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First fall in about 25 years - it hurt!

21 replies

hatcam · 06/01/2013 14:27

Lovely fast hack today. Final canter home, the one where it always goes wrong....one of the other riders going hell for leather and I tried so hard, but couldn't hold my horse back, she was desperate to race. So angry with myself for not managing to keep it together - the hack leader was a bit cross with the other rider for letting his horse go, she had had a couple of words with him for being out of control earlier, but ultimately this was my fault. Not the horse, not the other rider but moi. Fell off at a fast gallop.

Feeling very sore, quite sick and quite a lot glum.

Any sympathy but mostly some sound advice on dealing with a strong, fast horse gratefully received!

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Booboostoo · 06/01/2013 15:24

Ouchie poor you! Nice hot bath for you tonight and hope you feel better by tomorrow. Don't be too tough on yourself, you ride, you fall, it's one of those things!

As for advice it depends on the situation. Some horses just don't do well being behind another one, or next to another one and you need to ask the other riders to let you go in front. Best to try out the next canter on a really uphill bit as hardly any horse can keep going once it's knackered itself up a hill!

Some horses are best kept at a canter and never allowed to go hell for leather, so as soon as you feel the speed get out of control, sit up and half halt to a controlled canter or even trot if needed.

Then again some horses panic if they feel too much contact and you may have a better chance of stopping them if you give them the rein for a few strides.

Some horses will run off towards home, so it might be best to only canter away from home.

Finally if all else fails, circle. If you are concerned a horse will take off, find a huge field so that you can just put them in a big circle and let them run until they have had enough...then ask them for a bit more!

If you do find yourself with a group of horses racing, take a deep breath, keep thinking, and shout at the other riders so that you all make a concerted effort to stop together (very difficult to stop one horse if the others are pissing off). Use your voice, sit up and if necessary put your entire back into the half-halt (it's not nice to pull on a horse's mouth but if it's a matter of safety you have to do what you have to do).

frostyfingers · 06/01/2013 15:25

Ouch - it does hurt, and I'm afraid the older you are the less you bounce and slower things are to mend. It sounds quite scary, never mind painful - but don't be glum. Everyone falls off sometime, it's part of the deal unfortunately.

Nice warm bath, paracetamol and a relaxing afternoon will see you right - did you bang your head? If so be aware of concussion - feeling sick is a sign, apart from the whopping head ache.

hatcam · 06/01/2013 15:27

Thanks booboostoo! Sound advice. It knocks you a bit tho doesn't it? I never cry and have been blubbering like a good 'un since I got home!

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hatcam · 06/01/2013 15:32

Thanks frosty fingers, am eating chocolate and watching octonauts - a well known cure for everything! (If you're a 4 yr old boy anyway). Been to casualty as horse trod on my calf owwwwwwwww but no broken bones just mild concussion and one giant swollen leg. Nice. I think I am much more bothered by not feeling in control of my horse, rather than the fall! So cross with myself. Thanks all.

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gordyslovesheep · 06/01/2013 16:00

oh it does knock you about physically and emotionally - hope you feel a bit better tomorrow x

PoshPenny · 06/01/2013 17:11

Bathe in epsom salts, excellent for soothing aches and pains and stuff, have a google of it. Lots of sympathy, the "walk of shame" is never easy. Perhaps not ride out with that person again, maybe they were out of control, or maybe they wanted to go that fast anyway? Fingers crossed that's it for another 25 years?

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire · 06/01/2013 18:31

Im the first to say its the riders fault, but the other rider needs a serious bollocking. There is a big difference between a smart canter and a flat out gallop. You look out for everyone else when you go out together. Charging off and causing chaos is bad form. If you ride as a group you go at the pace of the slowest. He was a prat, and he needs to be told so! This was NOT your fault.

hatcam · 06/01/2013 18:37

Thanks catpussroastingonanopenfire! I feel a bit like that but ultimately I know it was me, I should've been able to control my horse and today - well I just couldn't. I'm going to have a chat with my RI next week to get advice on what else I could have done too. I think maybe I asked my horse to slow down too late if you see what I mean - by the time I was on top of the situation she was already 'gone'.

Shame as I was congratulating myself early on in the ride - the hack leader had said how well I was riding, not just allowing my horse to gallop off like the other bloke. Pride, fall etc etc!!

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Booboostoo · 06/01/2013 18:58

Chocolate is the way to go!

It's normal to feel nervous after what you went through. Being tanked off is a scary experience and unlike a 'simple' fall, it lasts a long time during which all sorts of things go through your head.

Do get back on as soon as you can though (not with the concussion obviously, but as soon as you get the all clear) but don't put pressure on yourself to do more than you feel ready to do. If you just want to walk around the school for five minutes, then do just that.

One of my more serious falls was a time when the horse slipped, in trot, on the road and fell over sideways. I got an allmighty bang on the head and was knocked unconscious. Despite losing my short term memory just before and during the accident, I was still nervous and unsteady when I eventually got back on. While I didn't even remember what had happened, I think my body still knew and unconsciously I didn't trust the horse as much. The good news is that I kept at it and was fine within a couple of weeks.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire · 06/01/2013 18:58

Sorry, I still think it was his fault. Did he even ask if everyone was ok with galloping? Any horse will leg it if its herd are running. Ive been out with rides where one has spooked and all have run. My pony was tiny and fairly bombproof, so were others. Doesnt mean they didnt all piss off down the road!

hatcam · 06/01/2013 19:15

Maybe I shouldn't be as hard on myself then!! He went into almost full pelt and came past, which really seemed to set her off. He looked pretty sheepish after....

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CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire · 06/01/2013 19:19

He's a twat! Probably showing off! Deserves to look sheepish! What if you had been really hurt?

hatcam · 06/01/2013 19:20

Ha ha he's a litigation specialist so maybe he's feeling a bit nervous!!!

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Booboostoo · 06/01/2013 21:48

It's very difficult to hold onto a horse when it's being overtaken by another one going full pelt. Some horses have a temperament that puts up with that, many don't - not much the rider can do in the second case. The other rider should never have overtaken her, even if you're on a fun ride you're supposed to warn people and only overtake in walk, not gallop past.

ThatVikRinA22 · 06/01/2013 23:16

i know sod all and i would be livid with the idiot who was showing off! (which he clearly was!!)

doesnt sound like your fault at all - horses run with the herd dont they? he should have had a bit more consideration and respect the flaming numpty. i would be wary of riding out with him again i think.

you could have been really hurt! i wouldnt be too hard on yourself - hope you are feeling better soon.

i have yet to fall off.....i know my time will come! and in my old age i tend not to bounce too well these days!

horseylady · 07/01/2013 08:16

How awful. Hope you're not feeling too sore this morning!! I hate situations like that!! My pony is ok but my horse goes mental. Apart from sitting deep and talking to her I accept sideways movements, rears etc. Different horses act in different ways!!

I've had three or four serious falls. One was my fault the other three were just things that happened. Two she slipped in the middle of a road (once out hacking, once hunting) the other was in a school, we were apparently doing a very simple jumping exercise and she somersaulted. I was knocked out cold. Severe concussion etc. I have no memory of it, and so actually had nothing to fear?! The two hunting falls I think still affect me!!

Hope you're feeling ok. I always find 48 hours post fall the worst!!

N0tinmylife · 07/01/2013 13:57

I hope you are feeling better today, and I hope the idiot who caused the problem is feeling very bad!

It definitely doesn't sound like there was much you could have done to prevent what happened. Horses are far far stronger than us, and when they revert to acting on instinct I think sometimes they can just forget we are there! I think all you can really do on a bolting horse is hold on tight, and wait until they remember they are being ridden, then pull up.

CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire · 07/01/2013 14:08

I fell off of a 13hh pony, turning a corner at walk in the manege! I broke my arm so badly, I had six months off work! Confused Now that WAS my own fault!!

hatcam · 07/01/2013 17:31

My god everything hurts!! I have found sandy trail scrapes all over my back and bum, bruises all down one side, my neck is really sore at the front I guess from where my head hit the trail, and one side of my calf is agony, tight and twice the size of the other and with some horrid slow growing bruising appearing. All limbs work but I can only hobble. I am rather glad I wear that back protector.......

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CatPussRoastingOnAnOpenFire · 07/01/2013 20:05

Aloe vera gel. Lots of it anywhere bruised.

hatcam · 07/01/2013 20:12

Will bathe in it, while drinking wine. Grin

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