Horseback Riding


CHEERLEADERS, READ THIS. I have a few cheerleader friends who even admit that horseback riding is more dangerous. My sister's friend said that horseback riding was easy and that anyone could do it. She said that basketball was harder! Seriously? Then my sister put her on her barrel horse and told her to take her through the pattern. She started out because the horse was getting impatient with her and started rearing up and kept trying to bolt. She later said that it was harder than it looked. All because it looks easy, doesn't mean it is. Riders who know what they are doing make it look easy, but they are trying so hard. They don't know what to expect. We are always in suspense. I have been riding my whole life and have fallen off a total of 18 times. Once, I was loping bareback and my horse spooked at something. I was completely catapulted off of her, landed on my shoulder and then flipped down a bank. I hopped straight up to chase after my horse who was galloping home. When my adrenaline finally stopped after I caught her, I was sent straight into tears. I hadn't noticed the pain until then. My father had a horse flip over backwards on him and he was paralyzed from the waist down for 2 months. The doctors said he would never walk again. Lucky for him, they were wrong. He has permanent back problems now. A month or so ago, I was loping in an English saddle in the field and my horse started bucking and I went over her head and got my foot caught in the stirrup and she drug me. I reached up and grabbed the reins and pulled her in a circle causing her to step on me but at least she stopped. It took me literally 10 minutes to catch my breath because I hit the ground so hard on my back. One other time I was loping and she spooked at a dirt bike. She shot to the right and I shot off of her to the left. I jumped up to catch her and then lifted my shirt up and looked at my side and it was already swelling and was bruised. It hurt very bad just getting kicked by a foal. Seriously, I try to not be scared around horses. But when they start kicking at you I'll admit it, I get scared. My great uncle has permanent brain damage from being kicked in the head by a horse. My mom's best friend was kicked in the stomach and had internal bleeding and almost died. This past year 3 kids in 4h had to be rushed to the hospital from falling off. 2 of them were at the "fun" show. I have been kicked, stepped on, throne 6 feet into the air, been slammed down, fallen on, bitten, hit in the head, bruised, 7 out of 10 of my toes have been broken, 2 of my fingers, I have had chipped teeth, sprained ankles, ripped muscles, torn tendons, cuts, swelling, tears, I know fear, I know what it is like to almost die, I've been knocked out, slammed into trees, been head butted, I've had a bloody nose, a broken nail, I've had 2 finger nails that have fallen off, I've had my fingers popped out of their sockets. I've had a dislocated shoulder, a sore rib, a sore leg, arm, neck, more

I rode for 2 years and I am still working around horses. Going back into riding, since now we're doing really good with money again. But, even though I never got thrown and injured by riding, I almost got injured by just standing around one. My friend, has been riding for way over 10 years! She was thrown, bit, kicked, and stepped on. She was thrown into the gate, broke her arm. She was then bucked off and landed on the ground, where the horse stepped on her ankle. Her ankle was close to shattered and her shoulder was dislocated. She was bit and had a bruise from around the mark and had some bleeding inside it. Not the serious kind though. She also had a concussion from falling off and slamming her head on the ground.

I was mucking out the fields last week with two ponies. Now, ponies are smaller than horses. People fear horses more than ponies, but you better fear both equally. Especially ponies, they can be very rough and bratty. They have their own attitude too. Well, the one pony saw me ran up and rubbed his head against my shoulder. The other one, was very territorial. He was a gelding, but got gelded late...which means still had his stallion attitude. He run up and reared, almost getting me with his front hooves. I dodged easily and just backed away from him. He left me alone but then kicked me in the face. I broken my jaw and had a nice black eye. Luckily, I didn't get my eye out.

The man who played superman, was thrown from his horse and is not paralyzed. You can't make one tiny mistake in riding or you'll be close to killed sometimes. Working around them is just as dangerous. They're very big animals, and very powerful. I see all these other cheerleaders complaining that we're on top. Girls, grow up and face it.

You can actually talk to your team mates, ours are horses. Animals. Who don't speak english, they go by a very deep and special connection, touch, etc. It's hard staying balanced, confident, not showing our fear or nervous. You CAN NOT be nervous or scared on a horse. They can feel that and they react to it. They become nervous or scared or both!

I'm not talking about the trail rides, that people go on. Where you sit there. I'm talking about jumping, dressage, eventing, barrel racing, western pleasure, racing, etc.

A jockey fell from his horse and the horse's hoof went straight through his head. Killing him instantly. This was the friend of a jockey, who is friends with my teacher in school. It's such a sad story.

Get on a horse, do jumping, dressgae, etc. And tell me it's easy, not dangerous and requires no skill.

He requires a strong core, which means stomach muscles, leg muscles, arm muscles, and back muscles. Every muscle, also means strong bones, and being flexible.

Getting your foot stuck in the stirrup is horrible. If you pull the reins, you'll spin. You'll get trampled, kicked, badly injured. Over 300 people die a year in horseback riding.

