Why are we scared to Fall?

Horse riding is a dangerous sport. Every time we get in the saddle we have to accept that we could fall off. I was recently trying to explain to a non horsey friend about how Scottie can be cold backed when I first get on and what this means. Their response was “that must be pretty scary” and I found myself trying to explain that it is and it isn’t.

This got me thinking that everyone is scared of falling off, but I think everyone has a different reason. For some people, the actual fall is the scary part. For others its the potential consequences of the fall, or it could be a mixture of the two. I have two fears about falling off.

The first is injuring myself. Now I’ve left education and have a lot more responsibility, I can’t afford to be out of action. If I can’t drive, I will struggle to get to work to pay the bills. If I am unable to look after Scottie myself, I need to find the money to pay someone to help me. While this doesn’t really stop me doing anything with Scottie, I do now think twice about riding other peoples horses. It’s one thing to injury myself working my own horse, but doing it on someone else’s is something I struggle to justify!

The second fear I have is Scottie. If I fall off out hacking, I worry about if he will run off and get hurt. Since he is so sensitive, I also worry about me falling knocking his confidence. It does upset him when I fall off and I don’t want that to undo all our hard work.

What do you worry about when it comes to falling off?

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2 comments

  1. I used to help a local Gypsy horse dealer break and school horses when I was a kid and it was that time in the 80’s when everything was acceptable and good to do. Back then I had no sense or money but an endless love for horses that meant I’d do anything for the chance to ride so the fear of falling itself I lost back then I think.

    Can still remember being draped over the back of one particular mare that set off bucking and creating and all I heard was “STAY ON HANG ON – DON’T YOU DARE JUMP OFF!!” and I had to ride out those bucks leaning over and with nothing but belly and mane to grab. Good God it’s a wonder I wasn’t killed looking back.

    My daughter I’m always more careful with but she has taken on my approach and feeling about bareback riding. Has lots of benefits (in my view) and when you fall off a horse bareback you come off clean. That’s the key thing for me – if you’re gonna ride you’re gonna fall there’s no two ways about it. Make it clean and safe.

    In my time spent competitive riding I saw several riders caught up in stirrups and one girl was killed during a family fun / mounted games gymkhana event after she came off and got tangled up in stirrups which for whatever reason failed to release. That was horrific.

    So yeah I guess my main worry about falling off horses is how you fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t worry anymore to be truthful but that wasn’t until a few years ago. I realised that whatever will be will be when I was in hospital with a suspected fractured neck. I was like “this is it, I’m busted here. “it was scary but in that moment I realised that is part and parcel of riding and I was still happy I’d always ridden. Since then no fear.

    I used to always be terrified when I was younger but maybe it goes with age too? I’m not sure?

    Liked by 1 person

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