"If you want to know about gold medals, ask David O'Connor. If you want to know about falling, ask me! Nobody has fallen more than I have, in 10 years of riding bad maiden claimers." That's how Danny Warrington, steeplechase jockey turned successful upper-level eventing competitor and trainer, sums it up as he tries to spread the word about the importance of knowing how to fall.
An outspoken and influential voice in the U.S. Eventing Association's current discussion about eventing safety, Danny recently joined forces and voices with National Athletic Trainers' Association-certified athletic trainer and equestrian medical researcher Mike Pilato to make the case for teaching riders a new approach to riding fences, improving stability on the horse and especially falling. They believe their recommendations, based on Danny's practical experience and Mike's academic investigations, could result in fewer life-threatening rider injuries. As you'll see, some of their suggestions also contradict long-standing traditions of the sport.
Watch this video clip from a recent presentation on balance, fitness and performance given by Danny and Mike at one of their Equicision clinics.
To learn more about Danny and Mike's system and how to fall properly, see the article "Heads Up! Rethinking Fall Safety" in the August 2009 issue of Practical Horseman.