A teen girl, died more

Horseback riding is a very dangerous sport. Lots of people say it's not even a sport, but it is. By the way, there's a difference between going on a joy ride and actually doing it as a sport. I'm not saying joy rides are bad, I love them, but allot of people who say that horseback riding isn't a sport have ONLY gone on joy rides.

I've seen lots of injuries. I know someone who was just playing with her horse in it's stall one day. The horse didn't even mean to do this, but he did. He got startled and lifted his head quickly. His head hit the girl's jaw and shattered it.

By instinct, horses kick people when they go behind them. Let me tell you, THEY HAVE A POWERFUL KICK. I know people who have been paralyzed due to a kick.

If you play a sport that has an animal with a mind of it's own that, by the way, doesn't speak English, you are putting your life in danger. Horseback riding and other sports such as bull riding are extremely dangerous. Lots of people think of horses as an animal that does what you want and is so nice. That is not always the case.

We horseback riders love what we do, and we love the horses just as much as the sport. People who don't horseback ride will never understand it, so I don't expect you to (if you're reading this and aren't a horseback rider).

Another thing, the sport isn't just on top of the horse. We put allot of money and care into taking care of our horses. The stall can be dangerous too. When you go in there, the horse can kick you, bite you, and allot worse things.

I know someone who went into a horse's stall, and this person has been riding for about 35 years or more. That horse kicked her down, didn't give her time to get up, bit her on the butt, and picked her up by the butt, and threw her at the wall. She got right back up, even though she was in great pain, she knew that her duty had to be finished. She caught the horse then went to the hospital.

Taking care of a horse is physical work.
We lift water buckets.
We lift saddles.
We lift hay bails.
We rake.
We sweep.
We rush around, tacking up horses (in lesson barns)
And more.

I'm not saying that other sports aren't dangerous. In my opinion, cheerleading, gymnastics, rugby, bull riding, and hockey are also VERY dangerous.

So many people tell me that riding a horse isn't a sport. They tell me it's easy, I just sit there and smile as I sit on an old school horse that walks in circles. They laugh at me when I come to school sore and bruised. But I laugh at them. I laugh at them because they have no idea what really goes into it. People are constantly arguing about things in the horse world- western or English, bit or no bit, which breed is best, even simple things such as colors, but one thing we all agree on is this is not just a sport, but one of the most dangerous and hardest sports there is.

Most sports have padding. In riding, you don't see much padding. A helmet is worn occasionally such as jumping. Sometimes body protectors are worn under your clothes. Western riders will ride in a hat. Saddleseat riders compete in a derby or top hat. With no protection except the clothes covering our body. And we don't wear a lot of clothes. It varies based on discipline. For me, as a saddleseat rider, my show clothes consist of a long sleeved shirt, vest, tie, boots, gloves, and black jods. If we get thrown, we hit the ground hard with nothing to stop us from getting injured. For most people, it's go to the hospital or get right back on.

Our practices are just as hard, or harder, than those of other sports. It may not seem that hard in beginner walk/trot lessons, but as you progress it gets worse and worse. Lessons filled with trotting and cantering, using only your legs to keep yourself on the horse and balanced, while still communicating with them and making it look easy. Bareback and no stirrup lessons are something you'll usually hear about with groans and whines. In bareback, you have no stirrups. You're forced to post during the trot and canter with only muscles in your thigh, while still keeping a perfect position. It's a lot more painful than it sounds, and causes even experienced riders to wince and rub their legs when it's over. Along with that, our practices don't end right away. It doesn't matter how thirsty or hungry or tired or sore you are, if you have to use the bathroom, or study for a major test the next day, your horse comes first. Making sure it's untracked, groomed, cooled, blanketed (if needed), fed, watered, and put away or turned out for the night. Now you finally have a chance to grab something to eat or drink before finishing up the chores of dragging hay bales and water buckets and getting rid of the manure and putting all your tack away. Chores vary from place to place, but it's part being a rider.

We work all year long. We ride and show in hundred degree weather, while still smiling through the sweat and taking care of our horse's needs before our own. Or weather way into the negatives, you'll still be able to go to practically any lesson barn and watch the students work just as hard as they would in normal weather. If we happen to get injured, we get back on and ride through it, not getting medical care until more

People need to stop viewing equestrianism based on their one-time safe, organized trail ride on a dead broke old horse, or their cute little experience at horse camp as kids where, once again, they went on safe, organized rides on dead broke horses. True equestrianism is very dangerous and intense, and it is not limited down to one or two cute little disciplines like pony-rides or racing (which seems to be all anyone outside of the horse world ever acknowledges, though pony-rides, obviously, don't count worth a dime). Show Jumpers run courses over six foot fences. If their posture is incorrect for just a second, there's a long way down. If they don't set their horse up right for take-off before the jump, they could get thrown off (sometimes into the jump) by a quick refusal. Then there's always the horse tripping, or its legs giving in around the course. People train for years upon years for this, taking lessons several times a week - it's a very complicated discipline, just like most other disciplines associated with equestrianism. Barrel Racers gallop at full speed around barrels, making turns so sharp they're almost parallel to the ground. And looking outside of just specific competitive disciplines, they are on the back of a living creature! In other words, they're unpredictable and have a mind of their own, and that goes double for a lot of temperamental show horses. Every rider knows that no matter how good they are, they're going to taste the ground every once in awhile because their horse will throw them off without a doubt. Hospitalization and breaking bones happens all the time. I could go on and on, but I shouldn't. Bottom line is, everything about horseback riding is dangerous. Everything. You could be digging your grave just by approaching a horse the wrong way (specifically in a manner that scares it). Actually look into equestrianism and you'd be pretty freaking surprised. - Lunar

