When we engage in the practice of attaching our bodies to those of our horses, we are adding variables to our “safety sphere”. The truth is, we do the same thing when we get in the car, on a motorcycle, in a boat or on a bicycle. In the United States, automobile seat belts are mandated. Some states have mandated helmet laws for motorcyclists. Wearing a helmet in equestrian activities has been a topic of discussion for quite some time. When I rode horses as a child, I did not wear a helmet. In fact, I didn’t start wearing one until I mandated that my children wear one. Now, I feel naked when I ride without it. I didn’t wear seat belts as a child either, but I can’t imagine driving without one now.
I try and manage as many variables as I can when I head out on the trail. My horse is as predictable as a horse can be. I have good, safe equipment. My attire includes a Hit-Air vest and a helmet. Here is a great article listing some tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) to help prevent horseback riding injuries. However, in spite of the best preparations, accidents happen.
Therefore, I have now added ID MyHorse Emergency Identification Tags to all of my saddles. The time to prepare is before an accident happens. Now, First Responders have access to my personal medical information. Additionally, contact and emergency information would be available for my horse if he was lost. We can’t choreograph every move we make or every step or reaction our horses might have, but we can take every precaution available to us to ensure a good outcome in the event of an accident.