Out early in the morning to avoid the heat and humidity, myself and another boarder(she's kind of timid) went for a ride around the farm. We were trying to stay in the woods as much as possible and her horse won't cross streams, so we were crossing a wooden bridge. It didn't look wet, but when my mare and I started across it, her feet started sliding all over. I tried to stay loose and balanced, but her front legs went out and she went to her knees just before we made it all the way across the bridge. I hit the pommel with my chest and then hit the ground with chest and shoulder. My mare went a few steps and I told her whoa-stand up, and she stopped and stood there. My riding partner was all upset, and she kept talking to me. The fall made me hit hard enough that I couldn't catch my breath for a few minutes. I tried to get up, but had to stay on my elbows and knees until I could breathe better. After catching my breath, I got up and got my mare. I then went back across the bridge leading her slowly(with no slips this time). I noticed there was a section of board missing. I walked my mare for a bit until I saw that she was walking fine, then stood on a log and got back on her and we rode back to the barn. I took her in the ring and trotted her alittle and she was sound and even volunteered a canter. When I got off, I noticed that she had a very superficial scrape on her left hind ankle and the outside of left hock. I think her leg actually went thru the hole in the bridge. Thankfully we were both ok.
Wow, glad to hear your both okay! Was the bridge on the farm property and meant for horse traffic? I tend to be skittish about wooden bridges, especially as they age and wear from lots of traffic. If given the option, I'd rather just ride through the creek.
Hope you don't stay sore too long!
Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.
I'm glad you're okay. I agree with 2DogsFarm, too. That seems like it either wasn't too well constructed to begin with or it is seen more weathering than they expected.
FWIW, I get off and lead my horse across any suspect bridges. I'm glad, too, as my best trail horse did fall off of a bridge and there's a good chance I would have been seriously injured if I was on her (she landed on her back and it took a few minutes for her to regain her footing). Since then unless it is a really clearly trustworthy bridge or one I am familiar with, I lead across.
Glad you and your horse are both ok. Thanks so much for posting as there is always something to learn. I had no idea that a wooden bridge could be slick. I'd always ridden across -- no more. I will get off and lead my horse across from now on. Either that or go down the bank and across the creek.
Take care of yourself now and let us know how you and your horse are doing.
We have a notebook at the farm that we record everything in, plus I also told the girl that was working Monday morning. A friend of mine that rides at the same barn has a huge draft cross(clyde/TB18.2h)) and she had mentioned her horse had slipped alittle a couple of weeks ago. I wonder if the other horse cracked the board and then with us scrambling it was just enough force to break at the weak point. Only about a ten inch piece of one board is missing right near the edge. Not many people trail ride at the farm so it should be ok until the barn manager can get out to repair it. I am going to check into perhaps some kind of strips or a gritty finish to see what can be done to remedy the situation. Thanks for all the well wishes. My mare was fine this morning and although I have couple of scrapes from the gravel and a couple of small bruises I am also fine.
FWIW, I get off and lead my horse across any suspect bridges. ...unless it is a really clearly trustworthy bridge or one I am familiar with, I lead across.
I'm with you CM. Just today I came up to a short bridge made of wired 4 telephone poles wired together with dirt on top with no way around it (wet mossy rocks on a steep hillside). It looked sketchy so I walked. Thankfully my friends and I all crossed okay, but I didn't want to be on my horse if she went down or got a foot caught in a gap or the wire.
A couple of my more spectacular unplanned dismounts from Sadie have involved a fall or a stumble on her part. The worst looking one neither of us was hurt (she apparently cartwheeled, according to my riding buddy, who said she knew both of us would be killed). I rolled off her right side when my right elbow as about six inches from the ground, then she rolled partly over on me but got off before I really took any of her weight. An edurance stirrup got squashed, a metal water bottle was crushed, and one poley (clunky aussie/western saddle) was ripped loose. Damage to me was a small bruise on one leg. Damage to Sadie was a skinned place on her nose. We both ate some dirt in the process.
I am afraid I will be thinking of your accident the next time I cross the scary hump-back wooded bridge over the train tracks--almost no guardrail and a couple holes in it. Never noticed it being slick but yikes, a fall from or through it would be fatal--its a good twenty feet down to the tracks. Glad you and your horse are OK!
So scary, glad neither of you where seriously injured.
I had my girl slip down into a mud puddle once but managed to roll free of her before she completely hit the ground....scared the other folks I was riding with though. My mare seemed shocked she had lost her footing, she was extra careful for the rest of the ride.
Glad you and horsie are okay. I once had a horse fall through a bridge. I was off and leading her because I didn't like the looks of it. She was, thankfully unhurt but was a bit hesitant to cross bridges for a while after that experience.
One fix for a slick bridge is to coat it with a substance such as roofing tar and embed some sand and gravel in it while it's still sticky. Once it dries the gravel stays put and gives traction.