Horseback riding is, first and foremost, a sport. As in, you get a workout and you use muscles. Furthermore, it's a very physically demanding sport. A 30 minute lessons of simple cantering and posting can make me more tired than after any soccer game I've played.

Now don't get me wrong - I'm pretty well rounded when it comes to sports. I realize how dangerous they all are - from downhill skiing to rugby to even tennis (i wouldn't want to get hit by that ball! ), but in the end, horseback riding is preformed on an animal. ANIMAL. As in unpredictable and with a mind of it's own.

Ask yourself this - can your soccer ball flip over you in a spilt second and crush you? Can your soccer ball throw you 7 feet into the air onto hard dirt?

The whole essence of horseback riding is trusting something with a mind of it's own with your life. It's having that brittle connection with an animal TEN TIMES YOUR SIZE (in weight) that can be snapped in a moment.

Obviously, going around a racetrack 120 miles per hour in a car is dangerous, but at least you have control of that car. Jockeys do have control of the horse, but in the end, you can't fully control it.

Professional riders gallop at solid obstacles at speeds of over 20 miles per hour in cross country. And most of these riders, after falling from 5+++ feet up at high speeds brush themselves off and are back in the saddle very soon.

Everyday riders jump up to 5 feet. Professional ones can hit walls up to 8 feet. EIGHT FEET. Could you imagine something going wrong and falling off from 8 feet up in the air. And if the horse gives out, then they fall on you too. Horses are natural flee animals, and when you fall - they run. And when you fall, your head is in a very close proximity to their hooves.

Obviously, like in any sport, if you know what you're doing you lower your risk of getting hurt. I'm not trying to say equestrianism is better than any sport out there, but one mistake can literally make you dead. And unlike in other sports, you can't control most of these fatal mistakes.

Anything involved with an animal can be dangerous... especially one so big! Most people think that all horses have no minds and just listen to the rider without them having to do anything. They are wrong. Horses definitely have a mind of their own. Yes, they're trained to do what the rider tells them to do, but they can very well disobey. And they do! Horses can kick you off (not to mention actually kick YOU), rear you off, etc etc. These are humungous animals that can very well kill someone in just one kick. And they don't have to obey every single command their rider tells them to do. My horse doesn't! And let's not just think of horse back riding in general like jumping and all that, let's think of things like polo or vaulting. Polo - extremely dangerous. Many people fall off and can get trampled by the galloping horses. People can easily get hit in the face with the mallet. There is also SO MUCH CONTACT in the sport, believe it or not. Contact is practically the definition of polo. People will crash into at 45 mph. Yea, soccer and football have contact but can you really say that they are going 45 mph? Are they really as strong and heavy as a horse? Thought so. Vaulting - very dangerous. People doing gymnastics on horse back. Do I really have to explain the persuasions of this? I really do think it is quite self explanatory. Gymnastics is hard itself on the ground but imagine on a horse? People do hand stands and back flips on these horses at full speed! You can't even begin to say that's not dangerous. There are many other things that people do on horse back, all dangerous. But that would probably take a million pages for me to name the sport and describe the dangers. Why do we do it if it's so dangerous? Because we love it. It's our passion. Some people can't find any sports that they really like. And when they try horse back riding, it just clicks. We have an unbreakable bond with our horses. Literally, unbreakable. You just can't understand without feeling it for yourself. Us equestrians have such devotion to the sport. We put our lives and trust in these creatures, hoping they will do the same. Horse back riding is not just a sport, it's a lifestyle too. It changed our lives for the better, and for the worse (but mostly for the better! ). Call us stupid for putting our trust in these giant creatures, but some things are just worth dying for.

