How dangerous are horses? Injuries, accidents and ranking against other sports

26 Jul
Bruised leg from being kicked by a horse

What is the worst wreck you have been in or witnessed?

Injuries happen. At the last horse show I was at I saw a man in a cast and the first thing I asked was, “Horse related accident?” to which he responded, “No, I just tripped.” We both laughed and I told him he really needed a better story, or at least a better build up. But the incident got me thinking. Horses can be dangerous, but so can many other hobbies. This spring my 14 year old nephew broke his ankle/leg when he landed wrong during basketball. Another friend injured her knee in the same way. Several people I know hurt themselves simply walking, or rather, while simply walking.

Horses can be dangerous but there are ways that we can make them safer including educating both the horse and the rider and by simply being aware.

Here are some interesting statistics;

  • one in five injuries related to horses happens before mounting up
  • most dismounted injuries are more serious than mounted injuries
  • dismounted injuries tend to be kicks
  • mounted injuries tend to be falls

Total pro sports ranked horseback riding at #7 in comparison with other sports-

  1. Football
  2. Basketball
  3. Cycling
  4. Skateboarding
  5. Baseball
  6. Softball
  7. Horseback riding
  8. Ice hockey
  9. Lacrosse
  10. Golf
  11. Tennis

There are many interesting products out there to help reduce the chance of injury. Riding helmets are the most widely known and recommended piece of safety equipment. Others include safety vests and break away stirrups.

How dangerous do you consider horseback riding to be? What is the worst wreck you have been in or witnessed?

P.S.-Here is an interesting video on breakaway stirrups.


Posted by on July 26, 2014 in Life, Video


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92 responses to “How dangerous are horses? Injuries, accidents and ranking against other sports

  1. Kori

    July 26, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    My worst wreck was when trail riding on a “bombproof horse” and we had to cross the road and the horse reared, slipped and fell on my left knee. Completely dislocating it and making it so I couldn’t walk!

  2. Fay Seymour

    July 26, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    first year owning horses.. cracked sternum after his head flew up while I stood in front of him taking off his halter. Next year.. broken hand (hit the saddle horn while he made a crazy leap over a tarp), a few smushed feet from being stepped on, on heck of a bruise from getting kicked, and a very sore butt from getting knocked over when they spooked, and a very sore hip from falling on the ice while taking hay out.

    • Terrie Heid-Brazier

      July 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      I’m a professional horse trainer, been riding seen I was three, and my dad has trained horses (very well) his whole life. I also went through 4-H and safety, safety, safety has always been emphasized. But no matter how vast your knowledge and experience, and no matter how many safety measures you take, horses are big, powerful, dangerous animals. They can easily kill you, and anyone who deals with them needs to remember that. Despite my caution, ‘stuff’ has happened: I’ve been kicked in the face (no shoes fortunately, I look good as new), had a horse intentionally flip itself over backward (very mushy ground saved me), had one back up so fast it lost it’s balance, broke the fence, and fell backward at the top of steep hill (saved by his heel catching the baseboard and the luck of landing to the side), had another rear and when I went to grab her mane I missed and grabbed the rein, pulling her over backward (saved again by landing slightly to the side), had an unruly, undisciplined mongrel stud go after me when I had him in-hand in the round pen (missed my head with each front foot but knocked me down and tore my knee ligaments), and had the usual plethora of horses slipping and falling down, jumping sideways and landing on my foot, knocking me down when they spooked and jumped into me, kicking me & nipping me (they paid for those with an equal measure of discomfort!), squashing me against a stable door (cracked ribs), and a few times bucking me off (broke three vertebrae wings when I landed on my back on a gravel road). That’s just life in the horse business (jump jockeys have broken most of the bones in their bodies). You’ve got to love and have a passion for horses to make them part of your life, but never lose respect for the fact that they’re dangerous and need to be very well disciplined, besides being loved and looked after.

  3. Julia

    July 26, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    The worst wreck I was in, I tried to mount my new horse (second day I had her) bareback and she spooked and before I was fully on her back started broncing – I fell off onto ground frozen solid and broke my sacrum and the transverse process off my L4 vertebrae. I had to be carted away in an ambulance which was embarrassing, but every time I tried to sit up I’d pass out so they called 911. I was in shock and said, “Just let me lie here and eventually I’ll be ok,” and my trainer said, “Um … others kind of have to use the arena too …” 🙂 The new horse, by the way, turned out to be a wonderful horse despite our difficult beginning!

