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First of all, thank you for all the comments regarding yesterday’s post. Hope you all enjoyed some April Fool’s Day Fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

In the nearly 25 years I have spent around horses and in barns, I have witnessed many people fall off. From green horses having green moments to finished horses having serious opinion issues to the stuff that falls under the category of “stuff happens.”

This weekend, I witnesses one of the scariest accidents I have seen in a long time, and it definitely fell under the “stuff happens” category. On a rainy Saturday afternoon, I was riding in the indoor with 2 other riders. One was on her upper level Dressage horse and the other was riding her green, but lovely hony (not sure if he actually measures under 15h, but he’s adorable).

Down the center of the arena was a line of trot poles. The sides of each trot poles were raised in those ikea potty training things:

Image result for ikea potty training
These dudes

So the poles were barely off the ground. They weren’t painted poles, but they were a light brown against the super dark brown/almost black footing of our indoor.

As May and I came down the long side of the arena, preparing to run through our Dressage test for this weekend, I heard the poles clatter, and May pretty much exploded. Now, my first thought was “you’ve heard poles scatter before, May. You actually occasionally do that yourself.”

However, when she spun around, I heard the screaming and saw both horse and rider on the ground. The horse seemed stunned and was laying on the rider’s left leg and the rider yelled and shoved at the massive horse on her.

I kicked my feet out of my stirrups and scrambled out of the saddle. I could see from the white in May’s eyes that she was completely freaked by this. I pulled the reins over May’s head just as the horse regained her feet and got up. The other rider in the ring with us was also off and closer to the rider.

I pulled May over to the stunned horse and grabbed her reins before she could think about taking off. Our indoor is open at both ends, and I know how dangerous it can be for a scared and stunned horse to just take off. The rider was trying to get up, on her hands and knees, and I couldn’t tell if she was genuinely hurt or just really shocked.

I walked both her horse and May around the arena for a while, noting the initial stiffness in the mare’s left stifle. Luckily, it seemed to abate a bit as she moved. Once she had calmed down a bit, her rider was back on her feet. I rolled up the stirrups of the saddle (May’s ground manners really have come a long way), and offered to untack the mare for her.

Overall, she seemed sore, but not seriously injured. The other woman in the arena is a magnawave tech, so she offered to come over and treat both horse and rider and to check in on her. While the accident could have been so much worse, it is always a bit unnerving to see such a big accident from a well schooled pair doing a fairly simple exercise.

At this point, I have to ask, was it a full moon last week?! Pat your ponies people and always wear your helmets!

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  1. Liz

    Oh gracious! Glad everyone is okay! A horse falling with me and landing on me and staying there for any length of time is a big fear in my head. I know it’s not super probable, but as I get older it becomes a bigger ‘ohgodwhatifthathappenedrightnow’ worry in my mind.

    1. Emily

      Yeah. I have come uncomfortably close a few times, but seeing it happen was definitely unnerving.

  2. martidoll123

    i cannot imagine how scary that was to witness. Thank goodness she was not riding alone!! UGH

    And May was just trying to alert you that there was a serious issue going down ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. nadsnovik

    Ugh horses falling is the scariest thing. I’m glad everyone is seemingly ok. And glad you were there to help!

  4. draftmare

    I think the scariest I’ve ever seen was a rotational fall on xc at the Richland Horse Park Trials a few years ago. Horse and rider were okay overall, but both obviously very sore.

    1. Emily

      Luckily, I haven’t seen one of those in person.

  5. the_everything_pony

    It’s not fun when a horse falls on you. I was training a 2 yr old and working on baby stops, and something in his hind leg just hitched and he went down on top of me. He had my left leg trapped underneath him, and laid there stunned for a moment. Thank god he was such a sweet stallion because I was able to get my right leg out of the way before he stood up and he really tried to avoid hurting me. It was definitely not an experience I want to repeat lol. I’m glad the both of them seem okay tho! It is unnerving to see a well-schooled pair have a fall like that, but you know I do think there was a full moon last week! lolol

  6. Stacie Seidman

    That is so scary! I’m glad everyone was mostly ok. You just never know, accidents can happen anytime, anywhere.
    Years ago, my trainer (not my current one) and I were showing in the same schooling jumper class set at 3’6″. I went first, but stuck around to watch trainer go, who was next in the ring after my round. She was about half way around when she found a long one to an oxer. Too long. Her horse didn’t make it across and flipped over, landing on top of her with his legs in the air. You could tell he was trying to figure out how to get off of her, which he finally did. I don’t think it took as long as it seemed, but it really seemed like a long time with him up side down on top of her. Fortunately, she was actually underneath the saddle, so the arch made it so she wasn’t crushed at all. She did wind up with a minor concussion, as he had kicked her when he got up. Could have been SO much worse, but it was definitely the scariest thing I’ve seen firsthand.

    1. Emily

      Oh wow. That’s terrifying. I remember a friend of mine riding her horse in the A/Os. She MISSED BIG to an oxer. He jumped it to hard and so round that he launched her so far in front of him that he cantered a stride or two before passing her on the ground.

      You know it’s a bad fall when the gate guy remembers you the next day without your helmet and without your horse.

  7. Heather

    So incredibly lucky that nothing serious happened to the rider!

    1. Emily

      She was very very lucky. Such a random accident

  8. L. Williams

    I’ve had rotational falls where horses end up on you – screaming is just the natural reaction to such a feat (not to mention the panic that sets in when they remain on any part of you) I remember one time I had to use my free leg to kick the top of my saddle to give myself enough leverage to get out from underneath my horse (he was laying on my left leg) – everything is in a soft focus and your animal instincts really kick in.

    1. Emily

      I’m sure they do! It was terrifying to witness, I couldn’t imagine it happening to me.

  9. Karen

    Thankfully she only twisted her ankle. So scary and I am glad that others were riding with her when it happened.

    1. Emily

      So so thankful that she was mostly ok! I think all of us had some very scary thoughts right after it happened.

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