Many Horse Lovers Saddle Up Unsafely

Nearly a third were injured over past 3 years, largely in preventable accidents, expert finds

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FRIDAY, July 30, 2010 (HealthDay News) -- A recent survey highlights the need for a horse rider safety, according to a University of Kentucky expert.

The poll found that 60 percent of 100 horseback rider respondents in Kentucky didn't wear any safety gear the last time they went riding. Of the 100 respondents, 31 said they had been injured in the past three years from handling or riding a horse. Of the 31 injured riders, 70 percent believed their accident could have been prevented.

"Many riders who have been injured say that they feel that those injuries were preventable. Wearing a helmet and paying attention to what your horse is communicating to you are two of the primary ways to prevent injuries," Fernanda Camargo, an equine extension professor at the University of Kentucky, said in a university news release.

The survey was conducted by Saddle Up SAFELY, a program sponsored by UK HealthCare.

"One of the aims of this important campaign is reaching out to riders of all ages and abilities to educate them about how to stay safe riding and handling a horse," Camargo said. "It can also serve as an important reminder to many of us who have years of experience but might become lax in our everyday behavior."

The campaign's Web site offers information about horse rider safety, horse-related injuries and horse-transmitted diseases.

More information

Here's where you can find Saddle Up SAFELY.

SOURCE: University of Kentucky, news release, July 2010

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