A Leeds school teacher died after falling from the horse described as “the love of her life”, an inquest heard.
Jayne Goodwin, 44, was returning from a ride to her stables in Methley, Leeds, when “flighty” six-year-old Friesian mare Kali suddenly bolted.
Ms Goodwin, who taught at a school in Temple Newsam, suffered traumatic brain injuries in the fall, on January 9 last year, Leeds Coroner’s Court heard. She died on January 28,
In a statement, her brother, Chris, said Ms Goodwin, of Chapel Lane, Lofthouse, loved animals from an early age.
The statement said: “The love of her life was Kali ... As a child Jayne had always dreamed of a day when she would have a life full of riding and a stable full of horses and she was living that life.”
The inquest heard Ms Goodwin kept seven horses at stables in Methley as well as owning three dogs and seven cats.
She had taken Kali to several shows and had recently taken up dressage competition.
However, coroner David Hinchliff said the mare had developed a habit of suddenly setting off before her rider was properly mounted.
Reading from a statement given by her friend Georgina Adkin, Mr Hinchliff said: “Kali was always flighty, but Jayne was a very experienced rider and felt she had Kali’s behaviour under control.”
After going riding with friends on the evening of January 9, Ms Goodwin dismounted Kali to close a gate as the group returned to the yard and then tried to get back on the horse.
Mr Hinchliff said: “She put her leg into the stirrup, but as she went to lift her right leg over, Kali raised her head and set off at a fast canter.”
Ms Goodwin was heard shouting “Oh Christ, she’s going” as the horse bolted.
She went out of sight of her friends before falling to the ground.
Miss Adkin shouted her name but got no reply, then saw Ms Goodwin on the ground “at a funny angle” with her helmet still on.
She told the inquest: “I wasn’t sure whether Kali had hit her in the head as Jayne got on or whether it was the speed at which she set off that caused her to fall.”
An ambulance was called after Miss Adkin saw blood on the ground and realised her friend was unconscious.
Ms Goodwin was taken to Leeds General Infirmary where a CT scan revealed she had suffered a “very severe and unsurvivable brain injury”. She was taken off a ventilator 19 days later after doctors told the family there was no chance of her making a recovery.
Police initially attended the scene of the accident before concluding that there were no suspicious circumstances.
The inquest was told that Ms Goodwin, who was born in Stockton on Tees, moved to Leeds to study classical civilisation at university when she was 19.
She spent 14 years as a teacher in Temple Newsam and had “a love of children” even though she had none of her own. Several parents wrote letters to the family after her death.
In his statement, Ms Goodwin’s brother said: “She made a real difference to those she taught.”
He added: “We will miss her so much. She has left a huge hole in our hearts and lives.”
Mr Hinchliff recorded a verdict of accidental death.