Easy ways to prevent riding injuries
Horseback riding is a sport that can be dangerous for both the horse and the owner. However, many common accidents can be prevented simply by knowing a few safety precautions. This can eliminate danger and when put into practice, safety measures can also make riding less stressful for both you and your horse. Here are some things to keep in mind before getting in the saddle.
Always wear a helmet: This many seem obvious, but it’s something that’s commonly overlooked. Helmets may not be the most attractive piece of equipment in your tack room, but they provide protection for a very important part of your body – your head! Even if you’re experienced and have been riding for years, you should always use a helmet as an extra step toward safety.
Choose your riding trail carefully: Any area you ride in should be free of objects that could cause injury to you or your horse. For example, riding in a place where farm equipment is parked isn’t the best idea. An open arena on the other hand, would be a great place to ride your horse. If you don’t have an horse arena, choose a spot in your yard or pasture that is free of rocks, sharp objects and other potentially dangerous objects.
Use safe equipment: Riding equipment doesn’t need to be expensive, but it should be safe. All parts of your saddle and bridle should be in perfect working order and fit your horse properly. For the rider, heeled boots should be used to prevent the foot from going through the stirrup. In addition to this, if you are going to be working your horse particularly hard, it might be beneficial to wrap his legs to prevent strain.
Ride within your ability: Many riders sustain injuries because they try to do something that isn’t within their ability or their horse’s ability. Although you should grow as a rider and progress in your abilities, when trying something new you should make sure you have proper instruction and have done all the preparation. For example, if you’ve only been riding for a few weeks, don’t go out alone with your horse and try something like jumping over a fallen log. Not only do you not have enough experience to do this, but there is much prep work that needs to be done for both horse and rider to make a successful first jump.
Riding safely takes preparation and most importantly, common sense. While this is not a complete list of everything that can prevent injuries, it does hit several of the most common areas. Before getting in the saddle, think about your safety and the safety of your horse. Injuries are not fun and preventing them can make the partnership with your horse more enjoyable and long lasting.