Accidents While Horseback Riding Are Causing Thousands of Injuries and Deaths Each Year
I was quite shocked…. I knew there were lots of injuries every year to folks who ride and work around horses. But I wasn’t prepared for some of these numbers.
I’m guessing that if you’ve been around horses much at all, you’ve been bit, stepped on, kicked, bucked, reared, etc. Most of us have experienced at least some of this. One gal down the road from us has had her arm broken twice in 8 years. And she’s been riding for 20+ years.
I just read 5 different reports from the US and UK about fatal and non-fatal injuries attributed to working with horses.
One study in the US was done over a 3 year period 2001 – 2003 by KE Thomas, JL Annest, DM Bixby-Hammett. They studied the records of 66 hospitals and then extrapolated the results to the general population – so it’s not exact but still very telling!
Here’s some of the shocking numbers:
1. There were over 102,000 non-fatal horse injuries between 2001-2003 in the US.
2. Injury rates were higher in females (about 60%)
3. About 66% were injured while riding a horse – due to falling or being thrown off.
4. Most injuries were to head/neck (23%), lower extremity (22%) upper extremity (21%
5. About 25% were fractures of some kind
6. Here’s a shocker: for EACH YEAR – approx. 11,500 sustained traumatic brain injuries.
In a UK report by JR Silver for both UK and US statistics regarding spinal injuries while riding, he found that:
1. Horseback riding “is a dangerous recreation” where 1/3 of the accidents result in head injuries.
2. In 10 States in the US there were over 200 DEATHS per year.
3. Riding horses is 20 times more dangerous than riding a motorcycle based on the hours riding.
4. You are 20 times more likely to be injured if you are jumping vs. leisurely riding.
5. About 20% of those going to the hospital were admitted.
6. There were 6 head injuries for every one spinal injury.
In all the studies I looked at there were more women being injured than men. But that is to be expected – there are many more women riding than men.
Finally – another US study was by the Children’s Safety Network. Many of these numbers are sad:
1. Between 1999-2002 there were 76 fatal injuries to youth under 20 years. The most frequent cause of death and serious injury is head injuries.
2. Over 23,000 youth (under 20) are injured every year.
3. The severity of equestrian injuries is greater than other sports-related injuries.
4. Between 20% – 30% of the injuries are while dismounted – while leading, grooming or playing around the horse – and most of those are by being kicked.
Let’s bring this down to earth – what should we do about it?
Here are a few points I want to make:
1. Wear a hard shell helmet. With so many injuries and deaths caused by head trauma it can literally save your life. I know it’s not sexy and all. But why do you think football players, motorcycle riders and race car drivers wear helmets?
2. Understand how to handle horses and how to work around them.
3. Don’t put yourself in dangerous situations like in tight stalls where you can be kicked, squeezed, etc.
4. Train your horse so they respect your space, you have control over them and you can command them.
5. Train your horse so they won’t be so spooky.
6. Be able to stop and completely control your horse – don’t let them “head for the barn” at 50 mph as the fence posts go wizzing by….
It is imperative that you learn to train and control your horse from a colt on up. Your ability to command your horse and control them while leading, handling, riding, etc. is not an option. You literally are putting yourself in harm’s way if you don’t.
When it comes right down to it, the process of training your horses is not rocket science. It can be done with some good, basic instruction that anyone can learn. It not only makes handling horses safer it also raises the value of them should you ever want to trade or sell them.
I urge you to take the safety issue seriously. Wear a helmet and save your life.
Please consider our horse training program by Jesse Beery. Jesse always stated that “Any Horse Can Be Cured” and he publicly proved it hundreds of times all across the country.
Jesse Beer’s Illustrated Course in Horse Training has been used for over 100 years by tens of thousands of horse owners just like you and me. It can work for you, too.
You can read more about Beery’s horse training program here:
Be safe, don’t take risks, help others and do the right thing.
P.S. You could always give up your horse and get a Harley – they’re 20 times more safer :>)
Get the horse training program now and take control: