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The tack room

DD has lost her nerve after a nasty fall

30 replies

pastaandpesto · 10/05/2022 11:02

I'd really appreciate any advice from more experienced riders about how to help DD(11).

DD has been riding for a couple of years (a bit stop/start because of lockdown). I'm not a rider myself but I have been really happy to support her, especially as she is not very physically confident in general and also has some mental health struggles. It really seemed to be giving her confidence and it was fantastic watching her cantering around the arena. She was having private lessons at a lovely small stable and making slow but steady progress, and was just beginning to start jumping.

Unfortunately a couple of months ago she had fall (I'm not sure exactly what happened, the horse reared very slightly, and she slipped) and broke her arm. It was a nasty break which needed surgery and pinning.

We live in a very horsey area in the countryside, and since then, she has been regaled non-stop by stories from both adults and children about their own horse riding accidents and injuries. It seems everyone has a story to tell. She is really worried now and has started saying that she doesn't want to go back to riding.

Obviously it will be completely her choice, and to be honest I can understand where she is coming from. But I just feel sad for her, because it was the one sport she enjoyed and she she got so much out of it. I know falling off is just part of the deal.

I would be really interested to hear from others who have been in a similar situation, and if their DC were able to go back to riding?

OP posts:

Floralnomad · 21/05/2022 22:11

Horses are large unpredictable animals so in reality any involvement with them could potentially be dangerous . My worst injury ( fractured skull) wasn’t even a riding accident it was a handling incident when my moody , verging on psycho, thoroughbred decided to just lay down whilst being groomed and caught my head on the way down hitting it onto the concrete .


Readtheroom · 21/05/2022 22:15

dont let her stop


sanityisamyth · 21/05/2022 22:22

My DS8 was riding a friend's pony (he'd offered his pony to his friend) as the friend's pony was being a bit naughty and getting away with things. The pony kept bucking and finally ended up rearing vertically and he came off and ended up being caught around the head with the leg of the pony as she spun round. Luckily DS was ok (a bit concussed) but rode his pony the next day to make sure his confidence was still ok.

If you can get her on a very quiet pony and just let her walk/trot it about until she's happier.

I agree with the PPs as well - the "mucky" stuff is almost the best bit with horses. They are fab listeners and don't judge. Half an hour of grooming makes the world seem ok again.


CaptainThe95thRifles · 22/05/2022 13:39

Karl greenwood , an equine confidence guy, has a great saying that if you fell in the shower and broke your arm, your friends wouldn't all be saying , oooh that shower is really dangerous, you should never shower again, whereas horse related it's the opposite.

And he's not wrong - the most dangerous thing you can do is to exist. Everything you do involves risk, and riding, like everything else, is about assessing and managing risk appropriately. Riding sensible horses in reasonably controlled environments with appropriate coaching and incremental skill development is not dramatically more dangerous than many other sports / activities / parts of life. That's not to say that accidents don't happen, but the vast majority of falls don't result in injury, let alone serious injury. Your daughter was unlucky, OP, to have a bad fall as her first experience of falling.

Contrary to a PP, in 30 years of horses, working on yards, teaching, being on livery yards and having a large network of horse acquaintances, I don't personally know any riders who have had life changing (or worse) consequences to a fall - and I hope it remains that way. Not to invalidate that poster's terrible experiences, but simply for balance - it's not that common, particularly outside of the highest levels of competition.

Humans have used horses for thousands of years, daily for transport, ridden them into battle, in conditions of terror which we would struggle to replicate today - even modern roads with vehicular traffic don't compare to the noise, turmoil and danger of a battlefield. Terrible accidents have always happened, but they are the exception rather than the rule. I've always been reassured by the idea that if a horse could be ridden onto a battlefield with cannon and chaos around them, I should probably be OK plodding around an arena.


thepainteddesertcanwait · 29/05/2022 15:06

@CaptainThe95thRifles I love your post and am going to save it to re-read during my anxious moment. Thank you Smile

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