Safety first: Falling

My junior year of college I got burnt out taking classes I didn’t think contributed to my degree. So I transferred from a university to a two-year community college to spend a semester… riding horses.

Ironically, the way the journalism program was structured the classes counted toward my degree.

I spent most of my weekends from the age of 8 to 18 trail riding, so I knew I had the basics. Granted, I’d never sat an English saddle in my life, I planned for an easy semester. I was thrilled to see things like polo wraps, a hoof pick, and curry comb on my supply list instead of calculators and books.

Literally, the first thing on the list though – a helmet. And the very first class, we were taught how to fall off.

Odd, considering my entire life I’d spent trying to stay in the saddle.

It showed. When the instructor shouted “BAIL” and everyone intentionally threw their weight off the side of their mount, I fell. Hard and flat. We probably fell 30 times the first day. By the end of the first week, I’d mastered the tuck and roll.

Fortunately, I never had to use it in any sort of practical sense while I was there. But looking back, learning to how to fall properly was one of the most important lessons I took away from that entire semester.

Have you taught your kids how to fall?



About Farm Safety For Just Kids

Farm Safety For Just Kids is a non-profit organization devoted to promoting a safe farm environment to prevent health hazards, injuries, and fatalities to rural children and youth. We produce and distribute educational materials addressing various dangers commonly found in the rural environment. Farm Safety For Just Kids is supported by a chapter network of grassroots volunteers located throughout the United States and Canada. The organization also has part-time outreach coordinators in several states. Chapters, outreach coordinators, and volunteers conduct educational programs to raise awareness about safety and health issues affecting their communities.
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1 Response to Safety first: Falling

  1. roberta4949 says:

    wish I had learned the emergency dismount maybe I would of had more confidence in riding my own horses let alone anyone elses. my biggest fears of riding is not bucking, but bolting me into a tree, wire, someones yard, fence, traffic you name it, not running in general because in a field there is nothing to hit but when there are yards, trees, cliffs, pole wires, etc there is the danger the horse will duck and you will get hammered. being able to safly bail would of been a boom to my confidence. glad you got to learn that, hopfuly with few

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