Horse-related injuries: Causes, preventability, and where educational efforts should be focused

Fernanda Camargo, William R. Gombeski, Polly Barger, Connie Jehlik, Holly Wiemers, James Mead, Amy Lawyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A high percentage of equestrians will experience accidents, with different degrees of severity, throughout their riding careers. Horse-related injuries have the highest likelihood of requiring hospitalization based on individuals visiting US emergency departments. Studies have shown that the majority of injured riders said they could have prevented the accident and the injury was due to rider/handler error. Therefore, equestrians reported their injuries, and a panel of experts analyzed these reports to better understand the causes, how to prevent, and where to invest educational resources to generate a reduction in horse-related accidents. The majority of riders reported intermediate riding skills, most accidents occurred in the arena, and most were preventable. The most severe accidents occurred when the weather played a major role, as opposed to the least severe accidents when riders were in the horse’s space. Avoidable accidents included when tack broke, as opposed to unavoidable accidents such as horses slipped or fell. Educational Impact Index was calculated with combined results of the cause of injury, avoidability, and severity. Other humans, horse spooked, and tack/equipment problems were the main causes of accidents with the highest educational impact index, and authors believe that educational efforts should be focused on these categories.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1432168
JournalCogent Food and Agriculture
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.


  • equestrian safety
  • horseback riding safety
  • preventable injuries, equestrian helmet, helmet, horse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)


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