Most Common Accidents When Horseback Riding and How to Prevent Them

A man sitting on a horse

Horseback riding is an exhilarating activity, but comes with risks. Learn how to mitigate these risks with a horse riding liability waiver.

Horseback riding is a fun and adventurous activity offered at farms, fairs, and other events across North America. Whether you start with a pony ride at a young age or hurdle right into show jumping, there are many opportunities to enjoy this hobby. Some people become so engaged with horses that they open their own equine business.

While owning a horse for pleasure can be relaxing, owners running equine businesses need to think about more than just riding. This activity can be dangerous. Even the most expert riders can experience accidents or injuries that affect them for life.

That’s why so many equine business owners turn to horse riding liability waivers. Today, we’ll learn more about these waivers and show why they are essential for your business.

The Basics of Horseback Riding Waivers 

Any equine business with participants riding or even working closely with horses should require all customers to sign a liability waiver.

Using a dedicated horse riding liability waiver helps to inform customers of the potential risks of working around or riding horses. On each waiver, there’s space for participants to sign to indicate that they understand the risks and accept the liability associated with participating.

This transfers the liability for accidents or injuries that happen under ordinary circumstances from the business to the participant. If an employee or owner’s negligence or disregard for safety causes an accident, the participant may still be able to bring a negligence claim and win.

However, the liability waiver protects the business from liability claims resulting from risks that are simply inherent to the activity of horseback riding.

Common Injuries and Accidents That Could Affect Your Equine Business

Horse riding waivers are essential to any equine business because there are many risks inherent to working around horses.

These animals are beautiful, but they’re also strong, powerful, and can be unpredictable. 81% of riders get injured at some point in their riding career, and over 100,000 horse-related injuries occur yearly in the United States alone.

Here are some common injuries you may see in your riding business.

Head injuries

Head injuries are widespread in horseback riding. They typically occur as the result of the rider falling off the horse. Of the head injuries that may result from riding, concussions are the most common, followed by a fractured skull. These injuries typically result in hospitalization but can also be so severe that the rider dies.

Broken bones

Broken bones can also occur when a rider falls off a horse or gets kicked.

A broken wrist may be the least severe broken bone injury that results from horseback riding. In 1999, a famous actor’s family was awarded the equivalent of more than $730,000 USD after the actor was thrown from a horse while filming a movie. He suffered a severe pelvic fracture that caused fatal internal bleeding. 

Spinal injuries

A sudden and impactful fall can easily cause severe spinal injuries. These typically occur when the horse throws a rider. These injuries can result in a concussion, paralysis, or even death.

Facial injuries

If a rider is thrown from a horse, experiences a fall, or even gets kicked, all of these injuries can cause serious facial damage. This may result in damage to the delicate facial bones that can require reconstruction.

How to Protect Your Business from Liability with a Horse Riding Liability Waiver

Since horseback riding has so many inherent risks, operating an equine business without a dedicated horseback riding ‘ride at your own risk’ waiver is dangerous. These waivers inform customers of the potential hazards of horseback riding. This allows them to make an educated choice about whether they want to participate.

At WaiverForever, we offer equine business owners and enthusiasts many options for horse riding lesson waiver templates that can help protect their business. Whether you offer lessons, conduct trail rides, or rent out horses by the hour, our waivers are both simple to use and easy to read.

Want to get started? Read more about the features of our solution here.