There are so many things that can go wrong in horse back riding. I really don't understand how most people think their sport is a lot better and easier than horse back riding. It is a SPORT. There so many ways that horseback riding is harder than any sport. Picture this, you're on a 1,200 pound animal. You're on your horse. You're going down the alley to run your barrel pattern. You're horse is running in place. You run around 3 barrels at top speed and the only thing that is keeping you on is the strength you have in your legs. The only thing you can do to get it to stop is to sit hard with all your body weight, and a little piece of metal in their mouths. We horseback riders have to work out too. We have to be strong in case we loose our stirrup, we don't quit riding if we're running at top speed. We go faster. Because we have MUSCLE. You are in an arena. There is 12 or more competitors in the ring with you. You have to make sure your horse is groomed properly, looks good. You have have to make sure the saddle is on perfectly, if the bridle fits or not. Make sure their whole body shines and stands out. You, you have to make sure your hair is perfect so it doesn't cover your number on your shirt, make sure your helmet fits correctly, have proper attire on. On top of all of that you have to perform in perfect rhythmic movement with the horse, make sure it's head is tucked or properly low, controlling the horse to go the perfect speed, make the horse spin in a 360 degree haunch turn, back up, ride without stirrups (in an equitation class), have perfect posture, looking where you're going, and a smile on your face for the judges. It's not all that easy. People say oh all you have to do is sit there. Umm it's much more than that. You try to control an animal that can plunge you 15 feet into the air, rear up and land on you, break bones, step on you and kill you. Riding is an inherited risk. But we equestrians take that risk every time we handle our horses because it's what we love to do. We love to have the thrill that we could be paralyzed in 9 seconds flat. We wake up every day thankful that we have yet another day to ride and that we didn't get injured. We get thrown against a wall? We get up, dust ourselves off and get back on the horse. We are equestrians and just think, what if you had to control a 1,200 pound animal that can kill you in 3 seconds. Riding is a SPORT. In the top 2 most dangerous ones in fact. And remember, in our game, our ball has it's own mind.

I'm 16 and have been horse riding (English style) since I was 3. I've also tried western, sidesaddle, horseball and individual stunt riding thanks to some of our yards horses being used in films. Over this time I've ridden at 3 different yards and although I haven't been badly injured myself I know people who have. I've fallen off horses more times than I can remember but luckily I seem to bounce, the worst of my injuries were bruised bones, ligament damage, strained muscles and sprains. One of my good friends however has had his horse (which is 17hh and pure muscle) fall on top of him. He was lucky and didn't break anything, getting away with just concussion and a few days in hospital.

I do agree through that it's not just the riding that's dangerous but the groundwork around the horse as well. I know someone who has died from a young horse kicking out at him. Horse riding has become safer in the past few years but I still feel that as a sport it's one of the most dangerous. It won't stop me doing it but I understand that every time I get on a horse I am pretty much holding my life in my hands and it's my fault if I don't control the horse. However, there are some things that cannot be controlled. Horses are living animals who can think for themselves rather than objects. Their ability to think makes them unpredictable which people who don't ride ignore when contemplating the difficulty of the sport.

I now ride for a living and still have people telling me that I just have to sit there and do nothing. It frustrates me no end because to do well you have to strain your body physically and mentally. The last time someone said to me it was easy and a child could do it, I offered them my horse (who is only about 14hh but rather flighty) and told them I'd visit them in the hospital the next day. I've got my friends to have a lesson and they now understand how hard what I do is and even though they enjoyed it, none of them would even think about some of the things I have done.

This is defiantly the most dangerous sport. I ride horses and almost got killed when I fell. My horse fell too but I literally jumped off my horse, broke my ankle but got up anyway and ran to my horse. The poor thing was limping but thank god he didn't break anything. Only bruised his ankle. I managed to bruise my back badly, break my ankle, and sprained my wrist. When I jumped off the horse I went flying, landed on my ankle wrong.

But to those who say it isn't dangerous, it's easy and that we don't need to be fit. Yes, we do need to be fit. No offense, but you don't see fat people riding horses in competitions do you? No, sure a horse is strong but people who are over weight wouldn't be able to keep up with all the things that you need to do. I lost 20 pounds in a matter of two months riding.

Dangerous, yes. People die almost every single year riding, Jessica F. For example. She shattered her skull when her horse flipped and landed on her. So don't say it isn't dangerous. It hurts when you fall from five to eight feet in air and smacked the hard ground. It isn't a soft fall, even if it looks like it.

Easy, heck no! God, posting alone is hard enough! And that's the easy part! Jumping is hard, galloping is very hard and all together. Riding a horse is very X100 hard. It's the first sport in the whole world smart ones! Better than dumb football. -_-

Also, walking into a horse's stall with the horse there is even dangerous. Especially if the horse was abused before it was rescued and you walk in and that horse doesn't trust humans anymore. Just put it this way, if you can... Get out. If that horse is laying his ears back and bearing his teeth and stomping his foot on the ground, just back away and let him calm down.

Also, look up on youtube guy attacked by horse. Click on the video that looks kind of grey with a chestnut horse and a guy on the ground. That's what a horse is capable of and even more than that.

Also, to those cheerleaders. Shut your faces! You don't know a thing, sure you risk your lives. But not as much as we do. You know nothing of this sport and look stupid trying to say you do.

