# 124 Injuries to Equestrians
Magnificent steeds, companionable travels, and the thrill of speed have fascinated man for millennia. From Pony Books, to first horse, to Olympic victory, the challenge of teaming with an equine athlete brings joy and occasional injury.
Try to get the best witness evidence of mechanism of injury. Ask also about alcohol.
The mass and quickness of a horse’s natural “prey animal” instincts can lead to injury from shying, running, rearing, kicking, even just shifting weight. Small children’s lack of fear, and story-book expectations, can put them at risk when close to an animal.
Horses have strong jaw muscles for grazing; they can give substantial bites with the leverage of their teeth. C.f., Weese, below.
Stepped on? Look for fractures and crush injury.
Head Injuries are common due to the rider’s height above ground, falls, striking things, or being kicked. Helmets help. Cervical Spine Injury, e.g., Christopher Reeve, is less common.
Trampled? Look for rib fractures; pelvic or extremity injuries; blunt trauma to head, chest, or abdomen. Strongly consider FAST exam and CT. Jockeys and rodeo performers wear Kevlar™ vests.
Dragged? Thorough musculoskeletal exam. Rule out head and neck injury. Cleanse all “trail rash.”
Always review Tetanus immunizations` status.
Remember that even in conurbations and suburbia that there are still horses about.
“Statistics & Facts” Riders4Helmets.com ©2015 [no author]
Cooke, Sonia van Gilder. Equestrian Eventing: The Olympics’ Most Dangerous Sport? The slightest miscalculation in the cross country can cost medals, as well as possibly lives. TIME magazine. July 28, 2012.
Strickland, Charlene. Equine-Related Human Injuries The Horse Your Guide To Equine Health Care. TheHorse.com Oct 1, 2000.
Centers for Disease Control. Alcohol Use and Horseback-Riding-Associated Fatalities -- North Carolina, 1979-1989. MMWR – Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report. May 15, 1992 / 41(19);335,341-342.
Weese, Scott, DVM. "Horse bites." Worms & Germs Blog. September 2, 2009. Published by University of Guelph Centre for Public Health & Zoonoses. Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.Click to download 2015's Collected Tips (#85->)
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