  4. Julia

    July 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    I should add that before the ambulance came I mentioned to my trainer and other riders that I was shock and probably needed a blanket (it was also 20 degrees out) and they covered me in three horse blankets! It was surprising cozy and when the EMT’s got there they didn’t see me under all the blankets 🙂

  5. KT Rhodes

    July 26, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Had horses two years. My first horse was a cold backed mustang mare. The first three times off… Just bruised. Then I dislocated my tailbone and four months later she bucked me off and I landed on cement breaking ribs. Time to get a new horse. Got a sweet five year old gelding that’s as sweet as pie. He ran away one day and I decided to unass him. (Big mistake) broke my pelvis in four places. (Never jump off a perfectly good horse, they say?) then two weeks ago he boogered over a house for sale sign. He was already processing the four wheeler and the yapping dog, he saw the sign at the last minute and my normally steady eddie did the sideways teleport and I landed on paved road and rebroke the ribs I broke on the mustang. Have I mentioned I’m 50 and ride horse to alleviate the pain of arthritis and fibromyalgia? My ortho doc said after the pelvis he was going to write me an order to “stay in the middle”. Sigh. On the other hand there is some internal impulsion that keeps getting me back on..

  6. Michael

    July 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    On a remote trail, climbing, my horse did a back flip and crushed my pelvis. 2.5 hours before search and rescue got to me and a life flight ride to the local trauma center saved my life (barely). I’m recovered, my horse was fine and I’m still riding – the same horse.

  7. Jean Coombs

    July 26, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I was driving home from work one night. I stop the horse as we came out of the woods on to a paved road and one of the shafts broke. The harness did not and the shaft hit the horse and he took off ,turned down the road that we used to go home. The shaft kept hitting him so he kept going except I had been dumped out of the cart. I was drug down the side of the road because I would not let the reins go. After I got my air back I said whoa and he stopped. His legs were cut up. My glasses were gone so were my shoes and my jeans were full of gravel. Thank goodness no broken bottles on the side of the road. It was a half mile home. So I unhitched him pick up the cart, he backed right up to it to be rehitched. Good horse. I lost a bunch of skin on the belly . He and I both healed quickly and we went back to driving back and forth to work. Amazing horse!

  8. Sherry

    July 26, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Saddle slipped sideways at a fast lope and my horse jumped over a small mound…fell off, hyper-extended my leg and couldn’t walk without crutches for 6 months. Lesson learned…be sure to tighten your saddle properly!!

  9. Kristi

    July 26, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    At the barn I used to work at.. The lady that owned it , a horse kicked her durring a trail ride broke 3 places in her collar bone. After that healed and she was able to ride again, we was washing horses in the wash room. She was pulling on a horse fell back and broke her arm. Felt so bad for her that she couldn’t do anything.

    • Sandy

      July 26, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Cinch broke , the saddle and I both come off in middle of field….closed head injury, amnesia for 3 weeks and I still don’t remember getting on his back that day and I don’t remember the hospital visit or the 35 ppl at my house for a cookout 2 days after my accident….month later I rode him again and he spooked over a potato chip bag in the field , multiple fractures in my pelvic bone , torn groin muscles…..decided he would be my best pasture horse/ best friend….never rode him again!

  10. Allison

    July 26, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    I raised a buckskin Paint mare from 6 months to 3 years old and trained her as well. I had ridden her bareback and trotted her with the saddle in the round pen for two months before I attempted to canter her. The first time we cantered, she started bucking. I soon lost my outside stirrup and couldn’t get it back after trying several times. I bailed to the inside of the round pen and rolled to get out of her way. As I rolled, she turned in and her front hoof glanced off my right cheek bone (leaving a 1 inch gash) and then landed on my right ear (tearing the top half off). I blacked out for a few seconds and then sat up. Thankfully there were no broken bones and only a LOT of stitches to my face and ear. The doctor at the ER did such a great job sewing me up that the scar is minimal. I’ve been asked if the one inch scar on my cheek is from a cat scratch. There is no hearing loss or damage to my ear beside a scar that runs all the way over the top and behind it. The healing took about 2 months and I was back training her again. There is no reason I should still be alive from that…especially since I wasn’t wearing a helmet and the cheek bone is the most fragile in the human body. I now wear a helmet when I ride or train and am so glad I’ve never needed it since! I do have a pretty exciting story and some awesome pictures though!