People may always say, "Equestrian isn't a sport. You just sit there". But how can they tell us what Equestrian is, when they themselves have probably never been upon a horse in their life. I can assure you, if we offered to let them ride a horse, they would be terrified. Why? Because horses are 1, 300 pound creatures with the power to take a life with one flick of the knee. Equestrian teaches control, patience, strength, grace, etc.. Everything any sport needs. Except, Equestrian is different.. Maybe in Football, Soccer, Hockey, Basketball, or Baseball, you would simply be off the team without These acquirement.. But in Equestrian, if you don't have these requirements, you'll either end up in the hospital, or dead. I honestly can't think of any sport that has caused so many deaths.. So many ER trips.. So much pain, compared to Equestrian. We're the only sport where our equipment can decide to cooperate with us or not. We're the only athletes who spend up to 8 hours a day trying to work with a partner who doesn't speak our language. We're the only athletes who, when we fall, fall 7 feet to the ground. We're the only athletes with no off season and on season. We're the only athletes who control a half ton animal. We're the only athletes who must trust 2 small iron stirrups with their life. We're the only athletes who must be able to predict our partners next movement, and move with them. We're the only athletes who *really* understand balance. We're the only athletes who have truly looked fear in the eye. Maybe other sports have injuries more often.. Torn muscles, pulled tendons, broken arm, etc.. But when it comes to the extent of the injury, Equestrian rises to the top. There are over 200 estimated deaths per year caused by the dangerous and risking sport of Equestrian.. Compared to only 8 deaths per year caused by football. I guess this is quite a long opinion with strong feelings that most will never understand.. Because unless you've had to control 1300 pounds of partner, 7 feet in the air, running 40 MPH held up by only 2 irons, surrounded by pounding hooves that with one kick, would take your life in less than a second.. You wont understand.
Sincerely, a 15 year old equestrian.

T.V. taught me that horses are incredibly dangerous. Do ya'll remember the episode of Full House when Michelle fell off a horse and lost her memory?

That is just the beginning. Losing your memory isn't anything. My best friend lost her memory, fractured her rib cage and punctured a lung because a horse kicked her

It may not happen every day, but when a horse decides to do something different than you want it too there could be lots of trouble. A horse is a creature with a mind of its own, and no one on earth can read what could be going on in there. Some horses may give warnings, but just like other beings they could just strike. When I was around 8 I was on a stubborn little pony who was always trying to eat someone's leg off. I was riding for about 30 minutes when I pointed my toes too high with not enough pressure and I slid off the pony at a trot. Sure, it doesn't seem too bad, I just fell off... Except my boot was lodged in the un-breakable stirrup. I was being dragged through horse muck and dung all while cantering riders were coming up on me. I was still being dragged with a now cantering horse pulling me and a few horses almost stepping on my head. All of a sudden the horses behind me luckily turned in time right when my boot fell off. I was alright, a bit shaken up but I got back in the saddle. Point is, if the riders behind me decided to turn one second later then when they did I would've been trampled to death.
Horse riding is the most dangerous sport in the world, when you put dressage, vaulting, cross country, reining, polo, horseball, show jumping, driving, horse racing, barrel racing, and even more in the same sport of Equestrian then you're going to get lots of injuries not just from the amount of different events, but because all of the events have to do with a horse and rider making lots of contact.

I am older now and a lot more advanced, I'm so tall I can't even sit on a pony and look good. I usually ride a 17.2hh horse that I jump and such, so that is around 6ft of muscle that could easily kill me. If I fell off of this horse while cantering over a jump then I would surely be injured, maybe even a broken bone or a slight concussion. Not to mention if there were other horses in the arena -- it would be a mad house of horses either spooking or calm horses being bucked at by horses that were. That said, we are always risking our lives doing what we love.

There is so much more to the dangers of horse riding than what I am typing, heck, this is very poorly written compared to what other fellow Equestrians will wright. I just really need to get going at the moment, see ya!

To all you who say that to ride a horse you just sit and let the horse run, you are wrong. You have to have incredible balance because your legs and hands give the horse cues (that means telling them what to do). Reins aren't there for you just to cling to and yank on the horse's head. Its a twelve-thousand pound animal with a mind of its own. You have to work with it. Bucking, rearing, dragging, spinning, and bolting are all serious dangers. Being trampled isn't far fetched at all. Or try having the horse halt in front of a log after running at it at up to 40mph? You go flying into said log. Just for those who don't know how to jump a horse, you actually don't sit in the saddle and you sure don't stand straight up. You are essentially in a squat on a moving animal. Not to mention that to ride a horse you have "prep time" and I don't mean for you to get pumped up. You have to tack up the horse (you know, get saddle, bridal, etc. on) and warm up. Yes, you have to warm up a horse too, and sometimes this can be when the horse is most temperamental. And once you are out on the course, you are riding a giant animal with a flight risk. All your nerves need to be buried deep down so you can concentrate on your connection to your horse. They can sense when you are uneasy and that makes them uneasy and they have a flight instinct. If your horse runs away with you, its just you, the horse and the ground flying past you at 40+ miles-per-hour. Let's just say you don't want to fall off and it is not that easy. When it comes to injuries, they are not just a broken finger or a sprained foot. We are talking about broken necks, heads vs. hooves, broken spines, trampling (which has more injuries than I'd like to list) and serious concussions just from falling off a 16+ hh horse (hh=hands high and measured at the withers... 18hh=6ft, 17hh=5'8", 16hh=5'4"... ) Let's just say that when dealing with huge animals with minds of their own, you have to be careful and you put yourself at risk every time you ride one.

