Rider Dragged by Horse
 By Winniefield Park   •   23rd Nov 2016   •   2,684 views   •   1 comments

Horses can hurt you in a lot of different ways. You can be bitten, kicked, bucked off, brushed off, fall off because the horse tripped, put the brakes on suddenly or spooked out from beneath you. They can fall on you which is very scary. But, I think being dragged is equally scary. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help avoid getting dragged.

If you watch old westerns, cowboys seemed to get dragged a lot. That was the movies, and often, the person who was dragged got up and dusted themselves off. Sadly, in some places long ago, getting dragged was an actual method of torture. A historical figure who was tortured in this way was Queen Brunhilda, who was tied to the tail of a horse about 1500 years ago.

While bruises, breaks, and other injuries can occur when you fall off, the injuries can increase if you end up under the hooves of a frightened horse. In addition to being pulled over the ground, you may get stepped on or kicked.

Itís unlikely anyone would be accidentally tangled in a horseís tail, but there are plenty of other things to get caught in that could result in being dragged. If your horse is the sensible type, you could fall off, get caught and have your horse come to a dead stop until you get untangled. But, not all horses are that level-headed. Sometimes the difference between falling off, and falling off and getting dragged is whether or not your horse freaks out at the sight of you hanging off its side.

So, how do you avoid getting dragged? First of all, give some thought to what you are wearing. English or western riding boots with a heel that will prevent your foot from sliding right through the stirrups are essential. They need to have a low tread - heavy lugged hiking boots and the like arenít a great idea. Long hair should be kept under control, and belts hidden beneath your top. Drapey jewelry will probably break if it gets caught on anything, but who wants to find out for sure? And of course, flowing tops, skirts and high heels arenít the best for riding.

Some types of tack and equipment are safer than others. Bareback pads and some types of treeless saddles turn very easily. They arenít as stable as a saddle with a tree and can slide sideways, especially on a round horse or one with very low withers. Western stirrups with tapaderos or hoods can help stop your foot from sliding through the stirrups. Likewise, there are many types of caged or breakaway English stirrups that will help prevent your foot from getting caught up. On English saddles you can leave the little latch on the stirrup bar snapped down, so if your foot does become caught, the stirrup leather can slide off easier. Helmets and body protectors are always a good idea.

Check the girth before mounting so your saddle doesnít turn. When youíre on the horse, there are a few things you should never do. Donít secure yourself to the horse in any way. This includes using rope or hook and loop fastener to tie yourself in. No joke, a few years ago I came across a device meant to attach your legs to the saddle so you wouldnít fall off. It used hook and loop fastener, which in the best circumstances should come unhooked when enough pressure is put on it. But this type of fastener can become very tightly meshed and may not unfasten that easily. If the saddle turned, the rider would have gone with it.

Donít tie or loop anything ,such as a lead rope or reins around your arms or hands or any other body part, whether you are mounted or walking beside your horse. And on the ground, donít hook your hand through your horseís halter. Keep the free end of your lead rope closed in your hand, rather than looping it around. As youíre sliding out of the saddle, move peacock style stirrups out of the way so you donít get caught. Some experts suggest that this type of safety stirrup is actually quite unsafe.

What do you do if someone gets dragged by their horse? Do as you should when anyone falls off. Everyone should dismount and all horses should be moved well out of the way. The horse should be secured and calmed, and if the rider is still attached, should be quickly freed from whatever is still attaching them to the horse. An accident like this is almost certain to have caused injury, so calling 911 is probably called for. If there is any possibility of a serious injury the rider should be given basic first aid to check for shock and vital signs, but not moved.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
Golden Spirit   
Fortunately, I have never been dragged. I've gone down with horses more than I've been bucked off, oddly enough. I think I would rather be dragged -.- I don't like somersaulting with horses.
  Nov 26, 2016  •  2,754 views
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