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A Fall By Another Name
 By Winniefield Park   •   1st Mar 2018   •   615 views   •   0 comments


What goes up, must come down claims the old adage. Ideally, you mount a horse and then dismount it, when, where and how you choose to. But, however much we think we are in control of our dismounts, certain circumstances can dictate the when, the where and the how of our dismounts. Of course, I’m talking about falling off... falling off happens.

Every rider, no matter how skilled, no matter how well trained their horse is, no matter how old, how confident, how secure in saddle or bareback, or how sticky your pants, at some point... you will fall off. You will never become immune to falling off. There is no sure way to make sure you won’t fall off no matter how hard you try.

It. Is. Going. To. Happen.

You might consider falling off as simply an ‘unscheduled dismount’. This suggests that you landed on your feet or thereabouts, dusted yourself off, and re-mounted. No big deal. You simply became ‘unhorsed’. And if you can de-train and de-plane, why not de-horse? But, not all occasions are so ordinary and dry.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
Falling off can be physically painful. Your body is (relatively) soft. The ground is hard. The average person isn’t really made to hit solid objects at speed. Falling off can hurt. But, falling off hurts emotionally too. After all, you and your horse have a relationship. You love your horse. You hope your horse loves you (and not just the sound of the grain bucket you’re carrying). So when you fall off, it can feel like a rift in that emotional bond. So rather than saying you’ve fallen off, it may feel like ‘you’ve parted ways’ or ‘parted company’, as if to say the rift was by mutual agreement.

Of course, relationships do end badly, leaving you feeling you were ‘ditched’ or ‘dumped’. An ‘involuntary dismount’ clearly suggests that you did not take the initiative and were somewhat of a victim. But getting ditched or dumped clearly suggests that horse was definitely the ditcher or dumper.

Back to Nature
Falling off means you become closer to the earth. You might hit or bite the dirt or dust. Or, eat a dirt sandwich. You might have taken a soil or turf sample, or bought some real estate. You could test gravel, or check for worms. As long as you’re down there and not in the way of hooves, you could check, taste or cuddle anything you want.

Free Flying Lessons
Then there are the falls that happen after a spectacular dismount. These tend to send you higher in the air and then crashing to the earth a little harder. Before you return to earth you might pinwheel, cartwheel or windmill. You might have been launched or had a flying lesson. Or you might have been rodeoed. You might gracefully swan dive or attain lift off. The flight can be glorious, but the landing rarely is.

Have I missed anything?
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