Data and research about horse and rider safety. With injuries on the rise, our goal is to keep riders and horses safe in both competitive environmnets and in recreational riding.
Horseback riding is an exceptionally fun activity. However, horseback riding does involve being around a very large animal, being high above the ground, and moving at high speeds. This is why it is exceptionally important to follow safe equestrian practices, and it is also important to have six very important pieces of riding equipment. This equipment includes a helmet, safety vest, boots, gloves, safety stirrups, and a mouthguard. The use of these six important pieces of equipment can help to prevent an accident and can also greatly reduce the injuries that a person sustains as the result of a riding accident.
An ASTM approved riding helmet is one of the things that a rider should definitely wear for optimal protection. It is estimated that the use of this kind of riding helmet has resulted in the death rate from riding related injuries to drop by fifty percent. An ASTM certified equestrian riding helmet is tested to make sure that it can withstand a variety of forces from objects while riding and that it is able to protect the rider’s head from the impact shock-force of falling off of a horse. This kind of helmet has a special kind of chin strap that is very comfortable and the helmets typically cover a riders’s ears.
A crash safety vest is designed to protect a person’s chest and stomach area in the event of an accident. The vest is designed for protection from falls and it is designed to lessen the impact from the horse’s hooves if trampled. A crash safety vest is made out of sturdy material, padding and metal plates that are designed to withstand and absorb impact forces. Crash safety vests need to cover a person’s collarbones, and they need to be able to be properly secured to fully protect a rider. They frequently come in bright colors that increase the rider’s visibility.
Injuries to legs, ankles and feet are one of the most important safety concerns for riders. Good boots are one of the key pieces of safety equipment an equestrian should wear. A significant amount of riding injuries occur to the feet and ankles and can easily be avoided with proper footwear. Good riding boots should have a steel toe that is able to protect the rider’s toes from a horse’s hooves if stepped on. The riding boots should also support the ride’s ankles to prevent sprains and go a long way towards preventing injuries to ankles from getting on and off of the horse.
There are a number of things a person should look for in riding gloves. It is important to have gloves that strap on and have a strong grip. This will prevent the gloves from sliding off during an emergency. This can come in the form of having special tape, or simply having leather gloves that are treated in the correct manner. It is also a good idea to have padding on the heel of the gloves. This will help to protect a person’s wrists in the event of a fall.
Safety stirrups are one of the best ways to prevent a rider from getting dragged by a horse that they have fallen off of. This is because safety stirrups have a breakaway, which causes the stirrups to come off of the saddle in the event of a fall. It is also a good idea to make sure that the stirrups are the right size for the rider and that they are treated with grip on the heel of the stirrup.
A mouthguard is a great way to prevent a rider from injuring their teeth and jaw and it can also help to prevent a rider from accidentally biting their tongue while riding. It is a good idea to purchase a mouthguard that is rated for horseback riding. It is also important to make sure that the mouthguard is the right size for the person using it. The mouthguard should fit into a person’s mouth so that it does not cause any irritation, and it is important to have it fit securely into place.
Riding a horse can be a very rewarding and fulfilling activity. However, there have been both people and horses that have been severely and even fatally injured while riding or attempting to ride a horse. Fortunately, by being aware of the dangers before and during horseback riding, you will be in a better position to avoid any mishaps from happening. Listed below are a few safety tips to help keep you safe:
Ride with a Qualified Riding Coach or Instructor
One of the best ways to ensure the safety of yourself and the horse is to ride with an experienced riding coach or instructor. He or she can teach you the proper way to ride and handle the horse while also providing you with value advice that can help you to develop good, lifelong riding skills.
Find a Suitable Horse for You
Riding a horse that is too spirited or even too laid back can be a danger for a novice or someone who is not well versed in controlling a horse. An experienced instructor can help to evaluate your riding skills and then help you to choose the correct horse that matches your riding level.
Wear Proper Attire
Regardless of your riding skills, you should always wear a helmet when riding, preferably one that is ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) approved. Wearing a helmet can significantly aid in preventing a serious head injury should you fall from your horse. Sturdy riding boots are also a good way to prevent a slip and fall from the horse. The heel of the boots should be at least one-inch to keep your foot from slipping out of the stirrup.
Check the Cinch
Keeping your saddle securely on and in its proper place is extremely critical to remain safe while riding. For this reason, the cinch is one of the most important parts of the tack and should be checked frequently for any signs of wear and tear. Because the cinch often has a tendency to loosen after the horse begins to move around, check to make sure it is tightened before mounting, a few minutes after mounting and again after a few hours of riding.
Match Your Speed According to the Terrain
If the terrain is slippery from a recent rain or is uneven and contains debris, the horse can trip and fall, causing injury to itself and to you. To help maintain control over the horse and to be able to divert the animal around objects when needed, it is best to travel at a slow or moderate pace over these types of ground.
Being careful when mounting and dismounting, keeping yourself in excellent physical shape for riding, and remaining calm while riding are also important tips to remember. Finally, always be sure to tell someone what route you will be taking and when to expect you back when planning a ride, just in case an accident does occur. By following this simple advice, horseback riding can be a fun, pleasurable experience for both you and your horse.