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Like anything you do, you should know the risks involved. Horseback riding is not something to take lightly. It can be dangerous! Because of their sheer size and unpredictability, horses are the cause of a lot of injuries seen in hospitals. That doesn’t mean you should sell your horse, but you should practice safe handling and riding techniques.

How does horseback riding compare?

Stacy Westfall shared some interesting statistics on her blog. Riding ranked as one of the seventh most dangerous sports.
  1. Football
  2. Basketball
  3. Cycling
  4. Skateboarding
  5. Baseball
  6. Softball
  7. Horseback riding
  8. Ice hockey
  9. Lacrosse
  10. Golf
  11. Tennis

Type of Injuries

The upper extremities like your wrists, elbows, and shoulders are at the greatest risk of injury. Lower extremities like the knee, ankle, and foot are commonly hurt in rodeo-related activities though. While most accidents occur in the saddle, some do happen on the ground. Lower back strains can occur from overworking your body. Bruises, strains, and sprains are the most common noted. Broken bones and dislocations do occasionally happen though. In rare cases, riders have died from an injury. These are usually related to head trauma. ABC News commented that equestrian sports contributed to the highest percentage of traumatic brain injuries in adults. In a study done by the National Trauma Databank, 45.2% of TBI were from horseback riding!

How to Stay Safe

Hopefully, these statistics will encourage you to be safe! Here are some ideas to help you…
  • Wear an approved riding helmet
  • Proper footwear and attire
  • Breakaway stirrups
  • Chest protector (especially for eventing)
Many people are willing to take the risk because they love the sport. Know the dangers and be smart! Make sure to check out ‘New Stylish Helmet Designs For Western Riders‘!