what would you do?


I was reading through old posts, that I haven’t seen yet. And came across a couple of driving posts that brought up how dangerous driving is. It got me to thinking about what we’re supposed to do in the event something goes wrong. Do you remove everyone from the ring? Should riders dismount and go to the center of the ring if another horse takes off in the ring? I had a bad fall at the Michigan All Morgan show after my horse was kicked by another horse as it passed us. I ask this because I have no idea what the smartest thing to do in this instance is….sit there and wait it out, exit asap, or go to the center.


I found this video on another blog, and it brought about the same question – what would you do in this instance?



10 Responses to Accidents

  1. getmorganizedkc says:

    All the open shows I have been to make people dismount and stand on the rail when there is a loose horse, personally I hate this, if some horse is running around the ring like a crazy loony the last place I want to be is on the ground especially when I know my horse will remain under control, I have a better chance of moving out of the way of a galloping horse if Im riding than if Im standing on the ground

  2. Flmorgan says:

    I don’t know what you would do in a case like that one. I’ve never seen in person such a mess. No matter where the exhibitors went they weren’t safe until out of the ring but you couldn’t get out at first. I don’t think I would sit in my cart and do nothing to protect my horse or myself. It’s easy to say from the sideline but I think they let that situation get totally out of control quickly. I think Trainers should grab their horses and the Amateurs should have been put in the middle of the stage out of harms way. As far as riding goes we had a incident in a Academy Show where a horse took off on a child and another followed suite. All Trainers jumped in and grabbed their horses and the runaway who by then had dumped his rider was tackled by a Trainer. Crazy things happen with horses. I don’t know if there is a clear cut answer.

  3. evamorgan says:

    I was taught that you should head to the middle of the ring, most loose horses follow the rail. I have had to use this technique over the years and it does work.A couple of years ago there was a pretty scary accident in a amateur pl driving class and that is exactly what the loose horse did. Unfortunately nobody went to the middle, they were all down in one corner. Luckily only buggies were harmed but it was scary.
    It is amazing how quick something can go wrong. I am a safety nut but I’d rather err on the side of caution.
    Hopefully by discussing this we can be prepared and have an plan of action.
    Ann Scussell

  4. StacyGRS says:

    I certainly wouldn’t stay on the rail…getting to the center is much more logical and makes you able to move should the horse come towards you because you aren’t trapped on the rail. Harness is more scarey because they can’t see…generally a saddle horse, loose or not, won’t hear towrds another horse and hit it unless chased that way. They don’t usually get others out of the ring…opening the gate causes a whole new problem. Headers are certainly helpful, under saddle or in harness.

  5. empressive says:

    Go to the center. Everyone on here is on right. The center in the case of any problem is correct. These show horses are trained to go around the rail.

    When something bad happens horses tend to gather together. If they are already together then they have no reason to freak out and possibly the loose horse horse will calm down seeing that the other horses are together.

    I have seen the carraige incident multiple times. All I can say is heave ho! & bail. Unless you are some Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, Matt Damon take it in stride dude. Run. If your horse is the problem. Broken carts cost money, for your life there is no price.

    As for other WCS (Worst Case Scenarios) you can only learn from them.I have three friends and let’s just say we have far too much fun. I did try to teach my mare to cart myself and ended in failure.

    I flipped head over heels and ended on my back. It hurt. Sadly, I was young and did not take to defeat well. I thank God every day that I have Morgan’s. In that respect I completely agree with everyone on this site.

    As for open shows and the dismount rule… some people tend to freak out when bad things happen at shows. (I have a friend that can vouch for that! He has the stitches!:) or when anything dangerous with a horse happens. Sometimes they just freeze and therefore cannot stop their own horse if something happens. Not to mention that they may not even know what to do when WCS happens.

    In those cases that person needs a simple and easy plan to keep them safe. A general rule then is for that person to get off the horse. Plus if that horse is good on the ground and in the saddle then that person should be fine. Simple rules and commands keep people that freak out thinking and moving. It keeps them safe.

    Basically, there are leaders and sheep. Leaders figure out what to do and are always on their feet. Sheep freak out. I had a young 3 year old mare rear up on me in a class. She was afraid, so was the judge. The closer he came the more she went up.

    Finally she was about to go over and I jumped off, letting go of the reins with my right hand, and after landing on my toes, bouncing from behind the mare to her front. With the reins still in my left hand I was able to keep her from bolting and get her under control.

