Though not common in major equestrian tournaments, most horse riders have fallen off at some point. Any horse, even the coolest and well-schooled, can spook or buck. When this happens, the rider is often in for an ‘unscheduled dismount.’ Since this has to happen at some point, it is true to say that falls are part of the game. That said, here is some useful advice and tips that might help you lessen the risk or impact of a fall.
Avoid the Fall
Avoiding a fall is all about identifying possible risk factors, and making informed choices. You can always reduce the risk of falling by riding the right horse, and in an environment that matches with your skill. Also, you need to exercise caution by riding with awareness, and maintaining a proper position on the saddle. Saddle fitting is a crucial safety precaution. It’s imperative to ensure the straps are adjusted to the right length, and the seat is mounted correctly.
Preparing for a Fall
Since you are sure of falling at some point, you should be prepared for the fall at all times. The best way to undertake this challenge is to invest in protective gear. As long as you are on horseback, wear an ASTM approved helmet, a crash vest, a pair of gloves, and appropriate horse riding boots.
How to Fall
When it comes to the worst, and you are sure that you are going to fall, try and fall in a way that will save you from injuries. Ideally, the best falling technique should be one that reduces the impact felt on vulnerable areas such as the head and neck. As much as possible, aim to fall on your back, keep your head tucked with your chin towards the chest, and if possible fall while rolling like a hedgehog.
What do you do after a fall? Well, this depends on how you fall and whether or not you are injured. Any time you fall, give yourself a second to see if everything is okay. If all is well, get back on your horse. If something is wrong, get medical attention as soon as you can.