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Riding Student falls- procedure and etiquette

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  • #21
    Regarding 'incident reports'. IMO only, just because barns don't typically do them now and yes, a potential burden for trainer and/or BM/BO, maybe as a CYA should be done. Just because barns don't do them now doesn't mean maybe they'd shouldn't become more common.

    Barns didn't use to require helmets 'back in the day' but most do now...
    When you start to observe, you become more effective... your movements soften, you see more, you are more available to becoming a team member. Be an Observer first, a Handler second.

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    • #22
      Unless you're dying or really knocked your head or need an ambulance, you get back on the horse. Falling off is part of riding. I fell off A LOT as a kid. Not necessarily because the horses were ill suited but because I was a balls to the wall, daredevil kid and my friends and I pretty much spent summer unsupervised ( I completely credit my adult velcro butt to these summers lol). If you really think the horse is unsuited and truly going to get your daughter hurt- then by all means, of course you should step in and say something. But other than that, I'd let things run their course. It's not just about falling off- it's about learning how to fall (hopefully they're teaching this too), how to have a living, thinking partner, how to fail at something and try again....
      Wouldst thou like the taste of butter and pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

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      • #23
        What do you define as a dirty stop? One of my mares always stops very quickly. If you stop driving with your legs, or say whoa, she is going to stop quickly. I always warn people to prepare for that. I also don't encourage fast riding, unless someone us prepared for her stops. If you drive her forward during the stop, you can get a better whoa. Instead of asking for a whoa, ask for a downward transition. There is a learning curve on sitting a whoa like that.

        If the horse is stopping at jumps, or just randomly stopping and ducking its head to help the rider off, then that horse is not suitable for lessons by inexperienced riders.

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        • #24
          I am a parent, my kid is a skier, 3rd degree blackbelt in Tae Kwan Do, former soccer player, current cross country and Track runner. I have never received an incident report from ANY of his coaches in any of these sports. I have personally witnessed him get a concussion in soccer where the coach was yelling at him and the center ref was the one who realized he was hurt and stopped the game. He was 12 at the time and playing League soccer, but this coach was also the high school coach, so he knew better. Riding, TKD, skiing, soccer, etc all carry risks and kids can and will get injured from time-to-time. Public schools have all kinds of rules and protocols, so does 4H and Pony Club, but I rarely see those folks follow through with all the steps one is supposed to follow. I include myself in that group. If a 4H kid falls and skins a knee or bumps into another kid, or trips over their dog, I am not filling out an incident report. It's very likely I will have forgotten the incident by the time a parent picks said kid up unless a band-aid and or medical kit was involved. Do you really want a ski instructor to recount every little tumble your kid took during his/her lesson? Horse riding is similar to skiing. Ride enough horses, ski enough runs, you will fall and you may even get hurt. It comes with the territory. Think how great your daughter will feel in a year when she conquers said "dirty stopper" pony. Like finally skiing a blue or black run without crashing, riding that more challenging pony successfully will bring a REAL feeling of accomplishment. Meantime, bring something to keep you distracted and cheer your daughter.

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            A few follow ups. (I'm not sure how to reply to comments individually but still show here )

            In summer I did speak to the barn owner (she did training for part of camp when my dd fell) after she fell at camp. I was basically told, it happens...we check them out and if they seem fine get them back on the horse. I did not specifically say I wish to be told each time or they should add that policy but that I'm used to school and Girl Scouts. And was told yeah the horse world is not like that. (I'm sure the conversation went better than that but that is how I felt it went). In retrospect I should have been more clear: "as a parent, it is important I be told from the trainer with her when she fell rather than to hear about it later".

            To the person who said "get back on the horse unless you're dying or really knocked your head". Ummm even with a wrist fracture....and with her going white as a ghost and weak in the knees? And vomiting? (We determined the concussion symtpoms were more from shock etc not actual concussion)... But I think your comment is a bit black and white for my tastes... Especially with an 11 year old

            "Dirty stop" in this context means he stopped and ducked his head to get her off. She should have been sitting further back (would have helped) but as the other mom watching (it was a semi private) put it
            "He was just being fresh and once he realized how to get her off he kept doing it. He tried the same thing with the trainer who got in him right after to "school him".

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            • #26
              Originally posted by tabula rashah View Post
              Unless you're dying or really knocked your head or need an ambulance, you get back on the horse.
              ^^^ This is so wrong. I know that's what you did as a kid. Me too. But sometimes with age and experience comes wisdom, and in this case, the wisdom that science has shown even minor falls can cause brain damage, particularly when repeated.

