My THEORY is that accidents occur at some fairly low rate for anyone involved in riding, and go up as the rider takes on more difficult horses and activities that require maximum performance from the horse.
People scare me when I'm on a horse too, because they don't think at all about what might happen if they let all their dogs loose to run at you, or fly a drone over your horse's head, or dive bomb a kite three feet away.
This is a tricky one for me, because I've had a lot of accidents with horses so my first impulse is to agree with the statistics. I think it is more like the crime rates, that a few of us have more of the accidents. That can be from what we do with the horses and the type of horses we ride, but also I think some people just get hit with more freak things.
I read a story online about a guy who was bitten by a rattlesnake, mauled by a bear and bitten by a shark. However, he was not in my mind engaging in very risky behavior! https://news.nationalgeographic.com/...=lazyloading:c
My co-worker who was riding Amore when my horse tripped and fell flat on her chest and neck, resulting in severe concussion, had previously been on a well trained and mellow horse when something fell from the rafters in an arena, her horse backed and managed to flip backward over the arena wall, just missing landing on top of her. That also gave her a concussion. Thankfully, both times she was wearing a helmet.
The accidents I've had with horses that resulted in my worst injuries were all three from getting kicked. Once I was following a horse on a narrow trail when Amore spooked and ran into the horse's backside, and the horse kicked me in the shin. I have a little nerve damage there. Another time I went behind a horse standing loose, and he double-barreled me with no warning (we found out later he had tics similar to Tourette's). And the third time I was simply getting my horse in a field and a horse I didn't know turned and kicked my thigh. Some torn muscle fibers from both of those exchanges.
Needless to say, I'm more careful when around loose horses, but I also had three concussions that all came from my early days training Amore, and that is when I started wearing a helmet.
I've had quite a few accidents that were definitely from riding hot, spooky or untrained horses. Most of those have not resulted in any serious injuries.
I've also seen or been involved with so many freak accidents that I have concluded that they just happen with horses and there's nothing you can do about that.
I've seen a horse step on his shoe, tear it off and trip himself, throwing the rider into his path and running over the top of her.
I've seen a very calm horse suddenly smash his head to the side and whack my friend's head into the side of a trailer.
I've seen horses somersault, and fall down at the walk and trot. So many crazy and unpredictable things I can't even mention them all.
My philosophy is that it's good to try to be safe, but there are no guarantees even if you suit yourself in body armor and only go near bomb proof horses.