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Horse riding safety tips
3 August 2017
Whilst many riders are blasé when getting on the back of their horse, it can be a very dangerous activity. If you have been around horses long enough, I’m sure you have seen yourself or others take a fall or injure themselves whilst riding. This is why it is imperative to take a number of precautions when hopping on your horse.
The speed, height and the unpredictability of the horse and surrounding environment makes horseback riding one of the most dangerous sports. However, with a little forethought and safeguards put in place, many horse riding accidents can be avoided. Petcover have put together some of our top safety tips when riding your horse…
Your first thought when going for a ride is what safety equipment you need. This should include an appropriate helmet that fits your head (helmets will differ especially between children and adults) and it should be done up correctly, not dangling loosely.
For young riders and even experienced riders, you should consider wearing a safety vest to protect your torso, and should always wear sturdy boots with minimal tread. Not only should you be wearing appropriate equipment, make sure your horses saddle and everything else is fit properly and that the horse is comfortable.
Making sure you have the right horse is not only important for new riders, it is essential for everyone. You don’t want to go out for a ride on a horse that is too big and powerful for you, which will most likely end in a serious accident. In saying this, experienced riders will often take green horses out to get them used to riding and break them in. In this case, it is important to take someone along with you to make sure nothing out of the ordinary happens.
If your horse ever becomes disgruntled or agitated during a ride, never deal with the situation whilst still on the horse. Dismount and handle your horse from the ground to reduce the likelihood of an accident or injury to either you or your horse.
General horse riding tips
Never ride alone as you never know how unpredictable your horse or the environment can be – it is also good to tell someone where you are going and what time you should be home
Be aware of your surroundings especially when near roads – horses can be startled quite easily
If you are learning to ride, do so through an experienced rider or coach/instructor – never try and learn to ride alone
When riding in a group, keep at least one horse length between each horse to reduce the chance of a horse kicking another one
Frequently check your tack for signs of weakness and wear
Learn how to fall and roll away from the horse – it will just reduce the possibility of a severe injury either from the fall or being trampled by the horse once on the ground
By taking these safety precautions and learning these tips before riding your horse, you will greatly reduce the possibility of an accident or injury. This will mean that both you and your horse can go riding and return safely each time.
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