I have been riding horses for quite some time now. This definitely deserves to be one of the most dangerous sports. We not only have to take care of our own bodies, but a horses' as well which is sometimes very difficult. We can't stop when we think our body is conditioned or tired, we have to keep going until our horse has learned what it needed to learn. We practice 5 hours a day sometimes more and we don't get long enough breaks for food when at a competition and sometimes we have to ride on an empty stomach. People like to say we just sit there, when in reality we don't. We are doing just as much, if not more work than the horse. We also jump over obstacles 3x our size maybe more! It's an eye opener to realize that upon landing, a horse has 10,000 pounds of pressure coming down on its spindly, little front legs that if they aren't conditioned properly, can snap in half bringing both you and the horse down and usually ending up with you crushed under the horses weight. Horses have more muscles in just their neck than we do in our entire body. If the horse decides it doesn't want to cooperate, you can fly off in a heartbeat. Riders also have very good use of our muscles. To stay upright and in the correct position for almost all positions, we use our abs. 5 hrs a day of just using your abs and balance to hold you upright, and we also have to use our thigh muscles to hold us in the correct position as well and to keep us on the horse. Still think its easy? Also horse riders are usually very smart. One reason is because we constantly use both sides of our brain at the same time on a horse, because we not only have to think and memorize a course or routine as well as do it and know where we are and where we're going, but we also have to get the horse to move and function like we want and we have to do it in absolute silence. It deserves to be at the top of the list, no doubt.

I played softball for 11 years. I was a cheerleader for 9 years. Now I ride horses I show Dressage. Out of all of those things I can tell you without a doubt horse riding is a sport and it's the most dangerous. Yes I got hurt in softball and cheerleading but nothing compared to horseback riding. I have fallen off every way imaginable. When your a cheerleader and your stunting you can talk to each other and understand if something isn't right or if your flyer is coming down you all have each other to catch the flyer. In horseback riding you just have you and your horse. You can talk to your horse all you want but their not going to understand you. They can't just talk and tell you if something is wrong or something your doing happens to be bugging them the only way you figure out is when there not listening and start rearing or bucking you off. There are far more injuries in horseback riding then there are in cheerleading. Everything you do in horseback riding is dangerous tacking them up, lounging, walking around, trotting, cantering, jumping, and so much more. What a lot of people who don't ride horses seem to forget is that no matter how high of level your horse is in or how obedient your horse may be its still a horse. Which means it's and 1000+ pound muscular animal that has a mind of its own and no matter how trained it is doesn't mean it can't and won't throw you off in a blink of an eye. Every horse has its moments were it tries something on you. I've seen riders who have rode for years have to scratch their 4th level dressage test because their horse is acting up and they know if they go out in that arena and push their horse there going to get thrown off. I will admit cheerleading is dangerous and they do have injuries just like every sport known to man does but when it comes down to it were the one's riding these huge animals that have a mind of their own and aren't afraid to throw you off.

Really, horseback riding less dangerous than cheer? Hahah, so funny. First of all, you are dealing with a 1,000 (+) animal with a mind of its own, that if it wanted to, could kill you. But we communicate with it in ways you don't even see when you watch someone ride. We can't say "move", "walk", and it will automatically move, but we communicate using our hands, seat, legs, and eyes. I can't tell you how many times iv seen someone fall off and get hurt. I have had it happen to me too. I fell off in front of my friend one day, and she has never seen anyone fall, nor has she fallen off herself, and it totally freaked her out. Like she didn't want to ride the rest of the lesson because of that, Now imagine you are in a show, and your friend falls off right before you go on. You gotta get your act together, because your horse will feel that you are scared, and will be scared too. I have broken my wrist from my horse simply tripping. I have been bucked off, and luckily no one else was in the ring at the time, because my horse was bucking wildly all around the ring, and if someone else was in the ring, they probably would fall off too. I've seen someone fall off from a horse that was 18.2 hands ( a hand is 4 inches, you do the math) and the horse judged the jump wrong, he thought it was a vertical, when it was an oxer, and they were already 3 feet in the air. So she fell around 8 feet ( just an estimation)and going pretty fast. Now your going to say cheerleaders fall higher from that, but guess what, they got people to catch them. We don't. We have the ground. That's it...

In sports like jiu-jujitsu, grappling, mma you have an opponent who is based close to your same size. I can see soccer as being dangerous, for more injuries like twisted ankles. Baseball/softball- you can collide w/ the catcher or get hit by the ball. At least with these sports, you are dealing with other people who can think regarding safety.

The sports where gravity and distance- if you mess up, have dire consequences. So does riding. Not only does the rider have to keep his horse and himself safe, but other people in our environment (Like drivers) have no clue about horses- and this makes our sport extremely dangerous as well. Not to mention we are on a huge unpredictable, in survival mode type of animal.

