I was riding my gelding after lots of off and on rides for about the last several months with 2 other geldings. One horse was dead quiet and mine was on the buckle and the third was was quiet at that time.  For the first time in 11 years that I have owned him, he has never lunged at another horse in a defensive position with me on him.  First of all I learned from that move that   you can fall off at a walk, second thing is that as he ages he get more herd bound in that on the cross ties he was very busy,  and the last thing is that he needs a lot more work on the ground for me to be the leader of the 2 of us!  We did this last May and he was trying to be the leader and it took me 2 days to sort us out!  I am also not very strong mentally or physically right now and he know it!

Bottom line is that you can come off at the walk and never let your guard down and get too comfortable as they can end up  on the ground at a walk!

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Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 9, 2012 at 6:09pm

I hear you Marlene, trotting out on the trail my first horse was especially likely to spook if I was practicing keeping MY body relaxed, lol.  I'd get all my muscles nice and loose, then WHAM, my horse was no longer under me.  Then I would ride properly, with alert somewhat tense muscles, then I would forget and the next time I practiced being all relaxed on the trail--WHAM.  The last time was YEARS after the time before, it was like he was waiting until the perfect moment when I was all relaxed and he was ready to wait as long as it took.

Fortunately he did let me relax at the walk and at the walk he did only minor spooks that I could ride. 

The last time a horse tried to spook out from under me it was from a standstill going straight forward, was I glad my saddle had a pretty high cantle, that was the only thing that kept me on.   

Comment by Marlene Thoms on April 9, 2012 at 4:23pm

I have fallen off at a walk. The idea that if you are just calm, your horse will be calm, and not spook has been disproven for me. Near the end of a long ride, after days and weeks of supposedly working out the spooks with consistent rides, with what I thought was a tired horse, on a lovely day, me relaxed, a familiar trail....what could go wrong? My horse spooked at NOTHING, did a 180 from downhill to uphill, and I was left downhill. After that I caught on to never relax, never let my guard down (and of course as Jackie says, I always wore my helmet). The only reason I didn't sell him that day was he didn't run away when I was down, and I didn't have the feeling he was trying to dump me. And he did let me crawl back up and get home without incident, and I was very thankful for that because I could ride, but I couldn't walk.

Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 9, 2012 at 9:17am

While I haven't had the experience of falling off at a walk, I have had a few hairy moments at that gait.

This is why we ALWAYS need to wear a helmet when we ride, even if the rider just plans to walk!

Even though most horses quickly realize I am much weaker than they are, I have found that if my DETERMINATION is stronger than theirs I can make quite a bit of progress with them. 

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