Serious accident whilst out hacking...


New Member
Nov 11, 2013
Hi All,

I was hoping to get a bit of support from fellow riders after a rather scary experience yesterday. I would just like to point out, i wasn't riding my horse at the horse has been in and out of work for several months due to serious injuries and ailments. All we have been doing is hacking to build her fitness up before bringing her back to work (i trust my horse more than anything).

I was riding my friends horse, a section D gelding (she is on holiday at the moment). I have ridden this horse so many times before, hacking, schooling, jumping and never had any issues. I'm a confident rider, strong and riding feisty things doesn't bother me. My mare isn't exactly a novice ride.

So yesterday morning, i took him for a hack with a friend before riding my horse. We were going to go around the tracks we do all the time. We had to move out of the way of a car, which was fine but then my horse wouldn't go forward. I tried and tried, and no luck, we were tight for space as we had a ditch either side of us, so couldn't really manouvre him.

Anyway, next thing i know we are going backwards down a fairly steep ditch! I tried to get him to move forwards, but he wasn't having it and next thing i know i have slid down the back off him, in the ditch and he ended up on top of me. I was screaming for help, as he was trying to get up, he was catching me with his hooves, on my leg, my head and my face (luckily he is only shod on the front). I don't think it went on for very long, but felt like a lifetime. He pushed my head in the water and managed to get to his feet. I remember looking up, realised he was standing and the only thing i could think of was to slide out between his back legs. Not the brightest thing, but i just had to get out of there. Next thing, he ran home with my friend who called for an ambulance.

I am so lucky, my hat is damaged and i thank god for that. I have a fat lip and bruised face, badly bruised leg from the knee down, no brakes and ache all over.

I have had plenty of falls, but that is the scariest one ever and i hope i don't have to go through that again. I won't be riding him again, for sure and i am out of commision for 2 weeks.

My friend said i should have turned him out before riding, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and i have ridden him straight from the stable before and never had an issue!

I will tell my friend when she gets back this week, but i am dreading it. I love my horse to bits, and i know i can ride and control her, but there will always be something in me deep down that i need to get sorted before i get on my own horse. I will also be sticking to riding my own horse from now on as well.

Any advice on how to move past this? I am glad i wasn't riding my horse as i don't think i would ever get on her again. Any advice on how to approach my friend?

Sorry, bit of a long post so thanks for reading.


Gimpy Gimp Gimp
Jan 19, 2005
Crikey sounds nasty accident ! Scary :frown:

I would try to put it down to a freak accident and try not to blame the ride as such, There is always a risk attached if you are riding next ditches on the road, you said the horse slipped down it? Its not like it was doing anything malicious ( ie rearing/bucking/bolting with you on) it was just being a bit awkward like any horse can be.


New Member
Nov 11, 2013
He has been a bit funny lately, he was napping as he didn't want to go forward, even though he was being led by another horse. He is a little bit of a sod sometimes, he wouldn't go forward as asked, and as he went backwards he went backwards down the ditch. We moved out of the way as the pick up came past (the horses didn't like the splashing sound through the puddles), as we tried to continue, he blatantly refused to go forwards.

I tried to get him away from the ditch, but he wouldn't have any of it and just kept going backwards. I even leaned forward, made sure i didn't hang onto his mouth so we could go forward a bit, but that didn't work.Apparently, in a previous home, he has been known for going backwards down ditches (which was why he was sold).

His owner isn't the most confident of people, and i think if it had been her, she may not be here today (she is tiny).

I know accidents happen, unfortunatley, we have a fair few ditches where we hack, and usually we stay away, but we didn't really have much space. Riding near them has never bothered me before, but that was terrifying. Even my friend said she thought i was dead.


Gimpy Gimp Gimp
Jan 19, 2005
I think if you feel a risk riding the horse again, I would just leave him be and let the owner deal with his problems. I cant even being to imagine how horrific that must of been, you are so lucky you were not seriously injured. Its making me shudder the though of having a horse on top of you in a ditch :frown:

I dont think Id be riding him again given the details about his past now! Not my problem to deal with!


Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
very scary for you.

Bud fell with me on the road in a similar situation in that he was refusing to go past something and then lost his footing and came down - but fortunately we landed on the banking and there was no ditch and it was a true accident which didn't put me off.

