Does horse riding have to be dangerous? - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 50 Old 03-12-2017, 08:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2017
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worth the risk?

Yes it can be dangerous but you will know at first whether the risk is worth it. I have owned horses for 30 yrs, and have have fractured hip, cervical compression, broken arm, and countless bruises from kicks or being thrown or just falling off when they spook. Some people get a horse and within months figure out how difficult it is and regret it (not unlike when I bought a parrot because I thought it would be neat to have a talking bird!). But I suggest you lease a horse first at a stables that has riding instructors. They will teach you every thing you want to know and guide you to the horse that is right for what you want. Also it will help you decide if owning a horse is right for you. I hope this helps...good luck!
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post #42 of 50 Old 03-14-2017, 08:12 AM
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Growing up I heard about every serious horse incident in a 1200 mile radius. My mother searched them out to dissuade me from riding. I knew one person seriously injured in an ATV accident and one killed. Both close to my age at the time. At this point while I do know of a couple killed and numerous accidents of varying seriousness including my own they have happened over the last 35+ years. I know of 7 deaths from ATVs in the last 3 months. One adult, 6 kids. All separate accidents. Some I knew personally , some I just knew the family and knew of the person that died. There is risk in anything you do. Be aware. Ride to your level and ride a horse that matches that level. With experience your level rises and you can move up or be content where you are at. Horses are my therapy. They keep me sane and provide me with more than just contentment.
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post #43 of 50 Old 03-14-2017, 10:06 AM
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To clarify = That should be 2 deaths and numerous accidents with horses over 35 years. Use protective gear and always be aware of what is going on around you including your horse and his focus.
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post #44 of 50 Old 03-31-2017, 11:50 AM
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My daughter has been riding for over 4 years now. She's had several falls, with no more injury than being sore the next day or two (thank goodness for that). However, she was swinging on her swing set last fall and fell out when one of the chains snapped. She ended up with a mild concussion from that incident. Anything in life can be dangerous under the "right" circumstances.

As almost everyone here has stated, just use common sense and be sure to wear appropriate safety gear to try and mitigate any danger.

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post #45 of 50 Old 04-06-2017, 09:34 PM
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Horseback riding is dangerous, so take every precaution and it becomes a calculated risk.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #46 of 50 Old 04-06-2017, 10:55 PM
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A really well trained horse with lots of miles, sweet calm disposition and lots,of great training. They can still spook, get insecure, but you can get them back a lot easier.

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post #47 of 50 Old 04-07-2017, 03:11 AM
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Originally Posted by zolantal View Post
Hi, I'm a newbie, I never rode a horse before. I got interested in riding not so long ago. I'm looking forward to start English-style riding in the summer.

I understand that horseback riding is a very dangerous sport. However, is it so dangerous in every form? I read/saw that most severe injuries occur when trying to jump over obstacles, or during races.

I'm not interested in any of those activities, I just want to master the different gaits, and do field riding (or what it's called, going into the nature with the horse), doing it safely, by walking and trotting, perhaps with occasional caters or gallops if the terrain is safe. No fancy jumping, maybe jumping over a log in the woods...

Now, I understand that you can never rule out injuries, as after all it's an animal you're riding. But by not going to the "extreme" side of the sport, paying attention to avoid kicks, and wearing protective gear (helmet and back protector), can the probability of suffering severe injuries be minimised? By severe I mean which causes irreparable damage, or an injury that lasts more than let's say a month. Minor injuries are okay I guess, I'm willing to take smaller risks, I just don't want to be playing with my life.

If taking these measures into account, can it be said that riding is not any more dangerous than other, non-extreme sports? If not, how bad is it?

Any comment is appreciated :) Please forgive any technical/conceptual mistakes, I'm new to this sport.
5 pages and I'm lazy. Meaning I'm not going to read them so I know I'll be repeating things that I'm sure have already been said, but perhaps not all.

There is no way to eliminate the potential risks that come with dealing with horses.

Yes, there are some equine activities that carry a greater risk of severe injury (i.e. fatal or life altering), but the risk is always there to some degree no matter what you do with a horse. The same can be said for riding in a car, hiking in the mountains, or any number of other activities, but we'll just address horses here.

