“When You Fall Off A Horse, Get Right Back On.”

Well, hold on. Should you really?

It’s a common phrase yelled at learners who find themselves lying on their back in an arena. They’re staring at a wide-eyed horse, the dust of a horse galloping in the other direction, or a horse with a smirk on her face that seems to say: Yeah, try getting back on. I’ll buck ya right off again.

So… pretty much, unless they’re an experienced rider, that person crawls back on with a nervous, frustrated, embarrassed or angry energy and the same thing happens. And the cycle repeats itself over and over and over. Just to be clear, I do think you should get back on, but before you do so, you have to think about a few things:

  1. If it was the horse’s “fault” you fell off = don’t get on right away. Some variable is obviously missing in your relationship and training. Figure out what it was that caused your horse to spook, buck, rear, etc. and deal with that on the ground until you feel confident they’ll be safe to ride, or that you can handle what they do. Your fear of getting back on will intensify the more time you let pass, but you also don’t want to get back on if your life’s at risk and you don’t feel safe. If you still don’t feel certain about it, maybe let a more experienced horsemen play and work with your horse first, to give you some confidence and tips.
  2. If it was your “fault” = get back on! I think this is why most riding teachers tell their students to get right back on, because they can see it was a mistake the student made and they want to teach them what they should’ve done – at least I hope so. In this case, it is the rider who needs to get on and correct what they did and improve themselves. When this happens, definitely hop back on, even if it’s for a few minutes. Try to end on a better note than a crash and burn.


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