How dangerous is horse riding?

(40 Posts)
Toffeeapple21 Fri 02-Nov-12 10:43:12

Obviously appreciate there is a risk (as with lots of things)
But how dangerous do you think horse riding is?
I'm considering getting back into riding but scared of falling and doing myself a nasty injury. How common is it to seriously injure yourself?

Apologies for the negative post, but just wanted some opinions on this.

Buildabetterworld Fri 16-Nov-12 14:50:58

NotGood, I never used to wear a body protector either as found them restricting. Then one day I fell off and broke my back. Lying in the field, scared, trying to feel my toes, waiting to be airlifted to hospital is an experience I never want to repeat and that is why (as soon as I had recovered...) I went out and bought the best body protector I could find and now wear it every single time I get on a horse. It did take a little getting used to after decades of riding without one but now it's just like wearing a riding hat, I don't even notice it. True, it won't protect me from every possible spinal injury (just like wearing a hat doesn't prevent every possible head injury) but it does give some reassurance to the people that matter most (DH, DCs) that I have done my best to minimise the risk and hopefully the chances of them having to wonder whether I will ever walk again are greatly reduced.

alwaysGOLD Fri 16-Nov-12 11:51:11

Its a risk sport. You can take measures to reduce the risks i.e hat, etc but the sheer pleasure of riding/competing out weighs the cons for me.

Buts theres a risk factor with everything you do so i dont see the point of worrying - otherwise we would all have very dull lives :d

strictlycaballine Fri 16-Nov-12 10:56:30
Mumofthreeteens Thu 15-Nov-12 15:55:52

It is a dangerous sport. The dd of a friend's friend aged 11 sadly died in a tragic accident during a lesson when her horse spooked and jumped out of the menage. The poor little girl's foot got caught in the stirrup and she didn't fall free of the poney. Dd had a similar experience but luckily fell clear only to have her leg stamped on. Yesterday her friend was knocked out during her lesson when the horse took off and she hit her head on the support holding the poles on a jump. Thankfully she was wearing a hat. There are risks but then there are risks generally in life. A life without horses would be very sad and dull indeed. My dd likes riding as fast as possible around the jumping arena I just have to hope that she doesn't get seriously injured and insist she wears her back protector.

Lucinda Green recently had a nasty accident just trotting up a horse!

But people also have nasty accidents with tea cosies or plastic spoons...

Plomino Thu 15-Nov-12 14:46:41

Yes it's dangerous ( says she on sofa with leg in plaster caused by gross stupidity) . There will always be an element of risk ,even if you stick to hacking , because of the mix of live unpredictable animals , and other road users . However , you can do a lot to minimise risk , and tbh , if I stopped doing everything that was a risk , I'd never leave home .

Normally I do cross country , eventing , that kind of stuff . One of the conditions DH let's me do it , is that I minimise risk as far as possible , bought a point two body protector , and only ride sensible horses. And I'm still injured , by falling off whilst getting on . It couldn't have been a more mundane accident . Sigh .

"In my opinion if you are fully equipped with a hat, body protector, good/sturdy boots and gloves for grip then you will be fine if you fall, as you are totally protected."

Sorry but I don't really agree with this. Sure, they improve your chances of surviving, and surviving without injury, but you can still have a nasty accident, e.g. you can still get knocked out when wearing a hat.

I'm undecided on body protectors actually. I never wear one, though I did buy one recently to try cross-country (still haven't done this, for various reasons including months of rain!) Anyway, I feel very stiff riding in it and would probably be more likely to fall off.

Alameda Tue 13-Nov-12 11:40:20

my neck still hurts from whenever I last fell, although it was nothing, cantering home, practically home actually, without stirrups when he was surprised by a bit of HAY that had drifted onto the track and spun round to gallop down hill. Hay, for fuck's sake. I flew over his head and landed on mine, as usual. Got up to find him giving the injured 'what? What did I do?' face.

it was ages ago though, maybe am getting old and it's unrelated but it feels the same. Maybe I need to be on bute too.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 12-Nov-12 21:00:37

i should not have read this thread! i do however have a risky job so i cant see the point of worrying about the risks of doing something that i love. ive just started lessons and the sense of joy and freedom its giving me is indescribable - so ill carry on and what ever will be will be!

on my second lesson my horse spooked - i think that made me realise that its a free spirited free willed animal im on, not a machine! im careful, have a good fitting hat, and im having proper lessons with a proper and knowledgable instructor - dont htink i can minimise my risks any further.

DENMAN03 Mon 12-Nov-12 20:49:19

It is dangerous, no doubt about that! I have badly broken my leg in the past and have had many falls during my eventing years.. I actually had a crashing fall on sunday having not fallen off for a couple of years and it bloody hurt! I cant move my neck now and am in a lot of pain. As you get older I dont think I bounce as well.

Having said that, I got back on (eventually) and carried on jumping as I didnt want to end on a bad note. I will replace my hat though as it took a very hard knock and may well think about getting an air jacket as Im sure it would have saved a lot of bruises.