  11. jacqui

    July 26, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    last august my horse snapped and went crazy during a pleasure stroll around a quiet track he stopped,spun and launched into a uncontrollable gallop from standstill. when he spun one of my stirupps sliped up onto my ankle i lost my balance and fell forward and off the side i wrapped my arms around his neck with a fist full of mane, hanging on for dear life. because the track had a 90 degree turn and i was hanging on the outside we couldnt make the turn. a few seconds before post and split post/rail fence that bordered the track my stirrup that usually needs a hoof pick to force bar open came open and the strap came free from the saddle i was able to let go just before my head got crushed between horse and fence i hit fence post my horse crashed thru and snapped off 2 rails. i broke my lower jaw on both sides fractured my neck at c1 vertabre colapsed my lung temporarily and had massive intrenal brusing thru my chest abdomin and left leg and hip. i was head first in the dtich by the road drowning in my own blood. i was wearing a helmet and it saved my life. i should be dead or in a wheelchair at the least but i am fine 1 year later with some metal plates and screws in my jaw bone and a numb face as a reminder. it wasnt my horses fault turns out he was starved of food and water all summer b4 i brought him and i put him in full livery and he was feed 2x day hay all night grass all day and it cooked his brain after being deprived. do your homework b4 you buy a horse i definatly will with my next one

  12. Johnny Petty

    July 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I have been riding for 30 years, I have started more than a hundred colts, rode broncs, rode pens, guided, and worked on ranches. I am currently healing up from a broken leg from landing wrong when a 3-year-old I was riding outlasted me in a surprise test of my bronc riding skills. Maybe it is just my problem, but every time I have been hurt by a horse (3 times) I can trace it back to my own fear and ego. I was usually trying to impress someone, show the horse who was boss, or failing to read the horse or the situation I was in with a horse. I have seen three people critically injured by horses, not counting rodeos. Two of the three were just being stupid. The other one the horse just fell. Being present for the horse and being able to read the horse and the situation is 90% of being safe. Being able to assess ones own abilities is also paramount. There is so much education available for new horse owners. Take advantage of education and get rid of all the ego possible and horses get a whole lot safer.
    “Be there for the horse,” Ray Hunt

  13. Liz

    July 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Came off at the gallop into a post wrapped in barb wire. Got back on with an ice pack on my sore ribs. Trainer saying sit back, me it hurts. When I went to hospital 4 hours later for a tetanus shot, they kept me in because they though my spleen was ruptured, two broken ribs and bruised lung was what I really had wrong. The doctor however made me laugh when he asked why it took so long to get to the hospital, when I said I had to ride my horse his reaction was….’You got back on the horse? are you stupid or what?’ He had an English accent so it reminded me of Monty Python. Hurt to laugh though.

  14. Pauline Arychuk

    July 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm

    I was riding a young horse in an alfalfa field, he was bitten by a wasp and bucked off breaking my wrist and tailbone. Was off work for six months

  15. Kristen Battiste

    July 26, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I’ve had two pretty bad horse related injuries.. The first (and worst) was when my quarter pony was being trained for cart. She was doing great then all of a sudden she took off and I lost control (I was still green myself), she took a really sharp turn and the cart flipped trapping me inside. It took two grown men to stop my pony and get me to safety. I wasn’t seriously hurt but it was the scariest moment of my life !!
    The second involved my friends draft horse, I was walking through the barn at the show and I stopped to check on her food and water, but when I touched her she kicked me in the side of the knee! Everyone around said it sounded like someone shot a shotgun lol … I don’t know the extent of my injury because I didn’t want to miss freestyle reining soo I refused to go the hospital! It still gives me problems today but nothing to serious !!

  16. Haley Hill

    July 26, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    I fractured my skull in a riding accident 2 summers ago. I was working with a small horse that had rearing issues. I have no memory of the incident, so I have no idea how it happened. I believe he may have dumped me then kick or stepped on me. After a few plates and screws were added to hold my skull together I’m good as new, and still riding… With a nice helmet!!

  17. Jennifer

    July 26, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    Feb. 9th of this year I came off a mule that had bolted on the arena. All was fine until he reached the end of the pen and went left. I kept going straight and landed face first on the top board. Fractured my septum, split the skin down my forehead, nose, and around the eye. Also suffered a concussion and neck sprain. Been riding almost 20 years and had never come close to a serious injury until that day.

  18. Kim Nash

    July 26, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    Fell off in Feb onto frozen ground flat in my back. Compression fracture to L4. Was in a brace for 10 weeks and. PT for two monrhs… I was off balance and he bucked wanted to go back to the barn. Dont bounce back the same at age 52!

