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Tripping (& Mares Vs. Geldings)

I started both these issues with my innocent questions.  Whew, what a
firestorm!  I'm glad I didn't also start the helmet issue (can we put that one
to bed yet?--of course you're an irresponsible nincompoop if you don't wear
one!!).  The mare vs. geldings issue has been settled for me, just got an
incredible, pure polish, four year old gelding who I expect great things from
in the coming years.  As far as tripping:  Of course you can't pull a 900
pound horse up by his head.  However, my experience has been that if you are
riding in a 'centered' manner, the horse balanced under neath you (not strung
out with his nose poking our front like he's swimming), with very light
contact on the mouth, you can indeed help him pull out of a trip.  I have seen
horses fall down in the pasture (had a yearling filly break her leg that way,
right in front of me), as Lynn says; they are not carrying 20 to 30% of their
body weight at the time (and still they fall!).  If you're up there you have
to do your job and ride in as balanced and athletic a way as possible and that
means being ready to help your partner out as needed -- I have never (knock on
wood) had a horse fall down while being ridden (that includeds alot of fast
endurance miles) I have noticed that most horses tend to trip more when they
slow down and are on flat smooth surfaces (they probably stop paying
attention) hence you're paying attention and collecting them up becomes
critical.  Sorry if this sounds like a lecture, but I truly believe we can
help our horses out by riding them, truly riding them.

Sylvia & Harca (known to trip, but never fall!)

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