Does horse riding have to be dangerous? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 50 Old 03-06-2017, 11:43 PM
Green Broke
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I think horse riders have a saying 'if you haven't fallen off a horse you probably haven't been riding long enough.' You will fall eventually it's bound to happen. It's almost like a rite of passage. Of course you can make things safer but riding the quiet horses but theirs no guarantee.

Horse riding in my opinion will always be more dangerous then other sports because you are riding an unpredicatable animal who has their own reaction and insecurities.
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post #12 of 50 Old 03-07-2017, 12:23 AM
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I think one can be smart about it, and therefore minimize risk, but th esimple fact that horseback riding involves using equipment ( the horse) that has a mind of its own that sometimes thinks/reacts differently than your own will always bring a bout of unpredictability and therefore risk about it.

One tip I don't think peeps mentioned: stretch before you ride. Really good. Not only will this help with balance/riding, but if you fall, you have less risk of tearing a muscle if you are all stretched out versus stiff. And if you do fall, try not to stiffen but stay relaxed and try to roll.
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post #13 of 50 Old 03-07-2017, 12:38 AM
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I know people (me being one of them, most serious was broken ribs) who has never had a life changing injury from riding or working with horses and I've known others who have, even personally knew one person who was killed. Only you can decide if it's a risk worth taking.
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post #14 of 50 Old 03-07-2017, 12:51 AM
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Having had and been around horses for almost 50 years, I seldom "think" about how dangerous they can be. Like Avna stated above, though, certain actions and awareness are second-nature and habitual. I trust my two horses, but I always talk to them to let them know I'm behind them. I cross behind them closely so if the do kick, it lessens the force of impact. I don't let them 'nibble' on me or my clothes. With horses I don't know, I seldom interact with them unless I have a means of ensuring my own safety.

Having said that - in those 50 years, I've been bitten, stepped on, run over, kicked, bucked off, fallen on and just about any other horse/human accident a person is likely to experience. Luckily, I've never been seriously hurt, and every incident just reminds me that lack of awareness around an animal that weighs between 1000-2500 lbs is just Not A Good Idea.

Despite the inherent risks, though, the satisfaction of working with these magnificent animals is beyond description. Whether you trail ride or ride in an arena, there is just something about communicating with this animal and working as a team that strikes deeper into the soul than any other activity I can think of.

Everything in life has risks. Everything we do in our day to day lives can be dangerous. We learn to cook on a hot stove, or drive, or take a bath, or swim, or cross a street by learning how to do it from someone who knows how to do it safely. Then we practice and practice some more. And one day, we're doing it without thinking about being careful around the hot burner, or using our mirrors and blinkers, or keeping our head above water, or looking both ways. Riding and handling horses is no different.

You can't let fear of danger stop you from living - and you might just find you're like so many of us, who equate living with living with horses. So go take those lessons, pay attention, be aware, and most of all - have FUN!!!!

Courage is taking just one more step...
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post #15 of 50 Old 03-07-2017, 01:08 AM
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Short answer: Yes.

You know what else is dangerous?

Driving a car.
Walking downtown at night.
Using a firearm.
Consuming bad food.
Consuming prescription medications.
Going rafting.
Frisbee golf.
Slicing vegetables with a sharp knife.
Walking on a steep hiking trail.
Aggravating wild geese.

Yet what do humans do?
Literally every single one of those things.

Do whatever you want, know the risks, decide you can live with them and don't think so much.
We're all going to end up in the ground anyway.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #16 of 50 Old 03-07-2017, 03:49 AM
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Another precaution that experienced people don't even think about is to remember that not all riding schools are honest.

Make sure that you don't disregard your own common sense even when an experienced horse person is telling you otherwise. No, it's not normal for a school horse to buck you off three times in a single lesson, no matter what the instructor (or some people online) tell you.

Before you sign up with a riding school, watch them work with other students. If horses regularly misbehave (bucking, rearing, kicking out at other horses or at the crop), find another riding school.

Ask how old the horses are. If they use horses younger than, let's say, seven for beginners it's not a good sign (I know there are exceptions but a begginer will not be able to discern those, rather stay away). Same with horse breeds they use. OTTBS (Off the track thoroughbreds - retired racing horses) and arabs are usually not well suited to the job (again, exceptions do exist).

You will get scared on a horse, but those scares should not come from the horse being badly trained.
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post #17 of 50 Old 03-07-2017, 09:07 AM
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My motto is that you mustn't stop living before you die. If I avoided everything that could potentially kill me, I'd live a very dull life. Personally, I'd rather live a short yet interesting life than a dull long one.

Others have given great tips for making riding safer! Enjoy those equines!
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post #18 of 50 Old 03-07-2017, 09:34 AM
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Yes. It is a dangerous sport. It's unpredictable.
Everything can be 'dangerous' if you think about it. Getting into a car. Walking into a store. Etc. Life is unpredictable, really.

But I honestly don't even think about it when I ride. If I get injured, something happens unexpectedly, at least I was happy. After all, you can't get too anxious/nervous when riding because horses can totally sense the energy you give off. Have to stay calm and relaxed.
Whether you wear a helmet/protective gear or not, that is up to you. I always wear a helmet.

I would not worry too much about what 'could' happen. Just ride, and have fun! Take it day by day, and don't do anything you're not comfortable with. No pressure to do anything insane. You don't have to do jumping, eventing, etc. you can ride for pleasure- but that doesn't exactly mean it's 'safer'. Anything can happen, like I said. Unpredictable.
What's kinda silly, but true is that most of my falls (I haven't had too many lately, but I have before) is when I'm at a walking pace! For example, went to open a gate one time on horseback and I lost my balance & fell right off. I was fine, but just a bit bruised up! LOL.
I have fallen while jumping, but not too often.
Bottom line: Just enjoy it. Even when you AREN'T in the saddle, grooming/bonding with a horse is just as fun. :) At least I think so.
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Ride more, worry less.
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post #19 of 50 Old 03-07-2017, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JCnGrace View Post
I know people (me being one of them, most serious was broken ribs) who has never had a life changing injury from riding or working with horses and I've known others who have, even personally knew one person who was killed. Only you can decide if it's a risk worth taking.
During what activities did those accidents happen? Falling off is one thing, but is it likely that you'll be killed when simply walking a horse, or grooming a horse?
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post #20 of 50 Old 03-07-2017, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by zolantal View Post
During what activities did those accidents happen? Falling off is one thing, but is it likely that you'll be killed when simply walking a horse, or grooming a horse?
It it very unlikely to be killed on the ground, especially if you stick to well trained, calm horses. However, you have to keep your wits around large animals all the time as accidents can happen even with calmest of them. There was an accident last year in which a women was killed by a cow kick. Mind you, those are really, really rare. More often there are broken toes and similar injuries, but even those are quite rare. I've often seen people with broken limbs from falling off, but only one instance where a person broke something when handling a horse.

I just remembered that there are computerized mechanical horses, if you wish to start off on a very, very safe note.
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