't trust her under saddle. Maybe she'd be ok, but I'm not brave enough to find out. Rusty, on the other hand, despite his ridiculous flop to the ground, I would trust any day.

Hoping to have a proper ride on him tomorrow, but it will probably be stirrupless.

Have you told your fiancé yet? I couldn't hide it from my husband, but did not tell my parents when they called. Why worry them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry to hear you had a Kodak experience. I still don't get on her much, though my daughter does at times. She's a sweetheart on the ground, but I can't trust her under saddle. Maybe she'd be ok, but I'm not brave enough to find out. Rusty, on the other hand, despite his ridiculous flop to the ground, I would trust any day.

Hoping to have a proper ride on him tomorrow, but it will probably be stirrupless.

Have you told your fiancé yet? I couldn't hide it from my husband, but did not tell my parents when they called. Why worry them?
In hindsight I probably could have/should have told him, and it would have been okay -- probably. But I think it would be weird if I did now and tried to play it off as an "Oh by the way..." thing. He hasn't reacted badly the other times I've fallen off, but it's been about three years, and never off of Elle who is about the most "perfect" and safe horse I ride.

I had a nice and normal ride on her on Friday, just in the arena, and she was her usual self. I flashed back to the fall repeatedly for about the first ten minutes, and kind of let myself do that a bit and then made myself mentally move on. I convinced myself do some no-stirrups work too, towards the end of the ride, just to keep my confidence up. It was also weirdly... freeing??... to be like, well, if that happened again I wouldn't stay on anyhow, so it doesn't really matter what I do or don't do in the ride. It's beyond my control so I might as well just ride like it's not going to happen.

Today I did a little ride on a cute four year old at the barn. He's small and friendly and pretty green, but he's really easygoing and nothing seems to spook or bother him -- ever. The other night I brought him into the indoor arena where barn swallows are nesting and swooping around like crazy, and all he did was follow me around for scratches and make funny faces. Sometimes I hop on him for variety. He's not always easy, but he is a good sport. He strikes me as a bit of a Rusty-type. :)

Glad your ankle is improving!
 
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