While it's never fun to fall off of a horse, this is something that you should always be prepared for as a horseback rider. How you fall off a horse will affect the injuries you might sustain from the event.

Preparation Before the Ride

Use the bathroom before riding a horse. If you fall with a full bladder, you could rupture it. Make sure that you only mount a horse that is easy to ride. Your saddle will need to be tied securely to the horse.

Always wear a proper horse riding helmet. Check the inside to make sure it has an ASTM/SEI label. The chin strap should be secured tightly so the helmet doesn't fall off during the fall. Also, if you wear gloves, it'll be easier to control the horse. Wearing a crash vest will protect your torso, and is recommended if your horse will be jumping. A horseback riding equipment store like The Riding Store can give you more information.

Hug, Plank and Roll

The hug, plank and roll method will allow you to avoid the majority of injuries. Cross your arms on your chest to reduce the risk that you will break your arm or wrist.

Keep your body rigid and straight. As soon as you hit the ground, begin rolling to move away from the horse so you aren't trampled. You must resist the urge to hold onto the reins, which would prevent you from rolling. The reins may yank your arm and cause you to dislocate your shoulder. Also, you may yank the horse's mouth and cause it to become more panicked.

Catching the Horse

If you aren't injured after the fall, you can usually grab the horse quickly while it is standing there, surprised that you are no longer riding it. If not, your horse will likely ride away. However, if you feel pain or are dizzy after the fall, it is better to let someone else catch the horse.

If You are Injured

If you will be riding alone along a trail, tell someone where you are going. Also, bring a cell phone so you can call someone for help if you fall off and become too injured to return on your own.

Practicing Falling

Find a course that teaches you how to fall properly. Even if you know intellectually what you shouldn't do, practicing the proper techniques can help drill these lessons into memory. Even if you don't take a course, find a safe place to practice falling.