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Teaching emergency dismount..

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  • #21
    Originally posted by saultgirl View Post
    I'm just trying to picture this... does this mean all the kids jumped off and the horses just kept going, since you say everyone let go of the reins? No attempt to stop the horse first?

    No attempt to stop the horses, but this is 7-15 year old kids out in groups of 10-15 with 2-3 adult counselors on trail rides. I was only in a situaton once where we were told to "squirrel", I was 9 or 10 at the time, we were riding on the shoulder of a gravel road and some kids that were up on a hill above the road pushed an old recliner down the hill at our horses. Like I said, I think the train of thought was that no one get bolted off with or drug!

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    • #22
      I wasn't taught how to do it, I ended up teaching mysef on my own horse. It was actually great practice to teach me the emergency dismount and to teach him to stop when I fell off.

      In the times I've fallen, an emergency dismount wouldn't have helped (the most recent falls were caused by tack malfunctions and I felt like I was literally ripped off the horse). There was no way I could have saved the fall. It didn't have the slow progression of me going from seated to falling off. I was on the horse one second, then I abruptly wasn't.

      The problem I've seen with teaching the emergency dismount is that people somtimes get too eager to jump off the horse and just end up hurting themselves worse than if they had jus stayed on.

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      • #23
        You won't find me practicing, LOL! After this winter's knee surgery, heck if I'm throwing myself off a horse. I will leave that to younger, bouncier things. I want to keep the steel side UNDER me from now on!
        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

        Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
        We Are Flying Solo

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        • #24
          I trained in martial arts for several years - best way to learn to fall safely, you will drill enough that it becomes reflex to roll out of a fall, no matter what you fall off of. You learn progressively from crouching up to being tossed with nice soft matts, easier to relax and learn a proper roll incrementally, than when learning suddenly at horse height even if only at a walk.
          Local martial art schools may be willing to do a series of lessons on falling and rolling if you don't want to learn the whole artform.

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          • #25
            I ride for a vaulting club, and only just started actually vaulting with them. We just did the annual "unplanned dismounts" clinic, since of course if you might be falling from standing on the horse or from standing on someone standing on the horse (!!!), it's even more important to fall correctly, and I have to say, it was a blast. We only did very little on the horses, most of it was practicing different rolls and ways to absorb impact on the ground or on mats, then we worked up to being thrown/pushed off a vaulting barrel, and then finally jumping off the horses from different vaulting moves at whatever gait we normally vault at.

            Honestly, I'm really glad we did it, even though I've probably only fallen off 6-7 times in 15 years of riding, and the only serious injury I've had from a fall was a broken finger. It was incredibly fun, and really confidence building as far as organizing my body in a fall goes. I think it would be really tough to do with horses who aren't already trained to have people jumping on and off them, though. And I think just having kids jump off horses isn't necessarily going to give them the skills that will help them be safe in a real fall. I recall being taught as a kid how to jump off at a walk, but after having done this clinic, the groundwork and mat rolls would have been much more helpful than just randomly jumping off a walking horse once or twice.

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            • #26
              Count me among those who was never taught, nor has ever taught, the emergency dismount. One learns that by doing. Certainly appropriate to review the basic concepts- if you happen to fall off, as we all will, stay soft and roll. IMO the focus needs to be on staying aboard and controlling both your position and the horse- much safer in 99.9% of scenarios than bailing out, which, actually I've done twice in the past half century (of course I've been dumped zillions of times). Once when a horse was likely to flip with me, other time, when in a pair race it was actually faster to bail and get partner to retrieve horse than it would have been had I tried to stay aboard after an awkward fence that found me hanging on by horse's ears. Horse would have dumped me 6 to 8 strides later once he realized he could do it.

              I've seen too many fearful riders just 'bail' when the horse is doing nothing, at the walk, but they 'think' the horse is doing, or will do something. The horses have generally looked quite puzzled at the behavior. Far better to get such riders to understand what is happening and stay aboard/conquer their fears.

              I have also seen a fair number of riders get hurt by bailing, when they'd have been fine just riding it out.

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              • #27
                Drives me crazy to see a rider bail when they could have stuck with it!

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                • #28
                  i teach it to my students off the quiet horses, first at a standstill, then at a walk. the bolder kids do it at a trot. The horses are trained to stop as soon as rider leaves the horse's back. They look at the kid like....what're you doing down there?
                  Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                  Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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                  • #29
                    People I have taught that learned to emergency dismount (prior to coming to me) tend to think about coming off. Students that weren't taught this, tend to think about staying on.

                    I prefer the latter.

