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.

Abbicob Fri 02-Nov-12 10:51:19

It is a risk sport. No doubt about it one day you will fall off.
I have not fallen off for well over a year now so must be due a fall soon.

If you are scared don't do it.

Debs75 Fri 02-Nov-12 11:13:42

Well if you fall off it can be risky. If you work with untrained horses it can be risky.
If you are going to a well run stables and you go at your own pace, no galloping on your first lesson, then you shoukd be fine.

I havent fallen off in years but I am wary as I know it will hurt and I have more responsibilities now. I never thought about the risk when I was a teenager and I was always falling off then

Debs75 Fri 02-Nov-12 11:15:41

Oh and yes uf you are really scared best not to jump on now. Maybe start with being around them first. A bit like watching the scary rollercoaster before getting in the queue

CMOTDibbler Fri 02-Nov-12 11:27:18

It depends what kind of riding you do - obv cross country/hunting is by far the most dangerous, but you are on top of a large amount of animal who can decide to do things that will make you fall off.

That said, I know a lot of people who ride, and I'm the only one with a permanent injury from it. Get the best fitting hat and body protector you can, wear them all the time, and that will reduce the risk greatly

Toffeeapple21 Fri 02-Nov-12 11:36:08

Thanks for your responses so far.
I am only intending on gentle hacking and schooling and only intend to ride well schooled horses (although appreciate they are still animals so there's no guarantee...)
I am definitely not planning on hunting or cross country or riding untrained horses.
I have hat and body protector.

Mirage Fri 02-Nov-12 14:55:52

I know a few people who've broken backs,collarbones and necks,always out hunting or team chasing.In fact,DH and I were discussing it the other night,and DD1,whose favourite things are hunting and cross country looked horrified and asked if people really broke bones falling off horses.It had never occurred to her that it might be dangerous.I used to fall off all the time when I was little and riding in the fields,but never broke anything.

Toffeeapple21 Fri 02-Nov-12 15:01:21

Mirage, sorry to hear that. I hope all the people you know who we're injured have made a full recovery

Buildabetterworld Fri 02-Nov-12 15:31:35

It's dangerous, no doubt about it. I have broken my leg and back falling off horses (separate accidents nearly 30 years apart!), as well as received various smaller injuries over the years. Neither of my more serious injuries happened while doing anything particularly exciting and were just a combination of bad circumstances and bad luck (though I've also had my share of good luck in not getting more seriously hurt other times!).

Nowadays I always (and I mean, absolutely always) wear a hat and body protector, even if just popping out for a little walk round the block on the steadiest and safest of horses. I also always wear a hat when lunging or doing groundwork, or loading horses. Also hi viz for riding out on roads.

So yes, riding is extremely dangerous but also lots and lots of fun. You will have to accept a certain level of risk if you want to do it but as long as you take the precautions and remain sensible, the likelihood is that you'll be fine.

You have to weigh up the risks. I have ridden all my life (since I was 4 anyway) and when younger and generally much more of a risk taker fell off lots of times without any serious injury. Sadly as I hit my forties I have had a couple of bone crunchers, one involving 2 ops, another involving concussion and whiplash and a back injury for which I'm still receiving treatment 10 months on but it hasn't stopped me getting back on and doing what I always do. I don't take great risks, as I have a family, work and can't afford to be out of commission, but unfortunately accidents happen and as you get older you neither bounce nor bend in the same way!

So, you have to decide whether you want to take the risk in the first place - you can fall off anything anytime, but obviously the slower you take it then the risks are reduced.

Mirage Fri 02-Nov-12 17:46:07

Yes,I make my girls wear a hat and bp before they go anywhere near dpony.There is a 6 month old foal in the field we have to go through to get the bp's hats,tack from,and today it suddenly turned,charged at DD1,reared up and then turned around and double barrelled her.It was completely unexpected and out of the blue,and fortunately she was just a bit shocked and upset,but it served as a good lesson to both dds that horses are just as dangerous on the ground as when you are aboard.

SucksToBeScaryMe Fri 02-Nov-12 17:58:49

I think you need to know your limits. I've ridden since I was 3, and went on to be groom. I've never broken a bone. But the only advice I can give is get a super safe bomb proof thing.
I would also reccomend a retired polo pony. They have beautiful manners, always good to shoe,clip,box etc and most players are happy to give them to a good home. Plus they love the one to one attention!

Alameda Fri 02-Nov-12 18:28:29

the worst injuries, of aftermath, I've seen with my own eyes have been quite simple random things - the worst a kick in the face, from a shod back foot sad but people fall off at walk and break collar bones, someone broke their back falling off my horse in the school, a hunt master broke his arm quite catastrophically picking out a foot but never had an injury in the field

but my neighbour broke lots of toes when she slipped down a garden step, not even drunk, it's just luck isn't it? I can't be worried about injuries, take precautions, wear a hat but really the point is to enjoy yourself!

FernandoIsFaster Fri 02-Nov-12 18:34:00

A good friend of mine was killed riding (hunting) but then again have lots of other friends who have ridden every day for 20 years or so without serious injury because they are cautious and know their limits.
If you ride sensible animals in a school environment with a hat and body protector you should be fine. I would avoid road hacking though if you are rusty.

Dragonwoman Fri 02-Nov-12 18:38:34

Statistically horse riding is more dangerous than motorcycling if that helps with perspective at all? You can mitigate the risk a little by only riding quiet horses, not showjumping, taking part in cross country or hunting, staying off the road and by wearing a hat and body protector, but it will never be one of the safest sports.

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.

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?

PetiteRaleuse Fri 02-Nov-12 19:52:43

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.

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!

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?

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.

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!

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!

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!

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.

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