The most common injuries are sprains, contusions and fractures of the wrist, elbow, shoulder or collar bone. The primary cause of injury is falling from the horse. Other common causes involve faulty ropes, reins and other equipment or improper use of that equipment. Nearly 20% of all related injuries occur during horse-handling activities.

Treatment and Prevention

Beginners are well advised to seek lessons from a qualified professional. Proper technique and safe horse handling should be emphasized at all levels. A rider’s experience, size and skills should always be evaluated before selecting a horse.

Generally, we treat horseback riding injuries with rest as well as by icing and elevating the affected area. In more serious cases, however, especially of bone injuries, the bones and joints may require surgical repair. Immediate medical assistance should be sought as improper or incomplete treatment may prevent the body from healing correctly. This can leave the affected area vulnerable to debilitating conditions such as diseases of the joint or bone and osteoarthritis.