                    And it doesn't seem that those who were taught the emergency dismount fall off any better or more safely...they just seem to do it more often.
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by sherian View Post
                      I trained in martial arts for several years - best way to learn to fall safely, you will drill enough that it becomes reflex to roll out of a fall, no matter what you fall off of. You learn progressively from crouching up to being tossed with nice soft matts, easier to relax and learn a proper roll incrementally, than when learning suddenly at horse height even if only at a walk.
                      Local martial art schools may be willing to do a series of lessons on falling and rolling if you don't want to learn the whole artform.

                      This!

                      awesome. I've been in martial arts for 14 years and have saved my face (literally) several times by falling as taught.

                      I don't teach my riders how to do an emergency dismount generally until they've been riding for a while and are at a proficient w/t level, usually w/t/c level. More detailed than that, reasoning, etc, but it's there, just don't wanna go into it right now....need to go to bed...
                      Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                      Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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                      • #31
                        There seems to be some misconception about what the Emergency Dismount is, since people are talking about tucking and rolling. The proper ED involves kicking your feet out of the stirrups, pressing your hands on the pommel or withers and vaulting off, LANDING ON YOUR FEET, and running next to the horse holding on to the reins with one hand and bring him to a halt. That's how it's TAUGHT. What happens in real life (bucking, galloping) is up to how well the child has been taught and how capable they are.

                        Now, as far as school horses go, all of mine knew voice command and whoa meant "stop". I could be cantering, say "Whoa!" and do a ED and not have to take more than a step or two before we were both fully stopped. Practiced enough times and all of my schoolies would stop as soon as my vault off commenced.

                        As for not teaching it because an instructor feels it makes a rider more likely to bail, well that's an issue better better discussed with the student before things go wrong. Like "Don't try to vault off a bucking horse because as you're trying to press down on the pommel the pommel may either dropping out from under you or coming up to meet your nose. Sit up, sit back, get the head up and go forward!"

                        The ED is a tool in a trainers tool box. Part of being a trainer is knowing when to use a the right tool for the job.

                        As for tucking and rolling, I admit I don't know how to do it. I never fell enough to practice that, so most of my falls where lovely "splats" rather than splendid lawndarts.
                        ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
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                        "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

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                        • #32
                          I've done emergency dismounts off motorcycles... usually about the time the fence approached. Some were more painful than others.

                          I've practiced at a walk on the horse. Dolly throws on the brakes as soon as I start so kind of hard to practice at anything faster. Of course, she's a pretty sane horse all around so I'd do better up than down. That said, I keep that in mind most of the time when I dismount anyhow feet out, down direction of travel.
                          Nudging "Almost Heaven" a little closer still...
                          http://www.wvhorsetrainer.com

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                          • #33
                            the last time I did an emergency dismount style exit ie landed on my feet, the ground was extremely hard and I actually thought I had broke my ankle it hurt that much. Rolling out of the splendid lawndart style fall is much less painful for me. It is actually much easier to roll if you have some speed and impulsion behind you, so I do have the occasional splat still - usually invoiving goofing around on a safe horse that suddenly does the cartoon deak left leaving you behind.

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                            • #34
                              DH learned it from experience by the time he was 10 I'm sure but he honed the craft riding bulls. Rodeo folks know how to fall off or bail off and not get hurt.
                              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

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                              • #35
                                [QUOTE=Kryswyn;6843786]There seems to be some misconception about what the Emergency Dismount is, since people are talking about tucking and rolling. The proper ED involves kicking your feet out of the stirrups, pressing your hands on the pommel or withers and vaulting off, LANDING ON YOUR FEET, and running next to the horse holding on to the reins with one hand and bring him to a halt. That's how it's TAUGHT. What happens in real life (bucking, galloping) is up to how well the child has been taught and how capable they are.

                                As for not teaching it because an instructor feels it makes a rider more likely to bail, well that's an issue better better discussed with the student before things go wrong. Like "Don't try to vault off a bucking horse because as you're trying to press down on the pommel the pommel may either dropping out from under you or coming up to meet your nose. Sit up, sit back, get the head up and go forward!"

                                The ED is a tool in a trainers tool box. Part of being a trainer is knowing when to use a the right tool for the job.QUOTE]


                                This is pretty much what I have always thought of when teaching the Emergency Dismount, kid lands on running FEET to qualify for Pony Club ratings. I never found them bailing off just because they "know how", when animal was not behaving well. If they have a difficult animal, we would discuss where we thought the problem was coming from, when it happens, then devise ways to work on the problem or ideas to prevent the issue happening.

                                I came up doing Western things, so not trying to "ride it out" was not acceptable most of the time from my teachers and Leaders. Taught the HORSE to be WORSE if you jump off!! And then trying to fix the problem was harder than what you started with, because horse had won the last time around.

