Horseback Riding is a Dangerous Sport

I was recently reminded of the fact that whenever we work with a free spirit there is the potential for great harm. Most horse related accidents are caused when safety precautions are overlooked, however, that is not always so. If you can, tell me which of these does not belong:

A. novice rider on a somewhat green horse gets dumped when horse spooks and the rider suffers a broken back;

B. experienced rider gets foot broken when insisting young horse move over and young horse knows it can push through people;

C. intermediate rider gets tossed off several horses and hits head and receives concussions, each time not wearing a helmet;

D. and finally, the rider on trail that rounds the bend at the trot and horse stumbles and falls to the ground with rider who suffers a ruptured spleen and the horse suffers a ruptured intestine.

If you guessed the last, you are correct. Try as we may, we can only keep ourselves in a certain amount of safety when riding or working with horses. Some scoff at the use of a riding helmet, but there are those who are still walking and talking thanks to the protection a helmet has given them while on trail and even in an arena. The number one injury in horse related accidents is head trauma. Most people have sense enough to fasten a seat belt as they value their lives, so why is a helmet so different?

Choosing a suitable horse is a common fault as well. That first horse of our dreams may not know when to stop running into the sunset with hair blowing in the wind until someone ends up hurt. There is no shame in buying an older, quiet, seasoned horse. Think of all the time you can spend enjoying the horse when you don’t have to spend all your time and possibly money on a bunch of training or being laid up with injuries. Then when you become more experienced you can look for a younger more challenging horse. This is especially true for kids who have poor judgment on how much horse they can handle.

Yet, as I mentioned, even experienced horse people make mistakes. Once you have been around horses awhile you tend to forget your own safety rules. We sometimes forget we are working with a youngster that really does not know better. We skip lessons because we are sure he understands and then BAMM!, we end up with an injury. The point is to take all the safety precautions you can, remember you are dealing with a free minded and free willed animal, and don’t get over your head with that first horse. Although there is no possible way to be 100% safe around horses, there are ways to make it a much safer experience. So ride and enjoy the day with your partner.

About the Author:

Jodi Wilson is a recognized authority on the subject of horse training and has spent almost 30 years developing training techniques and solutions for horse owners no matter the discipline or breed. Jodi is an Accredited Josh Lyons trainer, and is Certified in John Lyons training techniques. Her website,, provides a wealth of information to improve the relationship between horse and rider. Jodi is also available for clinics and demonstrations as well as lessons, apprenticeships, and horse training. Jodi has trained and competed in Reining, Sorting, Jumping, Dressage, English and Western Pleasure, Trail and Problem Solving.

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