Many people are cognizant of the risks inherent with motorcycles, but did you know that riding a horse leads to more annual injuries? That’s according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, whose research shows that 200,000 people sustain an injury from riding a horse every year. 70,000 of these are serious enough to warrant a visit to the hospital room.
Although riding a horse can be a wonderful experience, you must always remind yourself that you’re atop a living thing with a mind of its own. Accidents can happen. To protect yourself from harm, consider some safety tips from a new report.
The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you’re capable of riding the horse you’ve chosen. Only expert riders should approach younger horses that tend to be a bit on the wilder side. If you’re relatively new to the horseback riding experience, then you should opt for an older horse that’s a little more slow-going.
You might be surprised to realize how closely aligned with motorcycle safety the various injury prevention methods for horseback riding are. For one thing, a helmet should be worn at all times to ward off disaster. Concussions are some of the most typical serious injuries that can result from being thrown off a horse, but wearing a properly sized equestrian helmet (which will be styled differently than your standard bike helmet) can limit the danger.
Equipment doesn’t begin and end with the helmet though. You should have gloves that provide a decent grip on the reins, non-billowy clothing, and leather boots. The latter should contain a heel that’s about an inch tall so that your foot is secured in the stirrup.
You must give everything a good once-over prior to riding. The bridle, the saddle, and any other piece of gear should be in working condition. If damage has accumulated, move on to some alternate piece of equipment. Younger horseback riders might even choose to ride using safety stirrups. That way, if the person falls off of the horse, the stirrups will fall with them, preventing the potentially severe injuries that could occur if the individual is dragged by the horse after falling.
It’s imperative to submit to the proper training prior to horseback riding. A course from a well-versed instructor can enlighten you as to a horse’s demeanor and help you understand those actions that can be avoided so that the animal doesn’t get spooked. An instructor should also be able to tell you how to approach the horse. Such a move should be done from the shoulder rather than the back or front so as not to cause the horse to panic.
Finally, always have someone with you when you ride. That way, if some injurious incident presents itself, a companion will be on hand to help alleviate the danger by offering aid or calling emergency personnel.