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Practice Emergency Dismounts

Does your fear of falling off prevent you from getting on?

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Does your fear of falling off prevent you from getting on? Pat Parelli says, “Prior and Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” 

Using that concept, take 10 minutes to practice an emergency dismount. Pat also says to “separate, isolate and recombine.” Starting bareback, use a mounting block or fence, and simply drape yourself over your horse’s back — don’t even throw a leg over — then slide right off. When you feel confident sliding off and landing on your feet, add the next step and throw a leg over. Then get right off again.  Practice this dismounting exercise on both sides of your horse. Once you saddle up, use the standard emergency dismount — drop your stirrups, grab your horse’s mane, lean against his neck, throw your leg over and slide down. Ten minutes of getting on and sliding off will give you the confidence to know you can dismount effectively when you need to.

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Practice Emergency Dismounts

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Reader Comments

Julie    International

2/12/2014 3:41:18 AM

Why do all the people who comment assume that emergency dismounts are performed at a speed. What about cases where a horse has managed to get caught up in say a gateway for example and is panicked surely this kind of dismount would be beneficial. I didn't read anything that suggested I use this at a gallop???!

Kim    horseland, MN

4/19/2012 6:45:06 AM

I agree with the Kiwi!! I have been to your beautiful country and you know your horses!!! You are 100% right. Us Yanks huh? What ya gonna do with us? LOL. It should be called the deadly flying dismount. I dont know when this started this emergency dismount crap but its crazy.

Kim    horseland, MN

4/19/2012 6:37:06 AM

I totally disagree with the Emergency Dismount crap. I met a girl who was in a wheelchair with two broken legs, collar bone and just had her jaw unwired. She said she had to do an emergency dismount because her horse was going to fast. she was trappeled and almost killed. Ask yourself this? If you see a big tractor trailer coming at you that might hit you would you jump out of your car? Come on Pat. This should not be taught.

Ralph    New Zealand, AL

12/31/2010 2:50:40 PM

If you spend the right amount of time on groundwork exercises you should not be riding a horse that will bolt (becasuse it is respectful and acknowledges you as being the leader and because it has been desensitised to as many objects as you can think of), and you should have taught the horse to yield the neck and shoulders (in fact every body part) before you are even riding. I believe that as soon as you start thinking about the ground and how you are about to get off, that you will soon be there!! It is very very dangerous to get off a galloping horse and way safer to stay on. Keep upright and look ahead between the horses ears and stay balanced. If the horse has been taught to yield to pressure over and over again (you should not be riding if it has not been ), then you are far better getting the horse to yield its neck with a one rein stop. This does not mean to jerk the head around but to pull it around progressively towards your knee. This should have been practiced lots and lots of times already at the walk, trot, and canter, in a controlled environment (eg a round pen) before you are ever in a place where a horse may bolt. The only time you would ever think of an emergency mount at speed is if you are going over a cliff or something similar, the rest of the time my advice is to learn to ride it out.

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