One of our #Hack1000Miles challengers, Mike Mills and his horse Jess, recently had a nasty fall while out hacking.
“I knew the track well and we’d travelled on it thousands of times in both directions and in all weathers.
“We were heading towards home in canter when Jess tripped. She lost her footing and fell. All I was thinking was ‘this is going to hurt’.
“Jess ploughed into the ground, catapulting me out of the saddle. As I come to rest on my front I saw Jess was rolling towards me at some speed. She landed on me, with my legs trapped under the back of her belly before she managed to find her feet.”
Both ended up covered in mud and Jess received a nasty cut on her shoulder and one above her right eyelid.
Although in shock, Mike was physically unharmed.
They walked home - Mike calling his wife to alert her to what had happened – and the rider was relieved to see that his mare showed no signs of lameness. They cleaned and patched up the wound as best they could while awaiting the vet.
“We called our vet who cleaned and assessed the wound and gave Jess some antibiotics and a course of bute,” added Mike.
While a little sore the next day, both are well on their way to recovery.
What to do if you fall out hacking
Thankfully, situations like this are rare. Hacking is great fun and hugely beneficial to both you and your horse, but it’s important to stay safe.
If something happens, having the following in place will help:
Tell someone where you are going and how long roughly you expect to be.
Always carry a fully charged mobile phone. Make sure you have saved numbers for an emergency contact on your yard and your vet, just in case.
Attach a tag to your horse’s saddle and/or bridle with an emergency contact number on it - just in case you get separated and someone else finds your horse.
It’s also important to have an emergency contact number for a family member/friend attached to you somewhere, in case you are found unconscious.
Consider using an app to record your hacking route. Some have the ability to tell a family member/friend where you are at any given time and an alert will sound if you are motionless over a certain period of time.
If you do fall off, shock often sets in. It’s difficult, but try to remain calm. You’ll be in a better position to manage the situation and help your horse if you are calm.
Remember, it pays to be prepared.
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