Came a Cropper

Eldest had her first fall today. That’s not bad, considering she started lessons in May. It was her second week of cantering and one thing led to another: heels rose up, stirrup got dropped, she lurched forward and sideways with a shriek, Elan spooked and off she went. Landed on her back and, lord, the screams of pain.

I made my way over from the other end of the arena to relieve her instructor who was kneeling beside eldest, trying to coax her upright. Got the girl on her feet, walked back over to the mounting block and coaxed her to remount for one very reluctant walk around the arena. Because I know that if you don’t get back on right away, you likely never will.

Got her home through much discomfort and dosed her up with some ibuprofen. She’s on the couch recuperating, feeling a bit better. Her back will still hurt for a while and tomorrow the bruise will show but I hope she doesn’t let this fall scare her off of a sport she’s thrilled to all summer long.

2 Responses to “Came a Cropper”

  1. Liz Ditz Says:

    I am a fellow “blogging for kids” writer, and also a horsewoman AND the mother of a horsewoman.

    Falling off is just part of the deal. DO be sure that she wears a helmet, not just when mounted but as the thing she puts on before she tacks up (this is just good horsemanship, especially with the littles–their heads are at a vulnerable height).

    I have found it better for me to back off and let my daughter’s coach respond to falls. Now that I’m videoing her regularly I have several falls on video.

    We play them back in slo mo so my daughter can see where pilot error came into play.

    Another thing that might help, if your riding instructor is up for it, is practicing the emergency dismount.

    A third thing is learning to fall correctly–you might invest a little bit in a few martial arts lessons, or tumbling. Many studios and dojos are willing to take a child on for just such a task.

    My daughter had learned both tumbling and some martial arts before she started riding seriously (at age 7), so she had the “flying through the air and landing on somthing OTHER than your feet” part of the program down.

  2. Ancarett’s Abode » Blog Archive » Dream funk Says:

    […] Oh, and for those keeping track at home, I should be at the stables but eldest has decided to give up on riding for the nonce. The fall took a lot out of her and while she did get back in the saddle, even going back for another week’s lesson, she doesn’t want to any more, right now. Maybe in the spring. I’ll try not to gnaw off my knuckles in envy that she even has the choice to make — it’s about as unlovely as annoyance. […]