Sunday 25th March marks National Equestrian Safety Day and to mark our sponsorship with Danielle Letherby of Leg Up For Talent we thought we'd explore some tips for staying safe this season.
There are dangers associated with horse riding particularly in hunting, point to point or eventing, where quite sizeable obstacles are often jumped opening up the possibility of quite a bad fall.
Falls are the most common cause of injury and are sometimes as a result of the riders own error. Horses are large, heavy animals and the weight of a horse falling on a rider can often cause as much injury as the fall itself.
There are also a number of horse related accidents whilst riders are riding on the road. Horse and Hound Magazine stated that there have been 38 rider and 222 horse fatalities on Britain's roads since 2010. Many of the accidents are avoidable because drivers are often travelling at speed, too close or both.
It is not easy to gain a complete overview about the dangers of horse riding.
The British Horse Society says there are no centrally collated figures on horse riding injuries. There is no obligation to notify the society about any incident.
There are a number of ways that you can remain safe whilst riding to lessen the impact or potential to cause harm if you experience a fall.
1. Be Alert
When you're riding especially on the road, make sure you maintain eye contact with other drivers and thank those that have given consideration to you as a rider. Always treat others how you would expect to be treated.
2. Be Seen
Wear hi-visibility equipment to ensure you're seen by other motorists.There are a number of items of reflective equipment available on the market for you and for your horse which can really make a big difference in how visible you are.
3. Be Safe
Remain safe whilst riding your horse, never attempt something that you are not comfortable with and make sure you're appropriately trained to carry out the task that you're trying to attempt. Wear the correct safety equipment including an approved helmet and boots and ensure that equipment is free of any damage and in a good serviceable condition.
Falling from your horse is a risk that most riders can accept. However, it can be a terrifying experience, which may knock your confidence and prevent you from continuing to enjoy horse riding in the way that you once did.
Sometimes, this fear or worry can be overcome naturally by the rider depending on their experience during this traumatic event or their own tenacity. Other times it may take longer for a rider to overcome this event. This can be achieved overtime with coaching and mentoring however, for some this can take weeks or months and they may not feel as confident as they once did.
There are also a range of therapeutic techniques that can often resolve these issues much more rapidly in a way that is right for the client often reducing, minimising or even eliminating those old feelings and allowing them the freedom to move forward with their riding in a positive way.
Jason Simmons is a hypnotist, specialising in PTSD, Anxiety and Confidence. Jason is the author of the forthcoming books: Tranceformation: A mindset for change & The hypnotism Handbook.