  19. Samantha Humphreys

    July 26, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    I was about 12 and taking riding lessons, I think it was the second or third one, we went out into the arena where a local vet was taking a first round on her stallion Woody after he got back from the trainer. He spooked reared and came back on her crushing one side of her pelvis. What’s worse is we then saw the trainer roughly haul away the horse swatting him in the face repeatedly with his hat. We had a few people drop out of the class after that incident.

  20. Sam Watson

    July 26, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    Eight years ago I was grooming my barrel horse. It was close to dark and she was the last of eight horses to work on. I was frustrated and mad. I touched her w the clippers too quickly and she planted both (shod) front feet in my face and down my body. I spent 20 days in the coma unit and another 30 in icu/step down. I broke an orbital and took MANY stitches. My husband was told to leave me in the nursing home. Thank God he didn’t. A year later I started having my own memories, and although I was still on a walker I was on the mend. I still struggle with seizures and balance problems ,, but I ride every day still!!

  21. Alex

    July 26, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    My worst accident happened when I was riding drill team. I had only had my horse for a few months and had finally gotten him into the whole drill team thing. We were running a maneuver and the horse to our right decided to kick my boy. He stumbled and couldn’t catch himself. He ended up completely somersaulting. I went off over his head and he came back down and landed on top of me. Thankfully he wasn’t hurt and he didn’t panic. He didn’t try to get back up, he likely would have killed me if he had. Took a long time for both of us to get over that, but as much as it sucked it was that accident that gave me complete trust and faith in my horse. He did his best to protect me that day. I walked away with a broken clavicle, but I walked away!

  22. Mary Ann Sellers

    July 26, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    The day after my sister got her horse back from the trainer she was in an acre and a half pasture. Her horse bolted as soon as her butt touched the saddle. We was headed through the fence at the far end of the pasture. She tried a 1 rein stop. The horses eye was at her knee. At the last minute he turned. Her chest collided with a tree branch. Kathy my sister came off the back of the horse. Her back hit a tree root breaking it. Kathy made it to the hospital thank God she was wearing a helmet. She died 2 weeks later do to complications.

  23. Karla

    July 26, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I think like you there are dangers to every sport but the situation depends on a lot of factors. I personally have been kicked, stomped, bite, and thrown my share times. I’ve had ribs broken, an arm nearly broken and most recent my tail bone broken in horse related injuries. I have a friend that is always getting kicked by her horse and she uses the fact he was abused as an excuse to let him do these things and then puts kids that don’t know how to ride on him. My injuries I admit was my ego getting in the way and not paying attention, yes 90% of mine could have been avoided. That being said when my son played football we had several kids have to go to the hospital for injuries. Baseball my son broke his finger during a game. He also broke another finger earlier because him and his friend wanted to see what it would be like to drop a brick on it. (Yeah real smart it was at the friends house.) My other son has broken several toes just walking across the room. Then my husband three weeks before we got married wrecked a fire truck and severely broke his wrist, he does not have 100% use. So I think anything in life has a potential for danger.

  24. claudia

    July 26, 2014 at 9:04 pm

    My horse threw his head back and hit me in the check with the poll of his head. Shattered my cheek bone, I now have 3 titanium plates and 9 screws in my face.

    My sister Patsy was showing her Arabian almost 2 years ago in Gainesville Fl. She was showing hunt seat and wore a hunt cap… not a helmet. She mounted Buddy, but before she could get her right leg in the stir up he backed up and fell on his butt… she went off the back and landed in sand and grass. She was in a coma the second she hit the ground…

    Drs advised her husband to turn off the ventilator and let her die, they said her brain damage was to severe to ever wake up… he said no. she was in a coma for 3 months. It has been almost 2 years, and she still struggles every day. She will probably never walk again because she has no balance. She works hard and exercises every day to make her body strong.. She has a traumatic brain injury. She sits in a wheel chair and struggles with a lot of every day tasks.

    Patsy was 64 years old when this happened to her, she had owned and ridden horses her entire life… it wasnt the the first time she ever fell from a horse but it has changed her quality of life dramatically. Patsy always wore a helmet when she rode…. but when she started showing with this trainer, the trainer told her it didnt look “pretty” and she didnt need a helmet if she wasnt jumping… so she stopped wearing her helmet and wire a hunt cap to look “pretty”.

    Surprising how dramatically your life can change in a split second.


