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Avoiding Risk Factors in the Saddle- Five Top Tips

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Horse riding; an exhilarating, fun and fulfilling sport.  However though thoroughly enjoyable riding can be a risky sport so in our latest blog we take a look at RS-tor’s five key ways to avoid risk in the saddle!

 Wear a Riding Hat

In RS-tor’s view it makes no sense not to wear a correctly fitted and safe riding helmet. Riding hats are not onerous to wear and can often prevent or attenuate head injuries in falls. Remember a head injury is usually far worse than a broken bone and those who have them sometimes sadly do not completely recover.

Establish the Correct Matching of Horse & Rider Combinations

Correct matching of horse and rider is vital in preventing accidents. A highly spirited, athletic horse can scare the daylights out of a novice and a tired old plug can bore an experienced rider. Choose any horse your purchase or loan very wisely and seek expert advice if you are not sure and when riding in riding school ensure you totally trust the instructor to make a sensible choice for you and always speak up if you do not feel comfortable with the equine selected for you to ride.

Focus on Safe Mounting and Dismounting

Mounting and dismounting from the horse can potentially be a risky time. During this phase rider puts their weight on the left side of the horse which throws the equine off balance or cause the saddle to slip and can cause them to react. While the rider has one foot out of the stirrup they are vulnerable to any sudden movement of the horse and has poor control of the reins. It is also a time when a sudden forward movement of the horse can cause the rider’s left leg to be caught in the stirrup and then be dragged. A secure mounting block is a must for every yard and if there is any doubt it is advisable for someone to hold the horse while a rider mount. Taking hold of your RS-tor Riding Safety Aid can be useful at this point offering riders a ‘handle to hold onto’ should their horse spook or shoot forwards upon us first sitting in the saddle after mounting.

Check the Girth! 

Some horses seem to blow out when the girth is first tightened and riders should be certain they are tight before mounting. Do the girth up gradually- perhaps first attaching on a looser hole and then applying your horse’s boots and bridle and then retightening. Check your girth again after mounting and after five minutes or so of riding to ensure if has not become too loose which can result in pinching and slipping of the saddle.

Stay Together

Horse’s are herd animals and when hacking it is natural that they want to stay together. If you are riding out with friends or family ensure groups riding out together are matched well in terms of both experience and the size and the stride length of the horses and ponies. Holding horse’s back can cause them to feel frustrated whereas an equine left behind will certainly result in anxiety.



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