              "So relax! Let's have some fun out here! This game's fun, OK? Fun goddamnit." Crash Davis; Bull Durham

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              • #27
                Originally posted by darcilyna View Post
                A few follow ups. (I'm not sure how to reply to comments individually but still show here )

                In summer I did speak to the barn owner (she did training for part of camp when my dd fell) after she fell at camp. I was basically told, it happens...we check them out and if they seem fine get them back on the horse. I did not specifically say I wish to be told each time or they should add that policy but that I'm used to school and Girl Scouts. And was told yeah the horse world is not like that. (I'm sure the conversation went better than that but that is how I felt it went). In retrospect I should have been more clear: "as a parent, it is important I be told from the trainer with her when she fell rather than to hear about it later".

                To the person who said "get back on the horse unless you're dying or really knocked your head". Ummm even with a wrist fracture....and with her going white as a ghost and weak in the knees? And vomiting? (We determined the concussion symtpoms were more from shock etc not actual concussion)... But I think your comment is a bit black and white for my tastes... Especially with an 11 year old

                "Dirty stop" in this context means he stopped and ducked his head to get her off. She should have been sitting further back (would have helped) but as the other mom watching (it was a semi private) put it
                "He was just being fresh and once he realized how to get her off he kept doing it. He tried the same thing with the trainer who got in him right after to "school him".
                Dude, thanks for half-ass quoting me. I also said or needs an ambulance- which I would say if your kid was going into shock they probably needed.
                Perhaps riding is not for your family- maybe your kid should wait till they are 18 and don't have a helicopter mom buzzing about.
                Wouldst thou like the taste of butter and pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

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                • #28
                  I'd be less concerned with written incident reports, although I believe they are mandatory for any Pony Club sanctioned activity for example, but would find the third time my kid was tossed up on that horse more problematic.

                  Regardless of the reason for the stop, ie; green rider, sour, unsuitable horse, just a bad day all round, two falls is enough to call it a day for this pairing. Perhaps for daughter's confidence building and if she were up for it, she could get on another steady eddy and do the cross rail (pre injuries correct?), but the jumping part of the lesson on that particular horse would be over from my pov.

                  And absolutely a no brainer that I'm informed if my kid has a fall.
                  One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
                  William Shakespeare

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by MissAriel View Post

                    ^^^ This is so wrong. I know that's what you did as a kid. Me too. But sometimes with age and experience comes wisdom, and in this case, the wisdom that science has shown even minor falls can cause brain damage, particularly when repeated.
                    OMFG- see part where I said hit on the head.
                    Wouldst thou like the taste of butter and pretty dress? Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by darcilyna View Post

                      To the person who said "get back on the horse unless you're dying or really knocked your head". Ummm even with a wrist fracture....and with her going white as a ghost and weak in the knees? And vomiting? (We determined the concussion symtpoms were more from shock etc not actual concussion)... But I think your comment is a bit black and white for my tastes... Especially with an 11 year old
                      I'm with you here.

                      I absolutely grew up in the "hospital or back on the horse" culture and while I think it contributed to my ability and helped prevent fear from taking over, I also think we take it too far in this sport. We make heroes out of people who get back on with broken bones--talk about how tough they are and turn them into role models--and it can be both dangerous and destructive to rider's own mental health.

                      A few years ago, I was fox hunting and had a horse rear up, go over backwards, land on me, and then kick me in the gut on the way back to his feet. He then took off and left me for dead. My instinct was to catch that moron and get back on. Nothing was broken. Adrenaline was flooding my body and I didn't THINK I needed an ambulance. Cooler heads convinced me to not finish the day in the saddle and I am grateful for that. I might have been "fine"--if fine equals not in immediate threat of death and not bleeding visibly (I WAS bleeding internally, as it turned out), but I was in no condition to get back on and keep hunting. It would have been a very stupid thing to do. Adrenaline is about fight or flight--to keep you alive. It lets you make bad decisions and then gives your body the chops to cash that check.

