Reflex instinct when falling off?

Skib

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How many people automatically put out an arm to save themselves as they fall off?

One reason I have never hurt myself falling (touch wood) is that I dont seem to put out an arm to try and save myself. I thought my reflexes might be bad due to old age.

However, teenage Grand daughter fell off for the first time a week or two ago and her Mum, a doctor, ran up to ask if her arm and wrist were OKay.

Grand daughter was mystified why her arm might be hurt falling off - It seems that like me it never entered her head to put out an arm. And it wasnt automatic as her mother assumed.

So is it old age that has slowed my reflexes? Or could it be genetic, that neither grand daughter nor I have the instinct.
 

BeingKate

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Yes i seem to always put my arm out- Not that i know why or how, but one of my falls where i 'put my arm out' resulted in this:


Aiiiiii ow ow ow ow ow!!!!

My other half did similar when he came off Bob, he's a lorry driver and broke his wrist - not a good injury for that particular career especially as he was agency and didn't get sick pay!
 

ljohnsonsj

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Aiiiiii ow ow ow ow ow!!!!

My other half did similar when he came off Bob, he's a lorry driver and broke his wrist - not a good injury for that particular career especially as he was agency and didn't get sick pay!
I didn't break anything! Somehow, and the doctors was baffled! I'm still not sure how i did it,but suffered a lot with my whole arm and collarbone for a while. I broke my wrist and hand earlier last year on a baby on a yard i was working for and got the same! Bye and see you when your cast is off! Thanks a bunch! :|
 

soulfull

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Not any more. I did it twice when I was younger once fell off bike broke left wrist then at 16 fell of motorcycle out left hand out again and cut the artery in Palm of my hand

When falling off horses I tend to concentrate on making sure foot comes out of the stirrup as that means turning head to look the rest of body usually follows and rolls, which ends up me flat on my back

Only exceptions were coming out the side door that fast I landed as though I was still on the horse and badly broke my ankle

Second when horse literally ejected me so land superman style in the sand 3 wks later found out I had fractured my hand

Lastly horse moved quickly as I had put foot in stirrup, foot got stuck for a second so landed on my butt. I knew foot was fractured but went for the hack as we had boxed up lol
 

teapot

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Nope, don't think I did in my last fall. In fact, that fall meant pain for my shoulder and backside, fairly sure given where I started coming off and where I ended up I must have rolled given the speed she decided to spin at!

Tuck, bend and roll people, or at least try. Putting your arms out can do more damage than good especially to your wrists, elbows and collarbones.
 

Fransurrey

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I tend not to have any reflexes at all when it comes to falling off. The joys of being dyspraxic. Brain does not communicate with limbs at speed!! This means I'm at the mercy of how I come off. Bucked off = faceplant, except for the one time I went full circle in the air and landed to the right of my pelvis and tore the muscle off. Something I replicated (thankfully with body protector) on my left side 3 weeks ago when my mare spooked, spun and shot off all in less than a second. So, I either land on my face or bounce like a plane landing!! Neither recommended, but both preferable to the pic above. Ouch!! I've only broken my arm once and that was falling backwards ice skating. I didn't so much put my hand out as just land on it with my full weight at speed. I did a good job on that one!!
 

stormclouds

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Can't recall ever putting an arm out - am usually nursing bruised shoulder (always left! always!) after a fall, so I must have got into good practice at some point at landing like that (subconsciously anyway...) Had a nasty fall a few months ago, landing on arena surfacing that was about as forgiving as tarmac. You could see the skidmarks on my skin, where I'd managed to land on my hip and bounce along to finish up on my shoulder (a rough guess as there was more skin missing from my hip than shoulder)

Once managed to get jumped off a friend's horse, do a complete cartwheel through the air, and land sat on my knees with legs tucked up beneath me. Riding instructor was sobbing she was laughing so much and recommended I start gymnastics with such neat finishes haha.

That is one impressive bruise up there!!
 

