Equestrian Sports Leading Cause of Head Injuries
 By Saferaphus   •   6th May 2016   •   999 views   •   2 comments
Equestrian Sports Leading Cause of Head Injuries

What sports do you associate with helmet use? Most likely you picture motorcycle racers, football players and skiers wearing helmets. Even in the rough, slide and tumble of hockey, it’s rare to see a mullet blowing in the wind anymore, because the player has it tucked under a helmet, likely equipped with a face shield. But, in many equine sports, riders continue to resist wearing a helmet. And that is not a good thing. Over the last few months we’ve lost several top riders, and their deaths might have been prevented by wearing a helmet. A new study suggests that equestrians sports account for about 45% of all adult sports related head injuries.

According to the Center for Disease Control, 1.7 million Americans are treated for traumatic brain injuries each year. In a study released by the Journal of Neurosurgery, by the hour, horseback riding and related sports like rodeo events account for more hospital admissions than any other high risk sport such as motorcycle riding and downhill skiing. And, helmet use is 25% or lower among horseback riders “despite the fact that helmets have been associated with as much as a 40%–50% reduction in absolute risk for TBI”1. Helmet use for downhill skiers and snowboarders has increased to the point where 70% of participants wear helmets. Although it is gaining acceptance in disciplines where a helmet is not traditional such as speed games, rodeo and dressage, helmet use has been much slower to catch on with horseback riders.

Related: Ten Reasons Not to Wear a Helmet
Related: This Helmet Saved My Life

The study was done using data collected from the National Trauma Databank with statistics from adults over the age of 18 treated in emergency departments over a ten year period. One of the more surprising statistics was the relationship between the participant's age and the incident of brain injury between horseback riders and the other sports studied. In many sports such as rollerblading and skateboarding, more injuries occurred in the 18 to 29 year old age group. However with equestrian sports, there was an increase from 21% in those 18 to 29 years to 71% in those 60 years or older, suggesting older riders were less likely to wear a helmet or perhaps were more likely to ‘over horse’ themselves.

The statistics for sports related brain injuries in children are a bit different. Children are more likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when playing a contact sport such as football or even soccer. While horse sports may be the number one cause of TBIs in adults, they rank third for children. Why? Perhaps it is because protective parents are more likely to put a helmet on their child, while leaving their own behind. And, in some areas, helmets for riders under 16 has been made law.

The study concludes that among equestrians, increasing TBI and helmet use awareness is critical to reducing the number of injuries. The takeaway for me is, while it’s essential that kids wear helmets, it’s equally important that many adults, especially older ones, change their attitude and protect their brains too.

Horse News More PB Articles About:  Helmet,
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Saferaphus
Valkyrie  MOD 
I'll always wear a helmet. I like my noggin.
  May 8, 2016  •  1,008 views
Me too! Believe me, a hard hit to the head is not a good feeling.
  May 15, 2016  •  957 views
 More News by Saferaphus
Horse Body Language
24th Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
When we think of communication, we think of talking, or at least making noises. We humans are a noisy bunch, and talking is most often our chosen way of making our thoughts known. Yes, we use body language but it often isn’t consc ...
Horse Buns and Sweet Feed
20th Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
So many news stories appear on feeds that just leave you shaking your head. Thieves, abusers and bad choices deserve large helpings of fresh horse buns. But, there are stories that help renew your faith that not everything is awfu ...
Horse Statuary
17th Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
There is a distinction between equine and equestrian statues. Equine statues are statues of horses only. An example would be the bronze statue of Secretariat at Belmont Park, which shows Secretariat running freely with his mane an ...
What is So Cool About Horse Sweat
14th Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
A long time ago, we believed that if a horse became lathered, it was a sign the horse was not fit. As it turns out, all horses will lather if they sweat a lot due to stress or hard work. A young or unfit horse probably just starts ...
Horse Braid Types
10th Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Braids in horse’s manes and tails aren’t just pretty, they have a practical purpose too. They prevent the mane becoming tangled in the reins, flying in the rider’s face, and keeping the mane itself tangle free. For horses shown wi ...
Making Money with Horses
7th Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
I was once told by a woman that as a youth rider, a company that specialized in equine health products used to throw money at her when she competed. Apparently for her, being sponsored by this company was the only way she could af ...
No Wild Horses Left
4th Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Pretty much everything written about Przewalski's horses in the last few decades has claimed that they were the last true wild horses on the planet. We call many horse populations wild such as Mustangs, but they are feral, descend ...
Free Horse Stuff and Giveaways
3rd Mar 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Ferreting out contests for free horse gear, horses and other horse paraphernalia isn’t easy, but if you do, there is some really great stuff to be won. Here’s a look at some of the contests and sweepstakes available to horse lover ...
  View All News by Saferaphus
©2002 - 2018   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
118 Members Online 239,138 Registered Members 2,407 News Articles 9,874,312 Unique News Article Views 214,131,907 Website Views