Here's Bob having a great time riding Tux, a mighty sharp Appaloosa. Bob is still smiling in this photo which was taken after his involuntary dismount off Tux. For a couple of other recent riders on the Pilot Knoll equestrian trails near Lake Lewisville, the outcomes of their rides were the opposite extreme.
Jamie was out riding on a Friday evening with her husband, when she decided to give her horse the "OK to Go' cue. With that, her horse catapulted down the trail and Jamie was unable to stick on. Jamie was launched off her horse, came down hard and fractured four bones in her ankle area. A seemingly worse case occurred just a couple of days ago. A woman was found unconscious on the trail without her horse and without any identification. The woman's condition and identity are unknown as of this writing.
With the spate of recent horseback riding wrecks, the equestrian community has sent out helpful emails reminding riders to always ride with a buddy, carry an ID, emergency phone numbers and a cell phone on their person. Also recommended is to attach ID's and phone numbers on the horse. This is good advice, however, riders should consider attending trail riding clinics where both horse and rider develop their confidence and skills via being exposed to all kinds of new experiences under the guidance of an experienced trainer. Riders will learn to help the horse deal with its own spookiness and at the same time improve their own sense of timing and balance when encountering unexpected obstacles and events.
The implicit suggestion in the last paragraph is: Before you ride out on the trail, prepare your horse and yourself in as many ways as you can, the face you save will be your own.
For more info: Visit local horse clinician websites to see their current offerings and schedules. (Plan to add several links here.)