Horse Back Riding Injuries Send Over 78,000 to Hospital Per Year

This past weekend, the office had a field trip to go horseback riding.  For at least one person, this was their first time ever mounting a horse.  Concerned, our coworker sheepishly asked about rates of horseback riding injuries.  It turns out that it's not pretty.  Every year, there are approximately 75,000 visits to the emergency room as a result of horseback riding injuries.  Considering over 7 million Americans ride horses every year, these rates of accident seem to be quite disturbing.

What are the Risks of Horse Back Riding Injuries?

Horseback riding can be fun, but it can also be dangerous.  When you mount a horse, you're up to 15 feet off the ground on a live animal who weighs in near 1000 pounds.  Horses can be unpredictable and can spook easily, prompting injuries. Commonly, horseback riding injuries are characterized by the following statistics:

  • in 2007, 78,279 people were sent to the emergency room with horseback riding injuries
  • 15% were due to head injuries, the leading cause of death
  • 5% were concussions, which is double what most sports rate
  • 41% were treated for sprains
  • 33.3% fractured or dislocated something
  • 40% were bruised
  • an estimated 100 deaths per year
Often, stables offer horseback rides but can neglect to offer riders a helmet to protect themselves.  Given these rates of injury, it is a smart idea to use a helmet when you ride. Consider these ways to protect yourself from injuries when you're on a horse.

Prevent Head Injuries Next Time Your Ride a Horse

Head injuries account for approximately 60% of horseback riding deaths every year.  To protect riders, the Equestrian Medical Safety Association recommends the following safety tips:

  • Wear a properly fitted helmet while on a horse
  • Wear a protective vest
  • Ensure stirrups fit properly
  • Wear closed toe shoes, preferably boots
  • Never walk behind a horse
  • Keep your horse a safe distance from any horses in front of it
  • Do not make sudden movements or noises near a horse
If you have suffered a horseback riding injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.  To determine whether you are eligible, please call a skilled personal injury attorney