    July 26, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Interesting I think minor injuries are common

    Sent from my iPhone


  26. Jane

    July 26, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Fifty five and I’ve been riding my whole adult life. I’ve been kicked, bitten to where I thought my upper arm was about to break, stomped like a dog twice (once to the ER) and had a few horses fall with me and I usually only do Western Pleasure! Today I began riding after suffering a compression fracture of the spine (L1) in April of this year. My gentle, predictable gelding suddenly spun around and dumped me so fast I could not even try to stay on. I was by myself with no phone and after he spooked at nothing he stood over me. Finally I was able to grab a rein and use him to stand. With the pain I had I knew I was hurt bad and was ‘browning out’ but was able to walk to the barn hanging on to him. Once there, I called a friend who called my husband at the house to come get me. When they told me my back was broken I thought I’d never ride again. I did have my helmet on but it did not help my back! Anyway, I was able to ride my 3 quarter horses today at all gaits and even took a jump with no real back pain and I think I’m gonna make it!

  27. Teresa Maxwell

    July 26, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    I have had my share of tosses/falls. First one was when I was four and got bucked off my pony. Thought it was fun at the time. I got tossed a couple more times before my horse spooked and jumped sideways while loping, and landed on me. My head bounced off of the road giving me a concussion – I was eleven at the time. In my thirties, I had a young horse I was working with. The first time I took him out on the trails he pitched me – hard. He went straight up, I went over his head and landed on my knees and face. I had a nice imprint all the way down my face, and the horse ran home. Then in my forties, I had a 14 year old mare with an attitude. She wanted one to one thing and I wanted to do another. She started rearing up. On the third time, she went over backwards on me, fracturing my pelvis in four places and giving me a brain bleed. That one scared me enough to realize that horses are bigger than us and really can seriously hurt you. I probably could have avoided the incident after looking back. So use common sense and wear a helmet! And when you think “you are the boss,” think again!

  28. Mary Lawrence

    July 26, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Two years ago I was doing barrel pick up my barrel partner had her spurs on I grabbed her up hauled butt to the other end she was saying Mary go faster than all of a sudden my four year old mare started bucking lil girl came off I stayed on til last buck fell at horses right front shoulder she jumped to miss me but ran over me she hit me right between eyes with front foot and hind foot caught my ribs I jumped up went to my barrel partner who was arms length away I asked her was she OK she said my back hurts I said don’t move I had to sit down the world was spinning they took her by ambulance but thank God she was OK as for myself a couple of black eyes and my horse stopped and stood by my side until I got back on her very bruised lesson learned was make sure barrel partner has spurs off!!

  29. Lacy Pettis

    July 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    On my 10th week of wearing my cast… Going this Monday for an MRI to see about surgery! My request: make sure it heals by the World Show! My sweet new gelding was just figuring out Showmanship- he started trotting like a gem when of course I tripped!!!!!!! He landed on my right foot, and mashed the side almost off! Thank God for a good made Justin Boot!!!! It’s broke right behind the joints of my toes! Problem: I have Rhematoid Arthritis! In every joint (23..yes!) and it’s pushing the bones apart! Leave it to the bucking, run aways, and spooks to not hurt me to bad… But my own two feet!!!!!!

  30. Rhonda Leming Mason

    July 26, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    D-ring tore out of saddle when my horse gathered himself for a canter. I awoke the next day in the hospital with a broken collar bone, 3 broken ribs, a damaged pancreas and severe concussion that has left me with permanent memory issues. (No, I did not have on a helmet.) At the time of the accident I had been riding and showing horses over 40 years without a severe injury. It only takes 1 second for circumstances to change and you are in danger of losing your life.

  31. GimmeADream

    July 26, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    I broke a few ribs a few years back falling off while re-training a STB. While following other horses, she broke into a canter for two strides. I think she was terrified I’d whip her for breaking stride. She jumped to the right and I fell to the left. Must have hit a rock or something.

  32. Heather

    July 26, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    Every injury I’ve ever sustained was to do my own stupidity. Smashed toes, bruises from being to close while my filly stomped a fly, dislocated fingers when my mare yanked on the lead rope. Things that’s could have been avoided if I hadn’t been dumb and just payed attention to what was going on. I was even thrown once when trying out a new horse, needless to say I didn’t buy her. She was a train wreck waiting to happen! My horses are all well behaved and I trust them. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to get hurt. Pay attention, be smart and most injuries can be avoided. Oh, and don’t ride crazy, spoiled horses. That helps a little!

