Horseback Riding

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Horseback riding (or Equestrian) is one of the most intense sports known to man. Not only because it's physically challenging, but it takes more than athleticism. Horseback riding takes commitment, time, patience, and most importantly building a bond with your horse. If you don't have a good relationship 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 ...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 ...more

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 ...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 ...more - 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 ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

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. ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

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

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 ...more

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

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 ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

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 ...more

How is horseback riding not number 1? There were over 50,000 equestrian related hospitalizations last year. I am a jumper who jumps over 4ft jumps being as fast and efficient as possible. The people who ride horses, their head can be up to 4 meters off the ground, going 40mph, with nothing but a helmet on. 1 in 5 riders will be hospitalized with horse-related injuries. Last year, I had one of my worst falls. We were going over courses, and my horse spooked. He bolted, bucked, reared, and I, unfortunately, feel off. I was wearing a helmet, but my horse ended up kicking the side of my face when he tried to jump over me. I was hospitalized with a broken collar bone, 3 broken ribs, a shattered wrist, a concussion, and a broken jaw. Now I have a huge scar on the side of my face from where his hoof hit my face and cut it open. If you think cheer is easier than riding, you are out of your mind! I did competitive cheer for 7 years, I've been riding for 13 years, and it's not even close. I ...more

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 ...more

"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 ...more