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Pony Club Rule When Rider Falls Off.....

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  • Pony Club Rule When Rider Falls Off.....

    Good evening everyone. I coach some pony clubbers and there is a rule that has me a tad baffled. If one of them falls off during a lesson, all others in the lesson are to dismount and stand by their horses until loose horse is caught (that is if horse runs off once rider is on the ground). This happened not too long ago and I asked why everyone had gotten off their horses. I was kinda shocked. ;-) For me, riders just stop their horses until errant horse is caught, it's far more dangerous on the ground next to the horse as opposed to being in the saddle, right? Was just wondering.......
    Bethe Mounce
    Head Trainer, AmeriCan Romance Equestrian
    https://www.facebook.com/AmericanRomanceEquestrian
    Brentwood CA

  • #2
    Originally posted by Bethe Mounce View Post
    Good evening everyone. I coach some pony clubbers and there is a rule that has me a tad baffled. If one of them falls off during a lesson, all others in the lesson are to dismount and stand by their horses until loose horse is caught (that is if horse runs off once rider is on the ground). This happened not too long ago and I asked why everyone had gotten off their horses. I was kinda shocked. ;-) For me, riders just stop their horses until errant horse is caught, it's far more dangerous on the ground next to the horse as opposed to being in the saddle, right? Was just wondering.......
    I guess it takes into account that the riders might not be able to control their horses from atop should they decide to join the fun.
    Originally posted by BigMama1
    Facts don't have versions. If they do, they are opinions
    GNU Terry Prachett

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
      I guess it takes into account that the riders might not be able to control their horses from atop should they decide to join the fun.
      This. I think the idea is that it is better for the horse to get loose than the kid to have a bad fall or be run away with if the horse panics. That said, I was in PC for 15 years and don't remember ever actually doing this.

      Comment


      • #4
        That's because 3/4's of what pony club does is assbackwards. LOL! Seems much less safe to me to have them get off.
        I'm good at being uncomfortable so I can't stop changing all the time -Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine
        If I were your appendages, I'd hold open your eyes so you would see- Incubus

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        • #5
          As much as I enjoyed Pony Club, (many years in the distant past, when dinosaurs roamed)... the one thing that I still remember was the saying, "there's the right way, the wrong way, and the Pony Club way."

          My guess is this will not be the only rule that causes you to shake your head.
          **********
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
          -PaulaEdwina

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          • #6
            Are you sure that isn't just a rule that your pony club put in place? When someone falls off during our mounted meetings, everyone stays on. But then maybe WE aren't following the rules from National. You will find that each club does things a bit differently.

            Until Rally day - where as Lucassb said "there's the right way, the wrong way and the Pony Club way." A saying that all the kids learn very quickly!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
              I guess it takes into account that the riders might not be able to control their horses from atop should they decide to join the fun.
              This. A lesson farm where I used to ride had this rule. If someone fell off and the horse went tearing around, riders were to dismount and quietly hold their horses on the ground. Better to have a horse get away from someone on the ground, and two horses running around, than to have a horse get away from someone under saddle and have two horses running around and two potentially hurt kids on the arena floor.
              "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

              Amy's Stuff - Rustic chic and country linens and decor
              Support my mom! She's gotta finance her retirement horse somehow.

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              • #8
                Before I opened the thread, the title had me thinking of what we do in the barn when someone falls off: The person who fell has to buy ice cream for all those who witnessed it.
                "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
                -Richard S. Bach

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bethe Mounce View Post
                  Good evening everyone. I coach some pony clubbers and there is a rule that has me a tad baffled. If one of them falls off during a lesson, all others in the lesson are to dismount and stand by their horses until loose horse is caught (that is if horse runs off once rider is on the ground). This happened not too long ago and I asked why everyone had gotten off their horses. I was kinda shocked. ;-) For me, riders just stop their horses until errant horse is caught, it's far more dangerous on the ground next to the horse as opposed to being in the saddle, right? Was just wondering.......
                  And can you still get docked points or whatever at a Rally if you're walking around in spurs because you can trip or something? I did one rally as a kid, had that happen, and decided it was for the birds.

                  And I've heard that "Right way, Wrong way, and Pony Club way." line before, too.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is so you do not end up with a bunch of runaway ponies with frightened kids on their backs.

                    My Pony Club used this rule (with the D’s at least) and as a Pony Club instructor I appreciated it.

                    I HAVE seen a lose horse run into another horse mounted by a child – who decided to take off and run with his new buddy, ended up in a bad wreck when the horse slammed on the breaks at the end of the arena launching his rider.
                    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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                    • #11
                      Really, to me it just depends on the situation as well as the individual kids and horses involved... There are times it's a good idea to dismount, other times it's safer to stay up. With my two kids (both just starting to ride) I'd want them to stay up. I know my mare is trustworthy and they are safe on her back. On the ground, they wouldn't have any idea where to move, or be able to see what is going on so they can get out of the way.
                      Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Unfforgettable View Post
                        Before I opened the thread, the title had me thinking of what we do in the barn when someone falls off: The person who fell has to buy ice cream for all those who witnessed it.
                        At our barn, we have to make brownies.

