|MadSci Network: Zoology|
Dear Sterling Silver's Owner, Well the old saying goes "if you fall of a horse, you get right back on!". This is true for many things, and is true for you as well. However, even the most experienced riders fall off occasionally, so don't take a fall personally. As you get better, you will fall less and can better anticipate when falls might happen. Here are three things to do if you fall off your horse from "The Horses Illustrated Guide to Western Riding" by Leslie Ward, 1998 by BowTie Press. First, if you think you are going to fall or are loosing your balance, grab onto the saddle or lean down close to your horse and wrap both arms around your horses neck and HANG ON! This isn't a time to worry about your riding position. Looking like a goof in the saddle is still better than hitting the dirt and risking injury. If you do fall off, follow these three steps. 1. Let go of the reins! If you hang on to the reins you could be dragged behind your horse and be stepped on or kicked. Normally, the horse will not run far with the loose reins. 2. Curl up while falling. Bring your arms in close to your body and curl up into a ball. Don't hold your arms out to break your fall (you will instinctively do this, so you will have to tell your body to do something it doesn't want to do!). If you do hold your arms out, it is much more likely you will break your arm! 3. Lie still. Once you hit the ground, lie still for a moment. You may feel dizzy, especially if you have hit your head. Sit up slowly. If you are in great pain, yell for help. If not, and you can, stand up SLOWLY. Then, if you aren't injured and your horse hasn't galloped back to the barn, it is a tremendous confidence builder to get back on the horse and continue riding. (This is also good to teach your horse that getting you out of the saddle doesn't necessarily mean the end of the riding day!). Try not to think too much about it. All riders occasionally "hit the dirt". Just stick to a riding area and speed that you are comfortable with until you gain greater confidence in your skills. A few other quick recommendations. Since you are a beginning rider I would strongly suggest going to a riding class. You will learn skills much faster and be a much better rider if you do, and your horse will appreciate that you are a better rider as well. If you can't, get some books on beginning riding and study them well. The better rider you are, the less you will fall off! You should also consider wearing an equestrian helmet. They are like bike helmets but made for falling off of horses. For more info on helmets, Troxel makes some nice ones and can be found at www.troxelhelmets.com. I hope this helps and good luck with your riding with Sterling Silver. Remember, riding is you and your horse working together, not just you sitting on a horse! Take the time to learn to be a good rider and you will have so much more fun being out with Sterling! Take care. BK If you have any other questions about horses you can reach me at my e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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