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How do you not freak out over them falling off?

(21 Posts)
Taz1212 Thu 22-Aug-13 14:32:09

I'm normally just about the most free range parent you will ever come across but honestly this horse riding business has my heart in my mouth!

DD(8) has been riding for a year. She had her first fall on Monday- happily cantered across the field and her horse suddenly slowed and put his head right down as though he was going to start eating the grass. DD tried to lean back but ended up sliding right down his neck/head landing face first with a mouthful of dirt. She was pretty shaken and upset but once checked over got back on and walked him into the barn.

So, several days on and she's thrilled by the big scrape down her chin and is telling everyone all about it. I'm not so thrilled and I somehow seem to have been left infinitely more shaken than she is! She says she doesn't want to canter again but is happy to trot/walk (I'm guessing she'll get over the fear of cantering), I think I've had the sudden realisation of just how bad falls can be!

How the heck do you not stress out over your DC riding?

Taz1212 Thu 22-Aug-13 14:32:58

Should make clear it's not HER horse, it's the horse from the riding school. We don't own a horse much to her disgust. grin

mrslaughan Thu 22-Aug-13 15:23:36

Well I think when your child rides, you realize they will fall off...... But after saying body protectors were un-necessary after seeing my son fall in the arena, I changed my tune.
After that fall Ds didn't want to canter, but he is now back doing it - and his riding has improved hugely with all the walk trot work he has been doing. I am happy for him to progress at his own pace.

Floralnomad Thu 22-Aug-13 15:31:29

You don't ,its terrifying . We are a horse owning family and both my children gave up riding after falls ( sons quite serious/ daughter not so ) . I was quite happy that they stopped as its saved us a fortune in ponies!

Ehhn Thu 22-Aug-13 15:38:16

In the many falls ive hd over the years eventing, the only time my mum ran to me and ignored the horse was when I was in a rotational fall, but that was because it was the only serious fall. The rest I was fired out of the front/side door- not super dangerous. Within safe environment on ponies, the risks are no worse than football/rugby/skiing. I think it's scarier if you don't ride as a parent. Funnily enough, my mum struggled watching me play rugby at first as she didn't understand the sport like she did horses. But she i more experienced about rugby now and so just enjoys the crunching tackles. Time will help...

Littlebigbum Thu 22-Aug-13 16:50:28

I come from a horses family, when I started competing. My mum moved her horse to a different yard. She has never seen me compete, own seen horse if I hack past the house which I'm told not to do.
Ok my family is weird.

Mirage Thu 22-Aug-13 18:49:56

You get used to it.DD1 has fallen off a handful of times,where as DD2 has fallen off her pony 13 times in the past 3 months and has been thrown,bucked and fallen off a variety of other ponies.It hasn't done her any harm and she has a reputation for having a good seat and riding the ponies that the other kids daren't get on.

I always make sure they are wearing a BP though,a lot of parents only make their children wear them for jumping,but mine wear them all the time.

Taz1212 Thu 22-Aug-13 20:19:56

Oh great, I'm just going to have to ignore it aren't I? I had logically realised that she would fall off sometimes but actually seeing it happen made it a bit too real! I don't ride at all so maybe that is part of the problem- Ehhn, I did ski quite obsessively as a child and you're right, it wouldn't phase me at all if she had a fall and, for example, broke an ankle while skiing, but on a horse the risk seems so different I guess because I don't ride!

roseyposeysmum Thu 22-Aug-13 21:02:49

i am still waiting for my dd who is 5 to come off, she has been riding 8 months and is trotting on her own on her loan pony and talk of cantering is coming - i think she has super glue on her bottom she has had a few wobbles but never come off. I got told by the riding instructor if she comes of to leave it to her and not do the mum thing of running across the school.

I rode when i was little and used to hate it when my mum came rushing across - so i kind of think dont be like that - bit different in real life. But then again we used to ride up to the fields no brilde just head collar lead rein and no hats (we were very naughty) And the joy of watching the big smile on her face as she rides makes me think ues she is going to come off but deal with it (her pony is only 10hh so i am guessing she would be on her feet before she hit the floor) she always says she has to get straight back on as she doesn't want to upset Rene her pony. She has it covered - it's just us parents who have the worry x

PiratePanda Thu 22-Aug-13 21:08:15

My Dad taught us all to ride, and he was THE most unsympathetic person in the entire world when it came to falls. He just checked to see we weren't seriously hurt and forced us to get back on, noooo fussing.

Worked for my sister, who is intrepid anyway; didn't work for me. I can ride competently, but I'm not very confident. A leetle kindness would have helped I think.

Gilbertus Fri 23-Aug-13 21:27:37

Wait until you wave them off hunting for the first time!

