How to Recover from a Fall off a Horse

Ouch!! You've just fallen off a horse. Talk about getting dumped in a bad way! Luckily, most spills are just bruising to your ego, but a fall from a horse can cause serious injury. It can take awhile if you're actually injured, but by reading this article, you can (hopefully) recover from a fall.


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    Stay put for a moment. Until you ascertain whether or not you were injured, don't get right up.
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    Move your joints to test for pain. If you feel even slight pain don't move until the feeling passes. If it doesn't pass, wait for someone to come get you (hopefully you were not riding all alone).
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    Check your body for any cuts, bruises, scrapes etc. If you find any, get to appropriate first aid as soon as possible. Don't feel that you need to jump right back on your horse at that moment. Take care of your injuries before worrying about riding again.
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    Relax. A simple spill isn't something to get all tense or upset about - it's part of the game. If you aren't relaxed you could spook your horse or make your pain worse if you are in pain. If you stay relaxed, your horse might just stay by your side so you can catch him.
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    Assess the real damage. Are you really hurt? Or is your dignity bruised worse than your body? If you're okay, get up, brush yourself off, and go find your horse.
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    Care for your horse. Your horse is probably unnerved, too. Whatever the reasons you came off him, whether he was spooked and threw you, or you made a mistake, losing a rider can make a horse nervous. If you're lucky, someone will have caught your horse for you, or he'll have stayed by you. If you're not so lucky, you may need to hitch a ride back to the barn and find your errant mount. Once you do, if you aren't going to ride any more, spend some time walking him to his stall, removing his tack, grooming and talking to him to soothe him after the incident.
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    Get back on. If you aren't injured, consider getting back in the saddle right away. It'll help you calm yourself and your horse, and reassure you that you can ride, and that falling off isn't inevitable. Getting back on the horse also assures your horse that throwing you is not a way to end the ride. If you are working with a green or difficult horse, it's important for them to understand that throwing you will not get them what they want, getting back up and even just walking them around for a few minutes helps end the ride on a good note.
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    Get a new helmet If your fall was serious enough to knock your helmet hard, you will need to replace it. The helmet's integrity could be compromised to the point where it won't protect you after the fall. If a fall is hard enough to crack or dent a helmet, it would have caused serious brain injury if you had not been wearing a helmet. Helmets are the most important part of any riding gear.


  • Have a laugh about it!t It will make you feel better about it!
  • Try to roll when you fall off, as you are falling, tuck your head, this can help protect your head and neck from serious injury.
  • Always wear your riding gear:

    • For English riding: riding pants (jodhpurs or breeches, which you can find at any good equine store), boots, half chaps, and a helmet.
    • For Western riding: stout denim jeans, a good pair of boots, a long sleeved shirt, and a good hat like a Stetson or Resistol.
  • When you fall off, it is important to get back on if uninjured. This helps to boost your confidence, and let your horse know that throwing you off is not a way for them to get the ride to end.
  • Western riders out in the wild, wild west have a tradition: it's said that when you're tossed from your horse, you own that piece of real estate where you landed. Some riders are land barons, by that reckoning!
  • If you are ok after a fall, get back on because otherwise you might be scared the next time it comes to riding!


  • If you fall off a horse don't become afraid of that horse and never ride that horse again. A fall could change your riding point of view, but if you allow your fear to rule your riding, it can rule your life as well.
  • If a horse is too much for you, don't be afraid to admit it. It's far better to tell a stable hand or your teacher that you and the horse won't get along than it is to pick yourself up and walk back to the barn after a fall.
  • Start simple. Attempting advanced moves on a difficult horse in your first month of lessons is a good way to fall.

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Categories: Riding