I race and train for endurance riding. In just the last 2 years alone, in my sport just in my area we have had: 4 riders needing to be life flighted to the hospital. 1 woman who broke her cervical spine and ribs in 3 different places. 1 woman head injury, broken pelvis, and broken ribs, 1 rider literally having his thumb torn off, 1 boy died whose horse flipped over on him, many many head injuries where people are still undergoing therapy and may never be "normal" again. - and these are only the ones I've heard of. This doesn't include riders who merely got tossed and broke a small bone or twisted an ankle. Dog attacks, getting hit by vehicles, having your horse come out from under you due to ignorant hikers/walker/cyclist who just don't understand the horses's mind and what things make them spook. Even just being on the ground, brushing or saddling the horse anything can happen from people approaching you (from around a corner) who just want to "pet the horse" to a random white piece of trash somebody couldn't be bothered to throw away can set a horse off in a panic mode.

I am soaking wet sometimes when riding and I am using my balance and core strength. Depending on the horse, you could be getting a pretty good upper body workout as well. It's been over 15 years since I've fallen off a horse, but it's almost daily that somebody else could have caused a major injury between me and my horse. It's not a very level playing field sometimes. :~}

Horseback riding includes ALL sports. Here's a quote explaining that:

"Equestrians need to have the concentration and ability to judge distance like a golfer, strength and stamina of a hockey player, artistic flow and ability to make a hard thing look easy and beautiful like a gymnast, and and also know where everyone around them is at all times ALL WHILE controlling a 1000lb or more animal with your hands, back, neck, shoulders, thighs, calves, legs, heels, stomach, or basically every bone/muscle in your body with the help of a 5 inch piece of metal. "Riders use their entire bodies to tell their horse what they want them to do the way they sit, move their hands, the pressure of their legs...dozens of signals pass between horse and rider, at every moment"-Horse Power: The Road To Maclay."

Horseback riding is just like any other sport. A soccer ball isn't going to move without a soccer player. A basketball isn't going to move without a basketball player. A football won't move without a football player. A horse will NOT jump over an obstacle, do dressage dances, race, etc. Without a rider. It's almost as if the horse is the ball and the riders are the athletes. We just don't kick them, throw them, or anything else. We need to communicate with them, we need to gain their trust, and we need to know many many skills. You won't be jumping on your first or second lesson, you won't even be cantering. Sometimes, you won't be trotting. It takes both mental and physical strength. And to the cheerleaders who said every sport besides their's has pads to protect themselves because they're afraid to get hurt...think again. All we have is a helmet and the reins. Even then, many many riders die. Don't talk trash about our sport without actually jumping, dressage, barrel racing, etc.

I am not aware of any other sport where your teammate is up to 20 times your size. In horseback riding you are dealing with unpredictable, 2,000 pound muscle machines and all it takes is one wrong step and just like that your dead. But have you ever realized that you "play" football, soccer, baseball etc... But you don't say, "I play horseback riding." That's because when it gets to the point where your teammate could kill you in 2 seconds flat, it is no longer a game! And to all of you who say all us equestrians do is sit there and hang on, why don't we just let the horse run a course itself? Oh right that's because equestrians speak another language and not to mention the insane amount of strength it takes to ride! Sure cheer is dangerous but when they fall they fall a couple feet and nothing else happens, when equestrians fall we fall off a moving animal going upwards of 30mph and it's not uncommon that we get fallen on by our horse after a fall, kicked in the head after we fall or get trampled. Being an equestrian is beyond dangerous, it is life or death every time you sit your ass down on a horse so don't when try telling me cheer is more dangerous because that's just flat out stupid, Yeah that might be it umm try making the cue for canter more about where you place your heels (inside forward outside back) and less about squeezing or kicking him. Also make inside rein (raising it) part of your cue because he might just not like being kicked since so many idiots ride him. Also if you lunged him after you rode him that probably means his muscles are loosened up which could mean he bucks because his back hurts and having a person on him would only make that worse. Not to mention the insane amount of leg muscle it takes to ride

Horseback riding. I have to say it's the most dangerous sport in my opinion. We are dealing with something that technically can't be controlled. Horses CHOOSE to listen to us because they are animals of flight and if they feel as though there is a leader, which is hopefully you if you ride, then they follow. We handle animals that are MANY times larger and heavier than us, and just because they are not as smart as we are doesn't mean they can't use brute force to get what they want. People usually only see horseback riding where there are huge A rated Hunter or Jumper shows and the horses are perfect and well behaved. There is SO much more to it than that. Do they know how every horse GETS to that point? A foal isn't born a top notch horse. It has training, training, and training. When horses are still "green" (young and unpredictable) they don't always know what you want them to do. Being on a thousand pound animal that doesn't know what you want it to do is like putting your fate in someone elses hands and hope and pray that if you are consistent enough and clear enough with what you are telling them that they will listen. Horses weren't put on this earth just so that we could ride them, we are taking a part of God's given Earth and molding it to what we want and hoping that none of the wires holding it together fall apart.

Horseback Riding is a severely dangerous sport. All you cheerleaders have NO idea of what goes on in Equestrianism. In cheer, is there a chance that you could be crushed by a living, breathing, two ton animal? No. Do cheerers control a creature over solid fences, at a full speed gallop? No.
Ever heard of Jessica Forsyth? Her horse flipped over a fence, and crushed her skull. Has that ever happened to a cheerleader? No.

