I can't believe that, when one is in flight, so to speak, one has the
time to think "OK, judging by this situation I guess I should hang on." It
appears that it is strictly an instinctive reaction and a decision that you
aren't going to have time to make.
I noticed that no one mentioned a bucking strap. This is a strap that
goes around the base of the horses' neck. It serves no purpose for anything
but something to hang on to in case he gets a little frisky. For a greenie
like me, a bucking strap can also serve as a powerful reassurance, even if in
the event it's needed it may not help. At my age, falling off is a far more
painful proposition than the scornful looks I may get from someone who's far
more experienced a rider than me.
I remember the last time I fell off. We had just popped over a jump, the
horse spun to the left as I had told him, but I hadn't told my body-anyway, I
distinctly remember the horizon looking decidedly strange, and then ooooof.
Next is the big roman nosed Sarge looking down at me and saying "what are
you doing down THERE?"
I have to believe that, late at night, when everyone's in their jammies
and eating their hay and all the humans are gone, the horses all snicker and
laugh their butts off at "what happened today."
Michelle, horseless at the moment but working on it....