Tikimouse

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All my falls have happened so quick and I'm on the floor before I realise due to the little pony I ride. However the only time I do have to think is to not let go because I'll never get him back! Which by the sounds of it is a good thought to have to avoid putting my arms out to save myself
 

Firefly9410

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My natural reflex is not to put an arm out but to relax, I hit the ground floppy and usually roll due to the impact. I hold onto the reins loosely but if I feel myself dragging I let go. I am another one who normally lands on my side/back/shoulder.

If my face is aiming for something I will put out one or both arms but only to absorb a bit of the impact. It is hard to describe. I feel the impact and take a bit of pressure down my arms but it feels like I am crumpling the joints. Controlling the fall a bit and lessening the impact to my face rather than trying, stiff armed, to prevent the impact all together.

It is the same if I land on my feet, my joints crumple on feeling the impact and I curl into a roll.

What is instinctive is to spring instantly to my feet and go after the horse, which often causes me minor injury and/or a second fall! I have to remind myself to stay down and keep still until I have had a chance to assess the damage, then get up slowly. The horse is usually in an enclosed space so not going to come to harm.
 

JCW

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When I fall off everything seems to go in slow motion and when I hit the ground I think I go all floppy too. I have very rarely managed to hold onto the reins. It's almost as though as soon as I have left the saddle I have given up and just waiting for the inevitable crash landing and by the time I hit the floor, I am like a rag doll. Sometimes my life has flashed before my eyes too! Generally I think I fall on my back.
 

Dave's Mam

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My first ever fall off, at 11, stuck an arm out & landed in hospital, in traction for 5 weeks with 5 fractures in my elbow. Funny, I seem to have learnt not to do it.

I must add that this was off a 12hh pony!
 

Wagtail

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I always fall on my head. always. (its very big).
Me too! Well when I have been bucked off I do. I recently had an MRI of my neck and those falls have taken their toll. Every disc is compacted and one is badly prolapsed. Quite scary when you look at the pictures and see how the disc is pushing against my spinal cord. Will explain why my arm keeps going to sleep.
 

Dubsie

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I cured my sciatica by falling off. Remembered to totally relax and as I bounced I must have untrapped the nerve, resulting in that 'after pins and needles' feeling in the affected leg. Thought for a few hours that I'd done something bad, then the tingly feeling wore off and a good few hours later I realised no sciatica pain - had been used to it for so long I just ignored it.
 

Nessa4

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My automatic instinct when I fall off is to hang on to the reins!! I think I've only let go off a horse once!!
I still do this - think it stems from the time I learnt to ride - 55years ago (!) - all lessons were done on common land linking villages in Gloucestershire and if you let go it tended to be a very long walk!!
 

fatpiggy

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I cured my sciatica by falling off. Remembered to totally relax and as I bounced I must have untrapped the nerve, resulting in that 'after pins and needles' feeling in the affected leg. Thought for a few hours that I'd done something bad, then the tingly feeling wore off and a good few hours later I realised no sciatica pain - had been used to it for so long I just ignored it.

Ha, I know what you mean. I had had a terrible crick in my neck for 2 years and had limited rotation in one direction. I was leaning over my horse as she ate something on the floor when she spooked and threw her head up, giving me a good old upper cut. To say I saw stars was an understatement and I staggered about for a few minutes after, but my neck was completely cured! The downside was that she also broke my wisdom tooth in two which I didn't find out about for a fortnight when I went for a routine check up at the dentist and she asked me where the other half of it was. Luckily it was broken cleanly just above the gum line and a big filling did the job.
Going back to the original topic, I've been lucky enough to fall off so many times that my body is completely trained to relax, tuck and roll. Even when I got knocked off my bike commuting to work, A&E couldn't believe that I barely had a mark on me. Unfortunatley I think falling safely is a skill like any other and you just have to learn it and practice it regularly. They always used to recommend doing some judo lessons to help with safe landings.
 
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