Horse & Rider Weekly #8: Tips on surviving the fall

Falling off is something that defines the sport of Equestrianism itself. And sometimes you can just land on your legs, but sometimes there are falls that are far more dangerous and scary than just falling on your legs. Obviously, falls are unpredictable. When you are beginner then they are more unpredictable than ever, but as you get more advanced and more experienced, you can 8 times out of 10 tell that something’s going to happen. And also, you can’t pretty much predict exactly where your horse is going to propel you off. You could land pretty much anywhere. But there are some general tips to help you survive the fall in general.

  1. Don’t stand up right after falling off, even if you feel you’re OK.
    There could be any small injury in your neck or back that you cannot feel, but if you move your body and that injury dislodged, it could lead to a lot of problems or even paralyzation. Keep lying on the ground, and if you’re riding at a yard and there’s no one around you, shout for help. If you’re out of the yard and have fallen on the road, immediately get up and take your horse to the side, and if you feel like sitting down, sit down. If you have your cellphone handy, call someone who can assist you. Remember, don’t mount on right away, a tiny little injury could lead to paralyzation. It’s a good idea to have a trainer/instructor check you since they have basic first aid skills, and then mount on if you feel okay. Remember, if you’re even in the slightest doubt that something’s wrong, don’t take chances, call the ambulance. They’ll take you to hospital and they’ll give you a go-ahead if everything’s alright.
  2. If you’re thrown in front of the horse and the horse doesn’t look like it’s going to stop…
    Immediately roll to the side. Curl yourself in a ball with your head tucked in (just like the jockeys do) and roll away. Once you’re at a safe distance from your horse you can unroll yourself. Then again, shout for help, someone to catch your horse and someone to see to you. Don’t be embarrassed to say “I’ve fallen off! Can someone please help me?”. A little embarrassment is better than a really serious injury.
  3. If you fall with the horse’s rein in your hand…
    Immediately let them go. If your horse is trained well, he won’t wander away, and even if he does, let him. If you keep holding the rein, then 1) The horse will feel uncomfortable and will try to pull back, and 2) If the horse takes a run, you’ll be going with the horse. Rather let the horse wander away and as always, call for help.
  4. Try to avoid falling on your neck.
    Some people will try and take the shock out of falling by stretching their hands out to the ground so they fall on them like a handstand. DON’T do that! It can damage your wrists, arms, and/or shoulders! ONLY DO THAT IF YOU’RE APPROACHING THE GROUND HEAD FIRST, THEN LAND ON YOUR HANDS TO AVOID NECK INJURY. Otherwise if you’re landing on your knees etc., let it be that way, the knees are better to land on than your arms.
  5. Take your time getting ready to ride again.
    If you’ve fallen off and are feeling pain, or just not feeling ready enough to ride again, or are feeling like throwing up, take your time in doing everything you need to and get ready again. If you feel like taking a bit of a rest, do so. If you want to have a bit of a drink or a snack before hopping on again, do so. Take your time in doing whatever you want to in order to feel ready again. And if in the middle of a lesson your trainer/instructor is urging you to come back up, tell them straight forward that you aren’t feeling comfortable enough to ride yet and that when you’re ready you’ll get back on. It’s their habit; they’ll urge you to come back on so they save time and get over with it quickly. Look at yourself first, it’s their habit. And you have a right to even tell them, “I’m not feeling comfortable to ride today, let’s pause the lesson here, we’ll carry on next time.” They ABSOLUTELY CANNOT say no.

If I’ve missed any important point, let me know in the comments and I’ll put it up!

I think that’s all what I have to say about surviving the fall! All of these tips except no. 4 are from my experience. No. 4 was inspired by Young Rider Magazine and just edited a bit.

Hope you guys enjoyed! And I know you guys were waiting for this yesterday but I couldn’t complete it yesterday so here it is!

With that, see you guys next post 🙂

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