The Near Side: 18 Ways to Say You Fell Off Your Horse

Why tell people you fell of your horse when there are so many great euphemisms that make eating dirt seem much more fun?


If you tell someone you fell off a horse, it sounds like something potentially tragic happened. But if you instead say that you ate dirt, it sounds sort of fun and lighthearted. Maybe that’s why there are so many euphemisms for falling off a horse. It’s just more pleasant to discuss an unpleasant event when you can use a creative expression to identify it.

Our Facebook friends contributed their favorite examples, and I’ve picked a few of their creative suggestions to highlight here. So next time the unthinkable happens, don’t say, “I fell off.” Instead, say…

    1. I bought real estate
    2. My horse and I went our separate ways
    3. I performed a random gravity check
I performed a random gravity check
    1. I had a free bone density check
    2. I had a flying lesson
    3. I flew Air Equestrian
I flew Air Equestrian
    1. I had an unscheduled footing inspection
    2. I visited Dirt City
    3. I had an assisted dismount
I had an assisted dismount
  1. I had a dirt facial
  2. I became a lawn dart
I became a lawn dart
    1. I used the emergency exits on Air Pony
    2. I performed an equine-assisted aerial maneuver
    3. I exited out the side door
I exited out the side door
    1. I had an unscheduled dismount
    2. I bid farewell to fine leather
    3. I’m in a transitional relationship with my saddle
I'm in a transitional relationship with my saddle

And finally, sing it with me…

  1. “I fought the lawn and the lawn won.”

Thanks to our Facebook friends for their creative contributions. Check out the full list here. Have another one to add? Leave it in the comments.

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Leslie Potter is a graduate of William Woods University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Science with a concentration in saddle seat riding and a minor in Journalism/Mass Communications. She is currently a writer and photographer in Lexington, KY.Potter worked as a barn manager and riding instructor and was a freelance reporter and photographer for the Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar and Saddle Horse Report before moving to Lexington to join Horse Illustrated as Web Editor from 2008 to 2019. Her current equestrian pursuits include being a grown-up lesson kid at an eventing barn and trail riding with her senior Morgan gelding, Snoopy.


  1. I see riders fall off on the right side
    Of the horse. Why do I fall off on the
    Left? I jump. Is it the length of my

  2. My favorite to say is that I had some “unplanned flying lessons” and usually end up laughing about it. Sometimes I’ll make a reference to the musical Wicked and say that “I was trying to defy gravity, but the gravity won”.

  3. When you ‘achieve’ your fall of the year, you qualify for ‘the Autumn Club’ and get a red maple leaf lapel pin (a tiny one!).


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