When To Get Back On a Horse After a Fall


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As riders, we’re told that we should get right back on after we fall off a horse. But is that always true? Deciding whether or not to get back on a horse will depend on the specific situation. And, most importantly, you should never get back on a horse if you’re seriously injured or if mounting up could put you in a dangerous situation. Looking for more guidance on this sometimes confusing subject? Read on!

Evaluating Yourself for Injury

If you’ve fallen off a horse, the first thing that you want to do is to make sure that you are not seriously injured. Your first reaction might be to immediately get to your feet, but stop yourself and let yourself lie on the ground for a minute. Slowly move each of your arms and legs to test for painful areas you might not yet be aware of. Take some slow, deep breaths to steady yourself, and make an evaluation of your whole body. Are there any areas that are very painful, or areas where you have limited feeling?

If you don’t find any major injuries to your body, then get to your knees and stand up slowly. Do you remember what happened during the fall, and did you hit your head? If your head has made a significant impact against the ground – even if you were wearing a helmet – you should be seen by a doctor. Dizziness, fainting, headaches, and confusion are all signs of a head injury and should be taken seriously. You should not attempt to remount if you might have a head injury.

Evaluating Your Horse for Injury

After you are able to stand again, you will need to make sure that your horse has not been injured. How did you fall off – was it an error on your part, or did the horse trip or fall? If the horse tripped or fell, you will want to do a very thorough examination to be sure that he did not sustain any injuries in the process. Pay particular attention to his legs and his face; look for abrasions or swelling. You will also need to check his back – remove the saddle and put pressure on his back with your hands. Watch to see if he reacts in pain.

If your horse appears injured or “off,” have him evaluated by a veterinarian before riding him again. However, if your horse is sound and has not been injured, then you can mount up.

Always take the situation into consideration before getting back on a horse. If you were test riding a horse for sale and the horse threw you, mounting up again might not be a safe choice. Always keep safety a top priority when deciding whether or not to get back on a horse.

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