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July 2, 2014: Horse/Human Accidents

Pete and I are talking about co-authoring a book on the subject of horse/human related accidents. We’ll begin working together on this after he finishes his chainsaw book. I will probably get going on it shortly. I’m really looking forward to beginning work on this. In fact I’m chomping at the bit because I want to get going on this right now. I guess my writing this dispatch is a start. It’s a huge topic, so the next step will involve coming up with an outline.

Horse/human accidents take many forms – accidents can happen in tending to and riding and driving horses. They also involve all who are around them, farriers, veterinarians, and clinicians included.

I am most knowledgeable about riding-related accidents, since several of my friends have had riding accidents. Off the top of my head, five of these individuals have ended up in the hospital.

I have also come off my horses more times than I want to admit. This spring I first came off Tinni who was spooked by a neighbor’s dog, and off Raudi, who was spooked by a child bicyclist. I was lucky; in both instances I was bruised but didn’t break anything.

I have thought at length about the how, what, why, when and where of my own falls, and I’ve talked at length with those who’ve come off horses and hurt themselves. I might be wrong, but it appears to me that the most vulnerable parts of the body are the head and ribs. It’s for this reason that I wear a helmet and a vest. I directly encourage others to wear a helmet and indirectly encourage them to wear vests, the latter through the use of example. I am speaking in the above about falls off the horse. I’m not even talking about mounting-related accidents. I don’t know how common these are, but I am going to find out.

Most recently a friend had a riding-related accident while attending a local clinic. She was at the time attempting to mount up. Her horse sidled away from her and she fell to the ground and broke her leg. This will make for a good accident account because few of us ever foresee getting on a horse as being dangerous. Questions then that my interview will raise for clinic organizers prior to their events might be – is there a mounting block handy? Is it located in a quiet place with soft ground? Should those mounting up have someone to assist them? Should this then be a given? Horse-related things that riders might consider are does my horse stand still when mounting? If not, what might be the reasons for this? Might the reasons for a horse sidling away from the rider be related to back, shoulder, or leg problems? And some self-related things the rider might consider are – do I know how to mount correctly? And, am I in good enough shape to do this without harming myself?

Horse/human accidents is a huge topic; in fact, it is encyclopedic in nature. Of course, I’ll have to narrow things down, and perhaps make the audience for this book recreational riders. This is because the subjects of show jumping, rodeo, and racetrack accidents are book-length topics in and of themselves. At the same time, this is a very important topic in that it will make the unforeseen foreseen.

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