Getting Back On The Horse: A Word of Advice

Greetings from Oranjestad, Aruba everyone!

Horses and motivational sayings have a long proud history in America. As Ronald Reagan once said, “There’s nothing so good for the inside of a man like the outside of a horse” Many famous equestrian idioms have been inducted into our daily life, however none have taken off quite like the saying, “When you fall off a horse, you have to get back in the saddle”, along with its many variations and adaptations. Though it is unclear who first said this motivational phrase (and when), it has served as one of the most universal motivational phrases for nearly every difficult situation: If we are to assume that ‘life’ had all the mannerisms of a horse, then we must ‘fall off’ all the time. Don’t believe me? Here are a few situations where this phrase works fairly well:

Lose your job? Get back in the saddle and ride it out.

Rough hangover from the night before? Get back on the horse.

Or take it from Sandra Bullock:

“I didn’t think I was ready to go back to acting, but that role was a great way to get back on the horse.”

(Actress Sandra Bullock talking about returning to movies after her divorce. (Associated Press))

Image courtesy of Laurel Hill Event Horses. Click to read their suggestions on how to fall safely from a horse!

So what is it like falling off a horse? Speaking from experience, it can range from a momentary unseating and having the wind knocked out of you, to possibly breaking bones and receiving a concussion. Falling off a horse does not typically result in death.

Image courtesy of Strange Farmer.

Bearing this in mind, don’t feel bad if you can’t ‘get back on the horse’ right away: most riders don’t either. Are you having a bad day, and don’t feel like ‘getting back on the horse’ yet? What I find usually helps, is watching celebrities fall off horses. Rather than make you scour the internet, I have embedded some of my favorite falls:

At any rate, I hope everyone is having a great spring break! I am planning on taking a horseback riding tour of the gorgeous Wariruri Beach during my stay here in Aruba, and just in case anyone else is planning on doing the same, I have included some tips in case you actually fall off a horse during break:

1. Relax into the fall: tensing-up will only result in more injuries.

2. Make sure you kick your feet out of the stirrups (if you are using a saddle). This will keep you from getting dragged.

3. Loosen up, and try to roll into a ball: this will displace the impact evenly and result in less injury. DO NOT try and land on your feet or hands, as this will increase the chance of injuring them!

4. As soon as you land, check yourself and your horse for any injuries. If your back hurts, see a doctor before getting back on. A trained equestrian can usually make the judgement call on whether the injury is too bad to ride, however beginners CAN NOT.

Have a fun and safe rest of spring break! Stay tuned for my Wariruri Beach update!

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2 thoughts on “Getting Back On The Horse: A Word of Advice

  1. MOAR pictures of celebrities falling off horses! WOOO

  2. Carol Curley says:

    Falling off horses can be expensive if you have to ply the trainer with a bottle of champagne when you do an “emergency dismount”!

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