Horseback riding through the terrain and experiencing nature is one of the most beautiful aspects of riding. In contrast to cycling, for example, the horse factor harbors an additional risk. Horses can startle, trip, step into a hole, or jump to the side. Even the most stable rider can involuntarily separate from the horse in such unexpected moments of horror and fall down. In the best case, nothing else happens, the rider catches his horse again and rides on. But things don’t always end so lightly. So, what can you do to be prepared for emergencies and to increase safety while riding?
It is best if there are no emergencies in the first place. Every rider should therefore ask critically whether he and his horse are trained enough to master the challenge of a cross-country ride. Is the horse roadworthy? Does it know cyclists, strollers, and the like? Does the rider have enough influence on his horse to control it at all times?
The equipment should also be constantly checked and maintained. Because a torn stirrup leather has already become the undoing of many riders. Should a fall occur despite everything, injuries for the rider can be minimized by using appropriate safety clothing such as a riding cap and safety vest.
Well-equipped for the worst-case scenario
Rides should always be done in pairs or with several riders. On the one hand, the horses are calmer because they feel safer in the group, on the other hand, there is still someone there who can get help in emergencies. Safety when riding also means always having a mobile phone with you, into which all the important numbers have been programmed beforehand.
However, if you are no longer able to use the phone after a fall, various services can be used to locate your mobile phone free of charge. All you need is an account or a corresponding app. For example, your life partner can follow where you are at home. However, if there is imminent danger, every cell phone can be located by the police. But first, you have to be missed. So, for your safety when horse riding, always tell the stable or family where you are going and how long you will be away.
Types of injuries:
If you look at the affected body regions, most injuries occur to the head. Children, in particular, are particularly at risk of head injuries, as the child’s head is level with the horse’s hoof.
This makes it all the more important to wear a helmet that is certified for the sport when riding, but also when handling the horse. Wearing such a helmet reduces the likelihood of traumatic brain injuries by more than half. Interestingly, head injuries do not play a role in vaulting (gymnastics on the horse), although head protection is not worn.
The second most frequently affected area of the body is the upper extremity, as the arms are used to support the fall when falling. From a psychological point of view, two-thirds of the injured consider the accident avoidable and, in good tradition, blame themselves and not the horse. After all, about every fifth rider gives up the sport after an accident.
As in other sports, horseback riding and training practice are the best prevention. Equal sports and warming up before the start of training are still neglected and subordinate. Riding and vaulting are highly coordinative, but only slightly increase endurance. Those who ride 5 to 6 hours a week can achieve a moderate improvement in cardio-pulmonary performance.
No matter what kind of horse you ride, the most important thing is to adjust to the horse and adapt your riding style accordingly. Because every horse is unique. A problem horse soon becomes a pleasant partner in leisure time and sport.