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Re: [RC] learning from riding accidents - Truman Prevatt

On a ride many moons ago I caught up to Lawton Johnston (AERC Hall of Famer) and a gentleman I am proud to say I called a friend on the last loop of a ride. Lawton was a ripe young age to 72 at that time. We ride the last 10 mile of that loop together both knowing we were in first and second place. I wasn't worried because I have never seen an Arab that could outrun a TB in a mile and my walking horse could outrun most TB I knew and she was very fresh.

At a mile out we cross a road and come in on a crushed limestone road. After we cross the road - Lawton takes off - my horse follows suit. I am holding her back with all I am worth - no reason to let her go too soon. In about 100 meters, Lawton's horse trips on a pot hole and they go flying. I stop, Lawton is getting up - dazed but no serious injuries. The horse is laying flat on the road. I told Lawton to stay there. I jumped on the mare -galloped like hell the last mile and told the nurses (the RM was a nurse and she had a bunch of her buddies there)  and vets at the finish to get the hell out to help Lawton.

Long story short - they both recovered.  This was December and despite five broken ribs and a separated shoulder from the fall they finished a ride in April and the Tevis that year.

What did I learn - it can be dangerous when your horse trips in a pot hole.

Moral - this is a sport of risk. You as the rider are responsible to manage those risk. If you are going to try to win the risk are higher. If you are going to try to win the probability of an accident is higher - just ask the guy that mashed into a tree a Million  Pines this past week-end.  You can only learn so much from someone's accident. It's really up to the rider to determine the risk and manage them appropriately. As Bob Morris often reminds us - it is ultimately the responsibility of the rider.


Tracy Cann wrote:
I've only been doing this since late 98 so I for sure don't know "all that".  But, on your question about accidents, well,,,,, sometimes no matter how careful you are they happen.  Every bad accident I've had over the years (been riding over 30 years, just Endurance for 5) just happened.  I've had multiple broken bones, 4 concussions, and some minor injuries.  Only one trip to the hospital required an ambulance and that involved a head injury.  If I hadn't been wearing a helmet I'd have died. 
What I'm saying is you only realize you're going too fast or not looking when it's too late.  I've been looking and going slow and still had a wreck because something else around me went wrong.  What I try to do is always think of safety and always think of what could happen "before" I try something.  That doesn't mean I won't try it, I'm just being careful.  If you saw the hole your horse shouldn't have tripped in it.  Lots of holes are hard to see until you're in them but you just look as hard as you can.  You can't sit perfect in the saddle all the time.  Actually, if you're always worried about how you're sitting you might miss something going on around you that could get you hurt.
The best you can do is remember you are responsible for your horse's safety as well as your own.  He relies on you to keep him in one piece and you can't let him down.  Do everything to improve your riding, learn good horsemanship skills (most of which don't involve riding) and most important "RIDE YOUR OWN RIDE!!!"  An Endurance veteran told me that a few years ago and it is the most important thing I have learned in this sport, and life for that matter.  Endurance isn't a competition between horses or people, at least to me.  IT'S A TEST OF HORSEMANSHIP.  Multi-days especially have taught me that.  Just keep that in mind and you'll probably get you and your horse to the finish safely.
Tracy Cann
p.s.  A great way to see if you are ready for a 50 is to do a multi-day LD.  If you can do 2 or (even better) 3 days of LD you for sure can do Endurance.  Have fun.
I guess no one is really getting what I am asking. If your horse tripped in a hole, could you have seen the hole and guided the horse around and just weren't paying attention? Were you going too fast? If your horse shied, were you not sitting straight on the saddle and that's why you came off? How hard is it to help people learn from your mistakes?

We imitate our masters only because we are not yet masters ourselves, and only

We imitate our masters only because we are not yet masters ourselves, and only

because in doing so we learn the truth about what cannot be imitated.


Re: [RC] learning from riding accidents, Tracy Cann