So, You Think You Love Horses? Some Reflections on the Nature of Horses and Man

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Playing it Safe and When to Jump Off

Trailer Tire ChangingTrailer Tire Changing
Trailer Tire Changing Aids and an Tire Inflator

I try to make what I write lighthearted, but the topic of riding safety is a very serious one. You will often hear that riding is an inherently dangerous activity, but I believe that is mostly the language of the legal profession posted by those who are justifiably worried about liability. In my decades of riding I have never had a serious injury but that is not true of many of my friends, and I believe it is as much luck as my own caution and riding well schooled, sensible horses. Nearly everything you do might be characterized an inherently dangerous activity; for example, I could make a good argument that getting married is an inherently dangerous activity.

It is possible to be injured or even killed participating is nearly all forms of outdoor recreational activities. Golfers are stuck by lightening. Surfers are attacked by sharks. Hikers are lost forever in the woods (at least we think that is what happened to them). Campers are mauled by bears, and the list goes on and on. People need to ask themselves if the benefits of participating in a particular activity are worth accepting the often small risks of injury inherent in that activity. When I was in college the campus skydiving club made a presentation which was supposed to recruit new members. However, they seemed to spend most of their time talking about the tragic death of a club member the year before. After hearing their presentation, I had no problem crossing skydiving off my list of things to do.

Once you have accepted the risk, the second question is: how can I actively avoid injury to myself, the horse and others. I have made an outline of safely tips for your consideration.

Safety Outline

You may not choose to do all of these things, and I do not want to pretend that I carry all this gear and equipment with me on horseback. I do try to keep these things in my trailer or tow vehicle and to carry what is appropriate for the occasion. I find that when disaster strikes that other horseman will always try to help you out. We mostly trail ride so my list favors things that trail riders might need. I do believe that many riding accidents and injuries are preventable, but if not, the next level is good crisis management. I will continue this discussion on the next page should you wish to read on.

Wishing you a safe ride
The Accidental Horseman

More of the Safety Discussion (Elaborations)
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