Should You Jump Alone?
It is always tempting to get in as much riding and jumping practice as you can. The times that you are available to ride may not be busy ones at the school, which can leave you all on your lonesome. But what happens if you suffer a bad fall? Who is going to summon help for you if you are seriously injured?
Alice Dunsdon Sustains Nasty Fall
The potential dangers of riding alone were thrown into sharp focus recently when four-star event rider Alice Dunsdon was jumping one of her younger horses. The incident has prompted her to warn other equestrians of the dangers of jumping alone.
Alice was riding in her sand school. Her four-year-old gelding had taken a fence impressively but then two strides after landing, he stumbled. Alice was thrown out of the saddle and the horse rotated over her and narrowly missed landing right on top of her prone body.
The pair had been tackling fences of no more than 1m. The horse had landed perfectly and Alice was about to make an observation about how well he was doing. But he then stumbled onto his knees, his head went down and he rotated straight over her. Luckily she was thrown clear of the out of control horse.
Fortunately, both horse and rider escaped injury and Alice’s mother and friend were at the school when the accident happened. Alice had always been quite happy and relaxed about jumping on her own but now she isn’t so sure about the wisdom of doing that.
Those Vital First Few minutes
What happens in the minutes immediately after a fall can be so crucial and potentially life changing. Especially if a rider is knocked unconscious, swallows their tongue or sustains a serious injury. It is vital that the rider receives assistance immediately. Even if there are people at the yard, they may be busy and so not realise that there has been an accident.
Alice has said that she will now think twice about jumping alone and plans to ensure that there is always someone with her. No rider has any control over when they have an accident and even the finest equestrians can find themselves in serious trouble. You can, however, control the safety gear that you are wearing and whether or not there is someone with you.
Should you jump alone? Probably not!