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                        • #13
                          I think it makes a lot of sense with younger or less experienced riders. However, an experienced rider should have the ability to make that decision based on their comfort level and their mount. I was at a pony club barn growing up and they had the same rule in place for the younger kids and the older kids were allowed to stay on if they felt more comfortable. Personally I am 100% more comfortable on my mares back in a situation like this than on the ground.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MyssMyst View Post
                            Really, to me it just depends on the situation as well as the individual kids and horses involved... There are times it's a good idea to dismount, other times it's safer to stay up. With my two kids (both just starting to ride) I'd want them to stay up. I know my mare is trustworthy and they are safe on her back. On the ground, they wouldn't have any idea where to move, or be able to see what is going on so they can get out of the way.
                            Yes, while I can see the idea behind the rule, I think situation would matter. Plus I can see the other argument--I would not want youngish kids scrambling down the horse and having the horse take off while the kid is on the side of the saddle. A kid in the midst of a dismount when the horse takes off is not in a better position than one up on its back.

                            I think we're back to that other thread about the kid who was doing road racing on a bike and died...you can only make an activity SO safe, not perfectly safe. There's no 100% right answer.
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                            • #15
                              Okay, I have just emerged from the rabbit hole that is the pony club web site and I cannot find anything in the Safety Booklet that recommends having all the riders dismount when one falls off.

                              So this, at least, is one rule we cannot blame on "the pony club way."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Thanks for looking up the Rule, or lack of it on the PC Site.

                                I know I did the "Stop, Dismount, Lead your horses out of the Arena" thing when one of the kids got dumped during a 4-H activity. It was automatic for me, probably learned in Pony Club, though it might have been spelled out as Safety, during a Riding Instructors session, not as a Rule.

                                I was watching, then running to the arena as a horse half-reared in resistance, kid went off, and with a LOUD crack, hit his HELMETED head on the post! Very scary!! I got there fast enough to slide thru the fence while yelling HALT, grabbed the staggering horse and told the fallen kid to STAY DOWN. Arena kids did halt, then dismounted together, led animals out while I held his horse and waited for the Emergency folks to arrive. Kid got checked out, was fine, though dazed while laying on the ground. Embarassed the kid, being the center of all attention, but better than letting him move and possibly injure some body part. My First Aid Training always said to keep the injured still, until they are checked over. EVEN if they think they are fine! Broken necks don't always hurt, yet moving such a person could cripple then for life.

                                Kid had a high powered horse who COULD have been a problem, if he had gotten running among the other kids in the arena, from tiny ponies to big kids on big horses. Luckily horse hadn't recovered from being pulled sideways by the falling kid, before I was able to snag the reins.

                                This system worked VERY WELL, everyone was well in control of their animal, no problems dismounting from a halt, leading them QUIETLY out the other gate. Probably 25-30 horses in the arena at the time, just riding in various gaits, all in one direction. I love kids who take direction well in a ring! I do have a loud voice, also a big help so they all heard me at the same time. Kids all know me as part of the Horse 4-H Folks-In-Charge, always giving directions to them at Activities, no hesitation in halting-fast response.

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                                • #17
                                  I'm not aware of this being a pony club rule, but depending on the ages/ability levels of the riders, I don't think it is a bad idea. First of all, loose horses can behave unpredictably. Some kids might be experienced enough to see that a particular loose horse is not a threat at all, other kids might be oblivious to a loose horse that is going to cause trouble. I'd rather have loose horses than more kids falling off. A pony club or 4-H lesson might have a real mix of ability and experience levels and the instructors might not know their students as well as in the setting of lesson programs where kids regularly work with the same instructor.

                                  Secondly, though, when a person in a group lesson falls off, the attention of the instructor has to direct their attention 100% on the person who has fallen and any assistants are probably helping to catch the horse or possibly call for help. Even if the kids are relatively safe mounted, they are essentially unsupervised at this point, and I could see considering it an appropriate policy to not have lesson kids mounted but unsupervised. I've watched plenty of kids' group lessons in my time, and it takes about 10 seconds for certain kids to start daydreaming and let their horse walk right up on another horse that's gonna want to start kicking. I agree the rule is probably unnecessary for many minor situations and for experienced students, but honestly I think it is a good skill for kids to know how to stay calm, dismount and quietly hold their horse in the event of an accident or emergency occurring near them.

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                                  • #18
                                    Lucassb, thank you for the laugh! I'm from that paleologic pony club era, too, with the likes of terrifying but incredible gifted Colonel Llewicki, Caliente helmets that weighed a ton, and so much fun.
                                    On our farm, when something was done well, it was called, Pony Club A. If it was poorly done or a short cut, it was Pony Club F.
                                    Those safety lessons last a lifetime.
                                    That's why the kids are taught to dismount if someone has a fall.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Before I opened the thread, the title had me thinking of what we do in the barn when someone falls off: The person who fell has to buy ice cream for all those who witnessed it.
                                      At my barn if you managed to hit the mud the trainer would pay for everybody's afternoon snack, which meant eating chips and cola instead of the sandwiches everybody brought from home. It also meant kids would almost point towards the mud pit so we could all go for the snack!
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                                      • #20
                                        My last Pony Club involvement was a while back in the 90's but what amazed me was that when any of our kids fell they just lay there - even though they were not at all hurt or even had the breath knocked out they made no attempt to "shake it off" and get up. We had to call an ambulance for one girl who was perfectly alright but scared and she went to the emergency room for no real reason.

                                        I know we all pull out the "in my Day" stories but I got buried any number of times and automatically rolled over to at least try and get up. This group just landed like a sack of feed and stayed put on the ground!

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