                      As a kid, I jumped back on because my trainers told me to, but it wasn't really any safer then. It's still adrenaline driving your thought process and physical actions, whether you're 11 or 41. I'd like to see the sport as a whole turn toward better judgement about this stuff...teach riders to take the time to assess their bodies, breathe, come down from the adrenaline rush that comes with even minor falls, and THEN make the decision to get back on or not. You have to find the balance between overcoming fear and knowing when it's just a bad plan that might actually put you in more danger.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Omg! I didn't mean to be like that. The EMT (co barn owner) site looked at her when we noticed her bad symptoms. Noone called an ambulance or suggested one. They recommended I have her see an ortho urgent care that night. We ended up at the ER bc the Ortho express was closed.

                        I feel like a true helicopter mom would have been in the ring after fall number one demanding she not get back up on that horse? I was trying to get out my dinner I had planned to eat while at her lesson bc I trusted the trainers judgement. Even up until time 3 fall when the trainer asked us to get another trainer from inside to school the horse.

                        Sorry I came across wrong but I guess I didn't understand your statement ...
                        Ambulance= some sort of ride to the ER or urgent care

                        To be fair I didn't put her other shock symptoms in my original post.

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                        • #32
                          I used to teach theory for Pony Club, (4 years) and assist coaching, we took measures to make sure falls did not happen. An inexperienced rider coming off three times in one lesson wildly waves a red flag. Not only is the horse not suitable for the rider, the coach may not be either for letting the situation continue.
                          IMO the coach showed very poor judgement. By all means if the student appears ok put her back up after the first incident but then the coach should have changed things so the student could have finished the lesson without coming off again.

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                          • #33
                            This is such a grey area with no specific guardrails.

                            Your daughter is green. After coming off twice in one lesson, I think a better instructor would have pointed her at something she could successfully do with that same pony, and directed their efforts at being successful for the rest of that lesson and been done with it. A pony or horse that tries to dump a green kid in a lesson is not in the same situation as that same pony that a daredevil kid decides to tackle on their own. Why? Because the daredevil kid decides whether to keep climbing back on or not and where to point him. The lesson kid gets told to get back on and gets told where to point him. That's just not the same scenario at all.

                            I am sorry about her wrist. Falls DO happen, and yes, I grew up in the 'you all right? What'd you do wrong?Get back up there' camp and yes, for a MORE seasoned kid, there's a time and place for that. Getting dumped in front of a cross rail twice in a lesson can take a lot of stuffing out of a kid, and maybe she was tired and losing focus and balance and confidence, so the last fall is icing on the cake. Maybe the pony is a punk, who knows, as it can indicate the horse/pony is tired, sore, or what have you.

                            She doesn't have to get back on THAT one, that's fine. By the way, you're not a helicopter, you just care about your kid.

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                            • #34
                              Mentioning that if she hit her head in any of those three falls, time for a new helmet
                              _\\]
                              -- * > hoopoe
                              Procrastinate NOW
                              Introverted Since 1957

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                              • Original Poster

                                #35







                                Originally posted by TMares View Post
                                This is such a grey area with no specific guardrails.

                                Your daughter is green. After coming off twice in one lesson, I think a better instructor would have pointed her at something she could successfully do with that same pony, and directed their efforts at being successful for the rest of that lesson and been done with it. A pony or horse that tries to dump a green kid in a lesson is not in the same situation as that same pony that a daredevil kid decides to tackle on their own. Why? Because the daredevil kid decides whether to keep climbing back on or not and where to point him. The lesson kid gets told to get back on and gets told where to point him. That's just not the same scenario at all.

                                I am sorry about her wrist. Falls DO happen, and yes, I grew up in the 'you all right? What'd you do wrong?Get back up there' camp and yes, for a MORE seasoned kid, there's a time and place for that. Getting dumped in front of a cross rail twice in a lesson can take a lot of stuffing out of a kid, and maybe she was tired and losing focus and balance and confidence, so the last fall is icing on the cake. Maybe the pony is a punk, who knows, as it can indicate the horse/pony is tired, sore, or what have you.

                                She doesn't have to get back on THAT one, that's fine. By the way, you're not a helicopter, you just care about your kid.
                                I honestly could not hear what correction the trainer was giving her between falls or after she got back up.

                                My dd told me today that after the 2nd fall she wanted to ask if she could ride a different horse. But didn't . She is a shy kid. So needs to learn to speak up for herself. I told her she absolutely could have asked for a different horse!

                                My dd did say the 3rd ride she was told to 'keep him at a canter" and when he stop and dropped his head that was the fall that broke her wrist.



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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by darcilyna View Post
                                  Omg! I didn't mean to be like that. The EMT (co barn owner) site looked at her when we noticed her bad symptoms. Noone called an ambulance or suggested one. They recommended I have her see an ortho urgent care that night. We ended up at the ER bc the Ortho express was closed.