Mirage Fri 23-Aug-13 21:50:56

Ha ha! Yes. DD1 first went when she was 8.I caught up with her at 2nd horses,told her it was time to go home and turned around to see her cantering off across the field.I just went home and waited,as I knew she'd have to come through the village at some point.

Over a year later I was chatting to the joint master,who I rarely see,and mentioned how much fun DD1 had had.She looked like this shock as apparently the day and the country she went on,are renowned as the hardest day of a very hard riding hunt.She was amazed that DD had the guts to do it and had come home safely.

Taz1212 Sat 24-Aug-13 08:42:33

All of you realise that you ARE NOT making me feel better, don't you??? grin

SmallBee Sat 24-Aug-13 08:58:08

I used to ride when I was a kid & I would say falling off a few times made me a much more confident & therefore safer rider. I was lucky in that I never had a very serious fall & this was before body protectors were around. But it helped me improve my seat & see that falling off wasn't the worst thing that could happen. Also at that age they're probably not on shire horses & the distance from the pony to the ground probably isn't very great. Obviously I understand its very different watching it as a parent however!

Booboostoo Sat 24-Aug-13 14:23:25

DD is too young to ride yet but seems very interested (inevitable really seeing as I have the horses at home) and I am not sure how I will cope! A lot of my friends have minis for their toddlers but I am not at all tempted, DD feels very young and fragile to ride just yet.

The evaluation of risk is a subjective thing but even so it is important for parents to understand that when you ride you fall, it's pretty inevitable and falls do carry a risk. Riding tends to be top of the paediatric injuries lists, especially for spinal injuries. Handling can also be quite dangerous, especially for children who tend to get kicked in the head, so again information and awareness are important.

DD is not going anywhere near a horse without a BP, but then again I ride with one most of the time as well.

Yorkieaddict Sat 24-Aug-13 21:42:53

If you manage to work out how not to stress OP please let me know. DS has recently started having riding lessons, and I hate watching him. I have ridden all my life and fallen off too many times to count. When I am riding it doesn't enter my head that I can get hurt, but seeing him on a pony terrifies me every time! I'm half hoping he will lose interest because I'm not sure my nerves will be able to take it when he starts cantering or jumping. blush

belatedmaybe Sun 25-Aug-13 08:48:59

My best one yet was when dd fell off at a hedge hop. Ground was sticky and the poor pony had no option but to put her front feet down on her (she really tried not to and it affected the pony for some time after sadly). However after seeing that one the little bumps and scrapes don't bother me anymore grin

Dd was totally unharmed and was straight back up. I know it isn't a comforting story but basically practice makes perfect and you will eventually get used to it wink

mrslaughan Sun 25-Aug-13 09:39:36

I did hold my breath when Ds fell off, but let the instructors deal with it.
I think the thing that balances the falls (of which there have only been 3), is the absolute pure joy my son gets from riding, the sense of success and achievement which he struggles with in every other aspect if his life.....I understand as that's how I feel.

I also think it will be different with my DD, not because she I a girl! But because she is a natural dare devil. (My DH nick name for her is little miss rip shit and bust).... Whereas DS has always assessed his actions carefully, she just ploughs on with little regard for her safety. Anyway she is big quite 4 , so it is going to be awhile before she can learn.

hurryup Wed 28-Aug-13 17:33:13

It's awful, my eldest events at novice and my 11 year old is at BE100 and about to go up to novice. When they go xc I l stand in the lorry with my fingers in my ears singing jingle bells so that I can't hear the commentary. I don't know the answer but as a lot of people said about a young eventer that was killed recently during xc, at least they are doing something they love.

Mirage Wed 28-Aug-13 19:41:12

Luckily I have children who can fall over their own feet.DD2 rode her spooky whizzy pony for someone who had come to view him,and stayed on,the loaner child fell off twice.Then we went shopping and DD2 managed to fall over and bruise herself in the cereal aisle at ASDA.hmm

The positives far outweigh the negatives IMO,my two have gained confidence,improved their fitness and strength and have such fun that it is very much worth the risk of something going wrong.

DontCallMeBaby Wed 28-Aug-13 21:55:35

I've been fortunate enough to miss both of DD's falls to date - first one was quite nasty apparently (missed cos I was in Tesco) and the second not nearly as bad (missed as I was also riding, any my horse had also just bolted, in the opposite direction to DD's). I'm currently as nervous of her falling because I'm afraid she'll lose her nerve for good, as I am because she might hurt herself.

I do actually hope she gets to a competent, enjoyable level, and not to the point of wanting to compete, as a figure (short of freak accidents) she's unlikely to do much damage that way. Plus that's the kind of level I got to, and had some interesting falls, but did pretty much no harm to myself.

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