All you cheerleaders are making yourselves look like idiots. Riders cannot just hang on and be fine. Riders work harder than any other athlete.
In all other sports, you are in control of yourself only. Riders try their best to control a powerful, 2 ton animal, with a mind of it's own. Over 6ft fences, some solid. One wrong move can paralyze you, or, even worse, can END YOUR LIFE. And, not all the danger is when you are on the horse. I know of several farriers who have been kicked in the head and killed. Can a cheerleader kick you with enough force to kill you? No. And, this IS a sport. Whoever says it isn't is a loser. Riding takes a huge amount of muscle, and extreme balance. Advanced riders have worked so hard for balance, that they don't even have to think twice about it.

Equestrianism is a horribly dangerous, yet rewarding, beautiful

"Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground. ~Author Unknown" People just don't realize how hard that art is. What if that horse doesn't want to stay beneath you and the ground. Well then your pretty much screwed unless you can hang on for you life. If horse riding wasn't so damn dangerous than tell me, why is it we fall, and fall hard! Why one little mistake can cost us something as precious as our lives, or even more precious our horse's lives. TWO lives are at stake at least with every ride. You try getting on a 1000 pound animal! Now after that try staying on while it gallops around a ring uncontrollably probably throwing in a good buck or too. All these people on here (I see you football and rugby comments ) need to open their eyes and realize that when you get on to a horse, anything can happen. I know many people who have fallen and needed an ambulance. I've had it happen to me. If you've never seen a bad horse fall go on to youtube and look it up and believe me it will be on of the most horrifying things you will ever see. Next time you see a horse rider don't say that we just sit on the horse, think about how hard it is to stay sitting on that horse while at the same time talking to it without words.

Thank you

I'm a rider. I ride many different horses three times a week. I have been so close to dying so many times, but I've only been riding three years. You hop on an animal with a mind of its own. You have to grip the horse with your calves to stay on. Of the horse rears up and you hold on with your reins, the horse with flip back over on top of you! One time I was riding and the horse jumped side ways then bucked and I flew over 10 feet side ways into a fence. I hit the top and the bottom rail, broke the top rail dented my helmet, bruised my entire body, and I couldn't feel my legs. One horse, my best friend rode, wasn't properly trained. He had been donated from the top show barn in the state because the top trainers couldn't train him, the top rider couldn't ride him. When we cantered which is 30 miles an hour, the horse decided to go 50 and then try to jerk its head down and throw my friend! I have ridden a horse called Farrell (that's his nickname his real name is Bauer) and he used to be Ferrell! He broke to barn doors and it took two weeks to get him tied to a post! He took off galloping around the ring when my other friend had him and the he tried to slide into another horse! He would turn his butt and try to kick! It may look like riders just sit there your its the exact opposite. And sometimes there a great horse, but he trips and falls on top of you! I had a close in punter when a horse tripped and fell and I almost landed under his shoulder. If he wouldn't have known I was next to him I would have been crushed... Permanently.

I get it cheerleading is a sport trust me. I have no doubt in the world for that. My best friend is a cheerleader and am a equestrian. But seriously? Everyone keeps saying that they fight for perfection that doesn't exist. every single time I take a step closer to my horse I'm risking my life. we put everything into it. we preform an intricate dance with an 1200 lbs ANIMAL who if they wanted to at any moment could kill you with one small movement. again we also have to look pretty at all times, we work out, we run, we act like nothing hurts. I sprained ankle or a broken finger can seem like nothing when you instead have a broken wrist. there are 6 legs,2 arms, 4 eyes, 2 brains, 1 chance, 1 second and you could be done for your entire life, paralyzed or worse dead. people say that all you do is sit on the horse, and then the horse does all the work but I want you to go sit on a horse and see what happens. I guarantee nothing much will happen. and there's always firsts in riding. just like any other sport. oh and what about vaulting has anyone mentioned that? So let me explain- in CHEER put together with GYMNASTICS on a 17.0 hand horse who is cantering around. what about racing I don't think that in cheer you can fall off of something going 40 MPH and then have other things trampling over you at 40 MPH. then add 5-6 foot jumps in the middle of that and you get steeplechasing. then lets take into consider eventing and jumpers, where you run around a course in a small confined area with 5-6 foot jumps that tower over you and the horse, then you may go out to cross country where you jump 5-6 foot jumps that are 5-6 foot wide that are SOLID. Now if you want to just sit on the horse and tell it to go up to one of those jumps, go right ahead. and I doubt that in cheer you have to communicate with an animal with your legs and hands. I think that your cheerleaders can talk to one another. right? At the moment I don't understand why EQUESTRIAN is not in first. and let me say that again EQUESTRIAN not HORSE BACK RIDING. hey, whatever you ant to think go ahead but the next time you hear that EQUESTRIAN in not a sport think again because I want you to go and try to ride a horse and then walk the next day. yeah good luck.