                                  I feel like a true helicopter mom would have been in the ring after fall number one demanding she not get back up on that horse? I was trying to get out my dinner I had planned to eat while at her lesson bc I trusted the trainers judgement. Even up until time 3 fall when the trainer asked us to get another trainer from inside to school the horse.

                                  Sorry I came across wrong but I guess I didn't understand your statement ...
                                  Ambulance= some sort of ride to the ER or urgent care

                                  To be fair I didn't put her other shock symptoms in my original post.
                                  Your daughter is 11. I think you have the right to be a cautious and involved parent and should be concerned over any fall.

                                  Falls are a part of riding and something that should be avoided at all costs if possible. A wrist fracture and possible head injury is something that any parent should be concerned about.

                                  My biggest concern is the fact that your daughter appears to be way over mounted. Putting a young , somewhat inexperienced , pre-teen rider on a horse who tries that crap at all , and especially with the instructor is way, way out of line.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #37
                                    Originally posted by candyappy View Post

                                    Your daughter is 11. I think you have the right to be a cautious and involved parent and should be concerned over any fall.

                                    Falls are a part of riding and something that should be avoided at all costs if possible. A wrist fracture and possible head injury is something that any parent should be concerned about.

                                    My biggest concern is the fact that your daughter appears to be way over mounted. Putting a young , somewhat inexperienced , pre-teen rider on a horse who tries that crap at all , and especially with the instructor is way, way out of line.
                                    These are things I don't know bc I did not grow up riding horses. Many parents who take their kids there are "horse people" or claim and to be and I trust their judgement. But maybe I shouldn't.

                                    It could very well be that this was the day this particular pony got super "soured" maybe this behavior was never seen before. I know things like that happen

                                    Going forward I know 2 falls is quite enough.... New horse or move on in some other way. My daughter was smart enough to at least think after 2 falls "I should ask for a new horse" bit she didn't have the confidence to do it. Hopefully there is not a 2 fall in a row next time but if so hopefully she will have learned from this...it's time to move on from that horse at that point.

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                                    • #38
                                      Op , you aren't being a "helicopter Mom". Falls do happen, but you daughter should not be riding a horse that repeatedly takes advantage of beginners by stopping in an attempt to lose the rider.

                                      Many a child has lost confidence due to being unsuitably mounted as a beginner and your daughter is still a beginner. Another horse or pony should be used for lessons until the trainer finds out why this lesson horse is stopping and corrects the problem, or until your kiddo is a more experienced rider and can ride out the stop.

                                      Good for you, for letting your child ride.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #39
                                        Originally posted by skydy View Post
                                        Op , you aren't being a "helicopter Mom". Falls do happen, but you daughter should not be riding a horse that repeatedly takes advantage of beginners by stopping in an attempt to lose the rider.

                                        Many a child has lost confidence due to being unsuitably mounted as a beginner and your daughter is still a beginner. Another horse or pony should be used for lessons until the trainer finds out why this lesson horse is stopping and corrects the problem, or until your kiddo is a more experienced rider and can ride out the stop.

                                        Good for you, for letting your child ride.
                                        Thanks!

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by colorfan View Post
                                          I used to teach theory for Pony Club, (4 years) and assist coaching, we took measures to make sure falls did not happen. An inexperienced rider coming off three times in one lesson wildly waves a red flag. Not only is the horse not suitable for the rider, the coach may not be either for letting the situation continue.
                                          IMO the coach showed very poor judgement. By all means if the student appears ok put her back up after the first incident but then the coach should have changed things so the student could have finished the lesson without coming off again.
                                          This.

                                          And
                                          We had incident reports to fill out but they were kept on hand in the office in case anything developed subsequently: they were not shared with anyone until they were called for. If there were no ill effects, the report was filed away. No doubt at all the insurance company required them as timely 'witness statements' in the event insurance became involved.

                                          A 'dirty' stopper is one that stops without warning and with no apparent reason other than perhaps habit. They have learned that they can. Such a horse seems to stop 'out of the blue' and blindsides the rider. They approach the jump just fine, no indication of a coming refusal, and then suddenly stop. No way on earth is an inexperienced rider capable of handling that; and weaknesses and/or instabilities on the part of the rider may even provoke the behaviour. Not a mount for a beginner at jumping.
                                          No matter where you go, there you are

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