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Horse riding safety tips

Horse riding is an enjoyable hobby for many people, both children and adults and all with varying levels of ability. However, when the right safety precautions aren’t taken horse riding can easily become very dangerous with injuries including broken bones, spinal injuries and even brain damage occurring from accidents whilst horse riding.

To avoid injuries resulting from accidents whilst out horse riding, there are a number of precautions you can take.

  • Always wear a helmet. Just like riding a bicycle or a motorcycle, wearing the right protective headgear is paramount when it comes to ensuring your safety. It is recommended that riders wear helmets designed specifically for horse riding (as opposed to a bicycle helmet for instance) and that it should meet specific standards.The standards used to assess the suitability of horse riding helmets are; PAS 015 Equestrian Helmets, ASTM F1163 Standard Specification for Protective Headgear Used in Horse Sports and Horseback Riding, and SNELL E2001 Helmet Standard for Use in Horseback Riding. All helmets sold in the UK must also have a CE mark and if they have a BSi kitemark this provides an extra level of quality assurance.
  • Improve visibility. All horse riders should wear safety items such as reflective and fluorescent garments when riding on the road. Fluorescent and reflective ankle bands and stirrup lights are also available to alert drivers to your presence on the road.
  • Training and supervision. Where inexperienced riders or children are horse riding they should be accompanied by an adult or trained expert to assist and supervise them.
  • Always ride a suitable horse for your riding skill level.
  • If you are riding in a group, always keep at least one horse length away from the rider in front to avoid collisions.
  • Always dismount if your horse becomes agitated, restless or spooked, and deal with the situation from the ground.
  • Always check tack before use to ensure it is not worn or broken. Ensure that your horse is saddled correctly before setting off on a ride.
  • Wear the right shoes. Comfortable boots that are the right thickness to allow your feet to sit comfortably in the stirrups will not only make your ride safer but also more pleasant as discomfort is cut.
  • Don’t let your horse run home. Encouraging your horse to hurry at the end of your ride will teach him bad habits and encourage him to rush each time he knows he is headed towards home. This can cause horses to become out of control and dangerous and should definitely be discouraged.

Do you have any safety tips for horse riders? Let us know!

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