In EN’s Monday Video from Tredstep Ireland, we get a scary reminder of why it’s important to know how to vault off your horse at any moment.
The first 10 seconds of this video will make your heart stop. At Bramham CCI3* (Under 25 division), Arthur Bonneau riding Quasar du Saillan came too quickly on approach to a big galloping fence (#7, triple brush), and missed. The horse hits his front legs hard, the rider is shot forward, and the horse stumbles to his knees on landing. The rider actually TOUCHES THE GROUND with his hands in front of the horse’s face, ripping off the bridle in the process. Miraculously, the horse recovers and flings the rider back into the saddle. (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!) However, the horse takes off with bridle now tangled around his hind feet and the rider, left with no way to control his horse, does what any good Pony Clubber would do: an emergency dismount.
The rider earns a 9.2 for creativity and difficulty, but could have stuck the landing better.
What do we learn from this?
1.) Balance and half-halt a bit more before the fence.
2.) Back in the olde long-format days, grooms used to braid a small section of mane directly behind the bridle path, and tie the bridle crownpiece to the braid. Perhaps we should re-visit that tradition?
3.) Always practice your emergency dismounts. You never know when you may need it!
In all seriousness, eventing can be a dangerous sport and accidents happen. Thankfully no one was injured in this mishap, but we should all do our best to ride safely and be as prepared as possible.