    In all of that (thanks to a videotaping friend of mine) I never yanked or tugged on her mouth. I even mounted again and left the ring. Of course, after I asked if I could continue in the class. That was a laughing, “No.” That judged never forgot me and no I am not a trainer. Just some horse crazy kid.

    Sometimes, though, in a class there are things you cannot control. In those cases you pray and have faith in God that you will exit the class safely. Another class a friend of mine was riding a stallion; she was boxed in by two novice riders.

    Both were riding mares. The stud was great and my friend, she kept him in check. My mare was in heat, so I was able to watch everything from the other side of the arena. She constantly had to reverse him out of these incompetent riders way. Until we were asked to reverse.

    Basically she was stuck, with the stud, in the middle, the novices behind her, and me in front. I was on the slowest horse. In no time she was behind me. The stud refused to pass even though I tried to slow my mare more. Which was an absolute pain, as she is already a firecracker.

    I thought of going faster, but she did not feel steady underneath me. As though she was thinking of bucking or kicking.
    To everyone else’s horror (I couldn’t see) he tried to mount. I had no idea and luckily he missed. After trying again, she was able to turn him towards the middle of the arena and out.

    I found out later. Like my friend said, “Stuff happens.” We cannot control everything and it is in those cases that we simply do our best to be ready and don’t freeze up. My friend did an excellent job for almost a whole class of pressure.

    And for her sake, in a class of 5 riders and 4 judges, I won. Even though my mare went LOCO! She was very pissy. I do have many other WCS (Worst Case Scenarios), but this is long and enough for now. Although, it is horrible to have to see or witness these things we can learn from them.

    Then if it ever happens to us or anyone else you know what to do. Playing the scenario in your mind helps too. So long as you do not become afraid. Fear is our worst enemy when riding a horse.

  6. EdanaLL says:

    This is a horrifying video to be sure, but if one good thing has come out of it, it’s lots of good discussion. It’s been a major topic on several of the lists I’m on. Driving accidents can be much nastier than riding accidents due to the greater potential for collateral damage and injury to horse and human.
    The American Driving Society, the organization that governs carriage driving, is right now working on safety protocols for driving shows. These protocols are aimed at show organizers, officials and staff so that a plan can be put in place beforehand and hopefully increase the chances for a good outcome should an accident happen.

  7. StacyGRS says:

    No…please do not BAIL if you have a problem with a horse in harness unless you are in a spot to have NO control AT ALL…as in your lines are broken…both of them. A loose horse with a cart is even worse than a horse pitching a fit in a cart. If you can possibly turn a horse into a fence/rail to give them pause for a second you will have the best shot at control. Slowing them down is very helpful to those that are trying to help from the ground. There was a pretty bad situation a couple of years ago at OKC with a horse that got a leg over the shaft. Had the driver bailed there would have been a panicked horse running, with cart, through a group of ama horses and drivers. Instead the driver continued to attempt to control the horse and eventually got it stopped without hurting anyone, horse included. Not alot of drivers are this competant, but those that are make the arena a safer place.

  8. empressive says:

    Sorry Stacy,

    I assumed the situation at its worst. If you can control the situation it is a good idea to try to control it. But like I said above some people just freeze up.

    I do agree on handlers though! When I first saw a driving class years ago I thought how silly that the person needed help. Later on when I watched a handler pull a lady out of the cart as her horse took off bucking and jumping in the line up I really knew what handlers are for.

  9. parksaddle1024 says:

    that was tough to watch, and confirmed the reason why I ride (although I know accidents can happen either under saddle or in harness). I have unfortunately seen three horrible buggy wrecks in the last couple of years, and several other near misses. I have seen trainers have the exhibitors get out of the buggy and bring the horses to the center of the ring and unhook them as soon as they can, which seems to make sense. It would have prevented the second horse from getting into such a horrible situation – at least if the horse takes off they don’t have the buggy hanging behind them. Having the exhibitors go into the judge’s area may not be the best idea – I have seen a horse crash right through one, and if you are inside a small structure there is nowhere to run.
    Hope everyone has a safe, fun and successful show season!

  10. jns767 says:

    BTW –

    I hear that nobody was hurt badly, just some bruises and scratches. All of the horses were okay as well. It’s still tough to watch, but not AS painful knowing that.

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