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How To Fall Off A Horse
 By Winniefield Park   •   10th Aug 2013   •   11,687 views   •   0 comments
"Gravity is a contributing factor in nearly 73 percent of all accidents involving falling objects." - Dave Barry

How To Fall Off A HorseThere are a lot of things you can do to prevent falls. These include riding a horse you can manage, riding in a safe environment, checking your cinch or girth, riding in control and making sure your tack is properly adjusted and in good condition. You should always wear an ASTM approved helmet, proper footwear or safety stirrups, and you might want to wear a torso protecting crash vest. One skill you should learn is how to do an emergency dismount.

However, even taking every precaution doesn't mean you will avoid falling off. Falls are an inevitable part of riding. They just shouldn't be a frequent part of riding. So what do you do when you know you are going to fall off? Truthfully, some falls happen so fast that itís almost impossible to plan your descent or landing. But there are some decisions you can make if you know you are going to make an unscheduled dismount.

Your first decision will be whether to hold the reins or not. If you are in an enclosed area, itís probably safe to drop the reins. If youíre out on trail however, you might want to try to hold the reins. If your horse leaves after you've hit the ground, you may have a long walk home and your horse, loose on the trail, may be a hazard to other riders and hikers and if thereís a chance it could cross a roadway, could cause a very serious accident. Conversely, if you think thereís a chance your horse might bolt or buck and drag you, letting go of the reins makes the most sense.

When you feel yourself leaving the saddle, you should free your feet from the stirrups. Keep your elbows and hands in. Hitting the ground with your hands first is a good way to break a wrist, forearm or collar bone. As the ground approaches, try to roll up like an armadillo, and roll away from the horse. The less area a horse has to step on the better.

After you've landed, do a quick system check. Notice if there is anything that hurts, or any part you canít feel. If everything seems okay, youíre probably okay to get back into the saddle. The old adage might say you need to get back into the saddle right away, but if thereís a chance you could cause further injury to yourself, itís bad advice. Donít be stoic about pain. It may seem noble to Ďsuck it upí, but by doing so you could complicate an injury. Ask for help and go to an emergency room for a thorough check.

Of course, if you see someone fall off, itís safest to dismount, get any horses out of the way, and attend to the person now on the ground. If the person seems unconscious, disoriented, is unable to walk or in pain, itís time to call the ambulance.

Image Credit: © Ahturner | Dreamstime.com
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