I've broken my back, 3 ribs, my nose, 2 fingers and a toe

I still ride

I drive my car everyday and don't worry about the risks and I don't think horse riding when done properly and with te right equipment is more dangerous than that

sugar4eva Thu 08-Nov-12 16:51:16

Oh and also, the first time you get back in the saddle ride a ploddy doppy thing then you will feel safer!

sugar4eva Thu 08-Nov-12 16:49:54

Of course horse riding is dangerous, and they say you are never a proper rider until youve fallen off. In my opinion if you are fully equipped with a hat, body protector, good/sturdy boots and gloves for grip then you will be fine if you fall, as you are totally protected. The majority of falls are not bad, just a bruise here and there, but some can be aweful. I would try not to worry about falling off too much or else when you ride your nerves will pass on to the horse, which probably means your chances of falling off are higher, so just relax when your in the saddle, because after all riding is such a brilliant sport! good luck! smile

My worst injury was falling off a walking pony (broken arm). I find I'm most at risk of falling off when jumping, so am happy to concentrate on dressage etc

Agree about horses on the ground. My then 5 year old was kicked in the head by a pony and went flying through the air. Luckily he was wearing a hat and apart from bruising to the cheek (where the second hoof made contact) was unharmed. It took a while for my nerves to settle.

I returned to horse riding after a long break, and have found that my lessons now are teaching me to really ride in a way I wasn't taught as a kid. I don't think I ever felt fully in control when riding as a kid (I rode from 4-14) whereas now I feel much more able to cope with spooks, stumbles, stroppy horses, different horse. It's very rewarding to be honest. I do still get nervous before riding but usually relax once I'm on the pony. I do 90% of my riding in an indoor school and feel that's probably about as safe as riding gets (providing you're not jumping). Touch wood, before those words come back to haunt me.

In the 3 years I've been back riding I've fallen off once (cantering on the moor my pony either stumbled or spooked) and have seen one nasty looking accident. That was a weird one as the fall looked okay but the rider really hurt her back.

doinmummy Sun 04-Nov-12 23:04:47

I went for my first ride in ages and ages on Friday , round Hyde Park. It was sooooo lovely despite my horse rearing up after a car backfired - I stayed on grin.

Today,however, I can hardly walk and certainly cant cross my legs. Also having a wee is agony because my fanjo took a bit of a beating and is red raw. So yes horse riding is extremely dangerous !

rogersmellyonthetelly Sun 04-Nov-12 22:45:21

It is a risky sport. Trick is to learn whilst you are still young enough to consider yourself invincible!
10 years ago when I was younger and more foolish, I would ride anything with a saddle on and a leg on each corner, these days I tend to think bugger that and only ride my own, who whilst he does do daft things sometimes, he is at least predictable in his stupidity and I know how far he will go with something and that I can stay on top and vaguely in control in his worst moments.

fortyplus Fri 02-Nov-12 23:42:09

I had my own horses for years and competed in show jumping, hunter trials and team chasing for years without seriously hurting myself. In more recent years I've taken up various forms of paddling including white water, which seemed a safer option (not as far to fall/landing in water etc) but I've ended up in hospital outpatients 3 times including cutting my head open and needing six stitches!

Nuttyfilly Fri 02-Nov-12 23:33:43

I used to point to point my list of injuries are endless! As above say, a good hat, good body protector, proper footwear and gloves and a sensible horse, also don't ever do anything your not comfortable with. And the very best of luck getting back in the saddle!

Booboostoo Fri 02-Nov-12 22:00:45

Realistically I think it is important to appreciate that it is dangerous. If you ride you will fall there is no way to avoid it, even if it is because the horse slips. I have also had some of my worst injuries handling so personally I think horses are more dangerous on the ground than ridden.

I would prefer it if DD did not want to ride, but I know that with horses at home it's inevitable that she will want to try it. As for me I think I am addicted!

Nigglenaggle Fri 02-Nov-12 21:03:14

You can have horrible accidents yes, and thats awful... but I dont believe supervised lessons on a riding school horse or pony is more dangerous than driving your car. So why not have a few lessons on a safe old hack and see how you feel after that.

Alameda Fri 02-Nov-12 20:34:19

Am I the only person who, when they hear 'oh it's more dangerous than/as safe as - various risky activities' thinks of ways to combine them all? Like skijoring on ecstasy behind a galloping race horse?

emlu67 Fri 02-Nov-12 20:14:57

I have recently returned to riding after a break of almost 30 years and am loving it. It is something I have planned to do for a while and I was totally rubbish on my first lesson but it is coming back slowly and I am too busy concentrating to worry about the risks. That said I am happier nowadays in an indoor school with no plans to do anything more adventurous as I have two children to get to school with no family support!

It's dangerous, but I went for 15 years or so with no serious injury until the day I was trotting round an indoor school on a riding school pony and fell off and broke my back. Just fell badly, bad luck.

A friend was riding her own horse, he spooked and she went flying, landedon her feet and shattered both feet and ankles.

Both of us have very many much happier riding memories, and were only injured so badly by fluke. If I were able to ride again risk free guaranteed I could do so without damaging my now fragile back i would, but as I now have two small children I can't take the risk.

horsemadmom Fri 02-Nov-12 19:19:46

Do you ski? If you do, the risk of injury proportionate to participants is much higher for skiers than riders. If we all thought it was so dangerous, we wouldn't be allowing our kids to do it. Any tackroom peeps forbidding their children from riding?

VivaLeBeaver Fri 02-Nov-12 18:39:42

A friend of mine was badly and irrebersibly hurt while trotting round an indoor school.
There is the journalist from the Times who was paralysed jumping.
A friend of mine at college was killed doing x-country.
I've been knocked out while exercising a race horse which spooked and threw me at a gallop, same horse also broke all my toes in the stable! Apart from that never broken anything and I rode 6 hours a day for years.

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