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  • Writer's pictureSara

Is horseback riding a dangerous sport?

Horse riding is a sport that carries a certain degree of risk of accidents, like any other sport activity. In Italy, the Italian Association of Equestrian Centers (ANICA) conducted a study on the frequency of accidents in Italian stables, knowing, however, that a large number of accidents are not reported.


According to ANICA data, over the course of a year, there are about 1,500 accidents on horseback in Italy, which cause more or less serious injuries to the riders involved. Of these, about 30% are minor accidents, while 70% are more serious accidents requiring medical attention.


The most common injuries in horseback riding involve falls from a horse, which account for about 70% of accidents. Riders can fall off the horse for a variety of reasons, including an unfixed saddle, a frightened horse, or a rider losing balance, just to name a few.


Other types of accidents in riding include injuries to the hands, feet, legs and head, caused by being crushed or hit by the horse.


Let us also remember that the accidents do not only affect the riders but also the horses themselves.


Investing in the education of your horse is certainly fundamental for the well-being of the combination and to limit the number of accidents. Unfortunately, this aspect of horseback riding is often underestimated if not even ignored. In addition to this, it must be kept in mind what the ethological needs of the horse are. Riding a horse that is not well mentally or physically can be really dangerous. So let's think about making horses live in the right way for them and not to make our lives easier.


In addition, for the rider, to reduce the risk of accidents in horseback riding, it is important to follow some basic safety rules. First, always wear the appropriate protective equipment, such as a helmet, riding boots and a protective vest. It is also important to choose a horse that suits your level of experience and skill, and always check the saddle and equipment before getting in the saddle.


Equestrian centers, on the other hand, have the obligation, not always respected, to carry out regular maintenance and offer safe installations that are therefore intact and functioning. We are often dealing with old and dangerous installations.


Finally, it is important to follow ANICA’s safety guidelines, which include a set of safety rules and procedures to be followed to reduce the risk of crashes in the teams.


In summary, horseback riding is a sport that carries a certain risk of accidents, but can be practiced safely by following the right precautions and guidelines. The figures show that the risk of accidents in horseback riding in Italy is present, but it can certainly be reduced by a lot with a proper focus on safety and accident prevention. It is a duty of everyone that concerns not only the rider but also the well-being of the horse.


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