Horse Back Riding Causes Thousands of Injuries Per Year

Every year, millions of Americans saddle up and ride a horse for amusement or sport.  However, each year, thousands of Americans are also injured horseback riding.  Over 75,000 people go to the emergency room every year for horseback riding injuries.  Ranging from minor injuries to fatal injuries, it's clear that horseback riding can present a risk of significant injury to people if you're not careful.

Am I at Risk for Injury Riding a Horse

Horses are large animals, generally weighing in at around 1,000 pounds as adults.  They are also temperamental animals.  As prey animals, horses are easily spooked by everything from wildlife scurrying in the brush to noises that inexperienced horseback riders make.

The majority of injuries that people experience happen on the ground before ever mounting a horse.  Often this comes in the form of biting behavior or kicking.  While on the horse, common injuries occur because horses spook, sometimes drag riders, and will attempt to buck riders off.  Inexperienced riders can find themselves at greater risk than experienced riders. The following injuries are possible as a result of riding a horse:

  • fractures, sprains
  • broken bones, dislocations
  • bruises
  • spine and back injuries
  • concussions, head injuries
  • soft tissue damage (skin, ligaments, tendons)
  • death
While death is not common, it is generally the result of severe head trauma. Often, the trauma is severe, the result of instances such as being kicked by a horse, falling off of the horse, or being dragged through the terrain. 

How Can I Protect Myself from Horseback Riding Injuries

Given the potential for injury, horseback riders are encouraged to take precautions that will prevent injury.  This includes:

  • wearing helmets
  • wearing boots to protect your feet, legs
  • properly matching the boot stirrup to the rider's height
  • proper boot placement within the stirrup
  • not riding excessively baggy clothing
  • body protection gear to prevent fractures 
  • accompaniment by more experienced riders
Despite these protections, accidents can happen at any time.  If you've been injured horseback riding, you should seek medical attention.  You may also want to contact a skilled personal injury attorney to determine whether or not you may be eligible for compensation.  It is possible that your accident was caused by the stable's negligence or carelessness.  You should call a skilled personal injury attorney to determine if you have a case today.