If he has a history of this then I don't think I would ride him either, as he has got into it as an evasion habit and I don't like riding horses that don't want to keep themselves safe.


Well-Known Member
Mar 2, 2006
what Gimp said

i am not surprised you are now a tad nervous/unsure. I also would leave the horse for the owner to deal with when she has returned. I am sure you will feel fine riding your own horse when you get on her again.

My horse put my friend in hospital in August....i decided i was to be the only person to ride her after that happened, but a mutual friend (who was on the hack when the other lady was put in hospital) begged to take on Moet to ride - so i said yes, its worked out ok now. we were both a bit nervous riding Moet for the first time after the accident, but since then Moet hasnt put a hoof wrong so i truly believe it was a one off


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
I feel for you. I too have had crashing falls from other folk's ghastly horses, and to be fair the fearless person I used to be is no longer there and I think before I get on strange horses now and it takes me longer to build up entire trust in the horse I have taken on.

It was a freak accident, it happened, that means statistically it's not likely to happen again. Planters and ones who run in reverse are a nightmare.


Active Member
Dec 18, 2007
Bournemouth, Dorset
Gosh what a scary incident. Sorry you are battered and bruised but glad it wasn't any worse than that :biggrin:

You need to give yourself some time to let yourself settle from what was a pretty big shock. You may find yourself upset and shakey for a few days and that's perfectly normal.

It would be perfectly natural for you to be hesitant about getting back on a horse after that, and hopefully when you get back on your own, you wont feel quite so bad about it. Don't feel that you have to jump straight on and be hareing around. Give yourself some time and space and build your confidence back up again slowly. If that means you feel anxious very quickly, that's fine - get off and call it a day and then just work up slowly. Repeated good experiences will smoother a bad one, but only if we don't push ourselves too hard.

For me I like to analyse the situation, think about what might have caused it and most importantly think about strategies I could use again if my horse started to behave like that - get off, turn, one rein stop, avoid that path until I felt confident etc. I find having lots of 'arrows in my bow' or strategies to try, makes me feel confident that I can manage a similar situation differently.

However that said, sometimes you just have to accept that occasionally 'shit happens' for no particular reason and come to terms with that - sometimes things are out of our control but that doesn't mean it will happen again or that we shouldn't plan for how to deal with it.

With regards your friend I think you just need to be very straight and honest with her - let her know exactly what happened and how scared you were but without getting carried away. Think about what you might say if you were filling a police report - that way she gets the facts, warts and all, without scaring the pants off her or making her feel guilty for something that isn't her fault.

Best of luck in your recovery - physical and emotional


Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
Surrey Hills
I am so glad that you are not more badly hurt. Having been stepped on myself this year I really empathise and know how sore and scary it is even without the added complication of a ditch!

I agree that your friend's little b*gger or a Welsh D is best left to her. As for getting back on your own horse, there is lots of good advice on here. Take it slowly, do what suits you both, enjoy her.

Good luck!


New Member
Nov 11, 2013
Thanks everyone. I don't think i will be riding him again, and its up to my friend what she wants to do. There was 2 of us, so if she wants to check that i'm not going overboard, then that is fine as well.

I know sometimes people can exaggerate things, so having a 'witness' can help.

I have just been down and spent some time with my girl. I don't feel nervous at all with her, we have a pretty great bond. If i feel up to it next week, i might do some long reining and ground work with her to keep her ticking over and so she hasn't had 2 weeks of prior to me getting back on board.

If i am able to do that, i may have a lesson, mainly in walk at the moment as we are still building her work up after having a rough year (we both have dodgey legs at the moment) and go from there. I always hack her out on my own, and have never been scared that she will do something quite as horrific.

I think if we hadn't been close to the ditch, we would have been fine, but there was no where else for us to move out of the way. I'm not usually bothered about falling off, i have fallen of my girl lots of times when i first got her and always got straight back on, but that just isn't worth the risk. I don't want to injure myself or get killed on someone elses horse.

I think i am getting older and wiser?? :biggrin:

Thanks everyone for your advice and support. I will be going helmet shopping at the weekend...Luckily i work from home, so just doing what i can for now.

Have a lovely evening


Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2007
East Yorkshire
That sounds very scary! I agree with everyone else. Eventhough I do normally ride in the afternoon due to work I will ride in the morning before turning him out
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