                                I would EXPLAIN this "getting worse" problem to the kids, so they understood why I was asking them to try the ideas we had chosen, if he acted up. Make solution idea automatic in kid with a couple run-thrus. Then their correct response, to correct the misbehaviour is FAST.

                                Our kids used the ED to practice, stay knowledgable in how to do it. I really do want them landing ON THE FEET. I don't think any of the kids ever used ED skills at other times. Certainly not to get out of work. All the whining was vocal, in pitiful tones about WHY they couldn't do XXX today. It was such GOOD ACTING I would applaud!

                                As I said, the ED is a tool for the kid, so they are MORE confident in horse situations. ED is just a tool, like using their legs for turns. They KNOW they can get off ANYTIME, dismount won't hurt. But they want to FIX the issue horse is creating, so they stay on and "ride it out". Usually is a small hop or spin, resistance thing, but feels BIG. They gain a LOT OF CONFIDENCE after staying on, staying in control, so are even more willing to do new things, ask more, with the horse.

                                I can see the tumbling skills being useful, you can't ride everything out. Just never considered them part of the TRAINED Emergency Dismount.

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by goodhors View Post
                                  As I said, the ED is a tool for the kid, so they are MORE confident in horse situations. ED is just a tool, like using their legs for turns. They KNOW they can get off ANYTIME, dismount won't hurt. But they want to FIX the issue horse is creating, so they stay on and "ride it out".
                                  That is, I think, the crux of the discussion: A confidence-building trick versus having the ability to minimize injury when you part ways with the horse. The two are *not* the same thing and, I think to many of us, it seems students are being taught that they *are*, use the ED inappropriately, and get hurt.

                                  IMO, it makes a lot more sense to teach people skills to minimize serious injury, whether that means staying on, bailing off, or handling being thrown. But, then, I'll admit to never really getting the point of the ED. So you can dismount while the horse is walking--BFD.
                                  ---------------------------

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                                  • #37
                                    Maybe I'm just old school. But I would rather teach a beginner how to pull a head around and get stopped than to pop off in an ED if they get nervous.

                                    MOST horse accidents for beginners are going to be when they get out of control. Not because they're on a rank son of a gun.

                                    My one and only voluntary dismount was when I though the horse was going to roll over on me and it ended with the horse being fine and me with titanium plates and screws.

                                    I'd really rather see folks stay on than think that popping off is an option. I can see the benefits of teaching ED. I can. But I can also see the value in teaching "keep the horse between your legs".
                                    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                    Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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                                    • #38
                                      one time at camp we taught kids the emergency dismount...went on a trail ride through the woods later that day, ran into a really nasty yellow jackets nest, horses and riders were all over the place...I yelled out "do an emergency dismount and run with your horses up to the top of the hill" or something like that, and we got out of there with only two stings on two horses and two kids stung once. Once that direction was given, everyone had something to do to deal with the situation, it put the power back in their hands, everyone was fine.
                                      Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                                      Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!

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                                      • #39
                                        Well, okay, that's an approach. The danger being that a horse being stung might just bowl you over if you are on the ground, as a reaction to pain.

                                        I just stay on the horse and gallop away from the yellow jackets, brushing off the 'stingers' (off of horse first then me) and go on with life. You've got the power in your hands whether you are on or off the horse, hopefully!

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                                        • #40
                                          As to how to teach it, maybe this will help. It was part of my early riding lessons, and am glad I had a chance to learn it. Knowing how to tuck and roll is good too, but that is a different thing. The ED, as it was taught to me has these steps. Please note you always practice this toward the inside of a circle, not toward a fence, Directions are provided as if you are tracking left, and will be landing on your feet on the horse's near/left side. Ideally, you should be able to do it in either direction but since the conventional way to do stuff with horses is to have the horse be on your right side, this is the 'usual' way to do it:

                                          1) kick feet out of stirrups
                                          2) drop reins and place hands on either side of horse's withers
                                          3) lean forward onto hands with elbows bent and swing your legs from the hips forward and back a couple or 3 times, building momentum on each swing
                                          4) when sufficient momentum has been reached, on next back swing of the legs, whilst the rider still is using hands on withers and bent elbows for stability, the rider swings the right leg in a higher arc than left, as it needs to clear the rump but both legs move
                                          5) rider lands ON FEET facing the same direction as the horse.

                                          The times this is most useful to know how to do include such things as a bolter that is so panicked or tuning out the rider that circling and pully-rein don't work, or horse is heading for a cliff or a jump that you absolutely know the horse will stop at, and you do not want to go over it, or you know the horse is about to fall and you don't want to be underneath it when it does. In a true emergency you do not have time for the mulitple leg swings for momentum, but using that in the practicing stages is useful.
                                          Jeanie
                                          RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

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