Art of Falling Part II

I asked a more experienced rider yesterday about falling.  She’d seen me do it the other night and asked about my level of soreness (not much, as it turns out! Just my left hand and left tricep.  I was expecting much worse). When I mentioned how I wanted to talk to people who fall professionally (martial arts practitioners, OK Go On Treadmills, gymnasts, trapeze artists), she said that the best way not to fall off was to stay on.

“Ah,” I said.  I believe my enthusiasm about studying falling was seen as a side issue to the matter at hand.

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4 Comments

Filed under Riding Skills

4 responses to “Art of Falling Part II

  1. Hi! I really like your blog. I’m a horse owner, too, and I feel like I always have something to learn from these crazy equines! 🙂

    Hope you feel better from your fall!

  2. Erica

    I agree — rather than practicing how to fall, try not to. This sounds kind of flippant, but I don’t mean to be! I fell quite a few times in my first couple years of riding. Then I realized that if I worked hard at developing a balanced seat and worked with my horse on the ground to desensitize him to scary things (most of my falls involved spooks), I had a much better chance of not ending up in the dirt! Of course riding does involve falling occasionally, but I think about 90% of falls can be prevented by developing balance and working with your horse on the ground to develop trust and teamwork. Do you take lessons on the lunge line? This is my favorite, and no one is so experienced that they can’t benefit from lunge line lessons! P.S. I enjoy your blog, and you really remind me of myself! After 8 years of riding, I’m a little more jaded than you, but I’m still madly in love with the entire horse world!!

  3. I love the idea of studying professional falling, but I think I think I would agree, stay on. 🙂

    I like the blog, I’ll be back to visit often.

  4. That’s always been my stand. The goal is not to fall off and keep your seat. However, there are times when you must make a choice and you have a split second to do it when staying on might result in a worse injury than getting off.

    Erica has some good points. Knowing your horse is key. I had my horse in hand from the time she was 9 months (she’s 8 now). The first two years, I spent working on the ground, but nothing major since she was half draft and I didn’t want to push her until she’d matured enough, the rest of the time was spent “being a horse” in the pasture. I really came to know our horses in that time. You learn a lot just by watching and interacting with them. When doing ring work, I watch her ears, listen for any irritiable swishing of the tail, or a wrinkles in her nose, or if she’s about to pull something, she takes a quick breath of air. These all tell me something.

    The ears tell me if she’s listening to me or someone else, the tail flick, with our gelding tells me he’s about to crow hop. 3 wrinkles at the nostrils tells me that my girl disapproves of something. The sharp intake of air tells me she’s about to cut to the inside, because I’m not paying attention to my aids and she’s bored.

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