If we want to look at overall statistics for riding horses you have the greatest odds of injuring your upper extremities (arms/hand). Next comes your lower extremities (legs/feet). Then your torso is next. Then finally the head/neck which use to account for the smallest percentage at almost 10% of equine related injuries. Now that was just base statistics for all equine activities combined. When you start breaking it out to specific activities the order doesn't really change, but the odds do. For example. If you remove jumping from the equation then the number of head and neck injuries (they combine them since they would be too small individually) drops dramatically. That is because over 75% of the equine related head and neck injuries were related to jumping so you're jumping you have incredibly better odds of suffering a head or neck injury than you would from most other equine activities. All of the fatalities and permanent disabling injuries that I know of personally (which I grant is a very small %) have all been the result of jumping and were not head injuries (they all had helmets on), but neck injuries. If I were jumping I'd suggest one of the inflatable collars they have now and some body armor . Most of the life altering injuries (not always fatal, but often crippling) involve the spine in some way (neck or back).

Injuries that last for over a month can happen no matter what activity you do. I'm currently recovering from 5 broken ribs which didn't involve jumping or anything fance (2 under my left scapula and 3 below it, but I hope to be able to ride again after 6 weeks....the pain level should be acceptable then and my horses need the work....other horses will have to wait a few weeks more). While it's probably the worst set of broken ribs I've had it's hardly the first so I know the routine. I've been riding for a few months shy of 49 years and started training them almost 46 years ago. You ride and work with horses for that long and you're going to suffer in injuries and you just have to be ok with the risk ("it comes with the job"). Broken bones and severe deep tissue bruises take more than a month to heal and you can get them from any equine activity. I learned not to keep a wallet in my hip pocket after landing on it and not being able to sit on my left buttocks for a month. 4 days after the injury the bruise appear and covered my entire left buttocks and upper thigh. Then over the next three weeks some of the blood from the bruise was pushed out to behind my knee and then my ankle (making them painful). Was almost 2 months before all that was cleared up so it actually took longer than a broken forearm.

Point is, yes you can mitigate your potential for injury, but you're never going to deal with a horse and not take a risk of suffering a substantial injury. As I like to tell people when I suffer an injury and they ask me about training a horse to be 100% safe. You're dealing with a 1/2 ton of muscle with an attitude (not always a bad attitude, but they all have one). The only horse that is ever going to be 100% safe is the one that just died.

If you ride you take the risk. Most states now have laws to that effect to protect horse owners, because the state recognizes that dealing with a horse is going to be inherently dangerous so we have to put up a sign with the law on it which tells people that they assume the risk.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #48 of 50 Old 11-03-2017, 06:18 PM
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I think making poor decisions by riding horses above your level of experience and doing things you are not ready for is what makes the sport dangerous. I think its easy to forget sometimes that horses do have a strong instinct and its when you become to relaxed and comfortable that mistakes I made.

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post #49 of 50 Old 11-03-2017, 07:51 PM
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@zolantal hiya. lots of useful comments here. just re-read your original post and i see you are starting lessons in summer. as we are just going in to summer here, that is almost 6 months away for you. i guess you have reasons for that but i'm thinking you could wind yourself up to a place where horses take on the persona of dragons!!

is it possible for you to even visit/help out/hang out at the (riding school?)? just getting a sense of familiarity around horses. Any reputable riding instructor will make sure you are on a pony/horse suitable to your level, on animals they know well so that all risks are minimised.

there is a book called "feel the fear, but do it anyway". worth a read.

would like to hear where you are at.

When the world says "give up". Hope whispers "try it one more time"
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post #50 of 50 Old 11-12-2017, 10:35 AM
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Wear a helmet, take lots of lessons from a good, calm, and patient trainer, ride experienced calm horses, and do whatever else you can to lessen risk (no jumping or racing for example.) I started riding about 4 years ago in my 40s and the only time I've fallen is jumping and riding bareback (before I was ready). Riding will always have an element of danger because you're riding an animal who could accidentally kill you, but you can lower your risks significantly by using common sense and knowing what could happen. I learned a TON on this forum, which really helped my confidence. That therefore helped my horse stay calmer because I was calmer. Good luck!

“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare
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dangerous , dangers

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