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Horseback Riding: Safety Tips “Rein In” Injuries
Date:4/24/2013

Carmel, NY (PRWEB) April 24, 2013

An estimated 30 million people ride horses every year in the United States. And according to the U.S. Consumers Product Safety Commission, about 200,000 of them are injured, with as many as 70,000 seen in hospital emergency rooms. The rate of injuries for horseback riding is higher than for motorcycle riding and is highest among riders 5- 24 years old. “A riding horse may weigh up to 1,300 pounds and travel more than 30 miles per hour,” says Dr. Stuart Styles of Somers Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine Group. “With the rider sitting six feet above the ground and the momentum generated by the horse's speed, the primary risk of injury is from falls. But people can also be kicked, stepped on or fallen on by a horse.”

The most common horseback riding injuries are soft tissue injuries – abrasions, bruises, strains and sprains to the skin, ligaments, tendons and muscles – as well as fractures, dislocations, and concussions. The most serious injuries and the ones with the most potential for long-lasting damage are to the spine, neck and head. “Every precaution must be taken to prevent falls and to protect the rider when they do occur,” says Dr. Styles.

Prevention begins with properly matching rider and horse. Riders mounting a horse that is too much for them is one of the most frequent causes of injuries. The rider must be completely honest about his or her riding abilities when choosing a horse. Novices should ride older, calm horses. Only expert riders should ride young, spirited or high-strung animals.

Safety tips cover clothing and equipment as well as riding behavior:


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