Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Riding is all about keeping the horse between you and the ground

Had a lovely days hunting today. Had a hell of a time getting Connie saddled up because clearly she hasn't forgotten what hunting is about and she was very very naughty. My friend said she really is a pig and it's true. I have tried and failed to teach her ground manners, but she is fairly selective about when she wants to be mannerly. She is that horse you tell of for pawing while tied at the truck, walk into the truck, hear her start pawing, grow her from inside the truck, pawing continues, walk out of the truck and she is standing there looking at you with innocent eyes in the hole she just dug. Too smart for her own good, and probably a lot smarter than me.

She was reluctant over the first few spars but once I had gotten over a few we both hit our straps and it was all pretty easy. I also enjoyed having a chuckle at my friend freaking out about the tiny spars on a borrowed horse until she got a feel for the horse and trusted her more.

Unfortunately, another friend of mine, whom lives to hunt, had a tumble and broke her arm, which effectively ends her hunting season. Which really sucks. She is in hospital and her horse is tucked up at my place. It got me to thinking though, so often the falls that don't look that bad cause injury and the ones that look like all parties should be killed in process cause no injury at all. When I fell off of Kate at Foxton, I literally stepped off and didn't knock the fence or anything but my thumb is still giving me a lot of trouble and pain after 5 weeks, while I flew off of her at HoY and didn't even get a bruise. I didn't see the fall my friend had but apparently it looked pretty soft until everyone heard the bone break (I was at the top of the hill with my other friend drinking port and catching up). One of the softest falls my friend I was drinking with, resulted in her broken back. The worst fall I have seen recently, when both horse and rider came down in a showjumper after a monumental miss by the rider, where both horse and rider ended up in a heap on the ground and they bot get up and walk away. There seems to be no real rhyme or reason to it. It's not actually how hard you fall, it's how you land. Riding is a really dangerous sport. It's best not to think about that though.

As an aside after I was in hospital last with my sprained ankle, I ended up doing an ACC questionnaire on horse accidents and most people get injured at home, rather than at sanctioned events and most of the injuries that cause hospitalisations are head and limb injuries. Wear your helmets!


  1. Tack up at home and travel geared up - heaps of hunting folk do it so they don't have to put up with trying to saddle an over excited horse :)

    Also wear your helmet while handling too, if you can bear it (some people hate it I guess), but I often wear mine while doing anything with the horses as many of the head injuries I've seen have been while people are grooming or whatever

  2. Haha, that's my all time favourite quote:) Similarly to what perfk said, a lot of the worse injuries come from handling horses, not riding them. Getting trampled, horses turning and bolting (and catching you in the process) Ah well. I'm not a helmet fan, but I was taught when I started riding that you had to have your helmet on to tack up.