  33. Robin

    July 26, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I recently came off. Horse flipped up and over in a ‘freak accident’ (meaning my mare doesn’t normally do so) she landed square on me and the horn ‘punched’ me in the gut. Obstructed blood flow to my right kidney, ended up losing it. And had a ten inch tear in my abdominal wall. Went into surgery to stitch it up. Never broke the skin but left one heck of a bruise!! I still have 2 months until I can ride again. My doctor advised me not to ride but, eh, I can’t wait to get back on. 🙂

  34. Debbie

    July 26, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    In 1977 before we wore riding helmets, I was 9 years old and had a horse run away with me that I was trying out to purchase (he was barn sour), and I fell off at top speed and hit a fence. I dislocated my shoulder, broke my back, was knocked unconscious and wasn’t breathing. My father resuscitated me and I was taken by ambulance to the hospital. I spent 3 days in ICU with a severe concussion. I’ve suffered from severe back problems my entire life, had one back surgery and now I need a lumbar fusion. I’ve also had memory problems since then and do not remember a lot of things from my childhood. Of course, I continued riding, and I still do to this day! But I’ve had many falls, kicks, horses rearing up and come over on top of me (twice) and several other near death experiences, but this was probably my worst.
    We didn’t buy that horse!

  35. ponygirl

    July 26, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Been bucked off, stepped on, dragged, kicked, bit, broken half my bones and still say I would rather die doing something I love than to live my life as an empty shell. When “horse blood” runs thru your veins, its not ur hobby. It’s ur life.

  36. Amy

    July 26, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    When I was 10 or 11, I had a traumatic head injury and was in a coma for 3 days because of a horse accident. My mom was leading my brother and I around in our front yard when a dog came out and attacked the horse. The horse never reared or bucked, but of course tried to flee. He was able to get away from my mom and took off down the road to get away from the dog. Unfortunately he stepped on the reins and kind of bambi’d it. When he went down, my reaction was to hold onto my brother to protect him, so I was unable to try to protect myself and took the impact with my head. Thankfully I have no recollection of this, although it was quite a while before I wanted anything to do with horses.

  37. Karen Reider

    July 26, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    I got bucked off in a freak accident in 2009 and landed on my face and chest, broke my jaw on both sides of my face by my ears. First time I was wired shut for 6 weeks and the bones didn’t heal and couldn’t be pinned back together, so I went four months without being able to chew because my bite was messed up. The next surgery my jaw was rebroke and pinned and realigned so I could chew again, after being wired shut once again, and finally healing. My surgeon told me to keep riding and to this day I am still riding, just not on that horse!

  38. Amber_Horton

    July 26, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    I was riding in a round pin when I got bucked off hitting my head on the pin and breaking ribs and my pelvis.

  39. Danielle

    July 26, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Ive had two bad falls and one near-death experience riding. My first bad fall I was riding my mare(bareback and with a halter and lead) up the road to the farriers and she bolted and took off I was fine till she made a 90 degree turn right next to the road I went off but held on to the rope to keep her from going into the road and was drug about 25 ft down the shoulder of the road. I had some serious road rash but still took her up to the farriers and he was astonished that I was able to walk.with all the road rash. The second one I was riding my husbands horse and we were galloping along a field and all the sudden she stops listening and starts bucking and while bucking she took me under the only tree in the field. I ended up falling off and my friend and sister rushed over to help me. I had a concussion, a sprained wrist and had complete memory loss of that day and was in and out of consciousness for 30 minutes afterwards..I dont even know how I stayed on my mare bareback going back home. The near death was I was riding a friends horse in a pasture that was close to their barn well I was cantering him and he decided to go back to the barn and jumped the 4ft fence but halfway through he stopped jumping and crashed through the fence and continued on then her tried going into the barn which had a low metal roof(i thought i was gonna be decapitated) but thankfully i could duck down low enough and get him stopped that neither him nor me were hurt.

  40. Deb

    July 26, 2014 at 10:56 pm

    I’ve lost 2 friends to death from rearing horses and them being crushed. I think about the most recent one (May 14, 2014) every time I even think about riding. RIP dear Kim. You are loved and missed every day.

    • Stacy

      July 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm

      Deb…so sad. Do you mind if I ask; how old were the horses? What were they doing at the time (trail, training for show, etc)

      • dweber2000

        July 27, 2014 at 9:38 pm

        Not at all. First was husband of one of my best riding cowgirls. She came home from work and found him in his recliner. Terrible shock. He was an older guy who (her words) was switching from riding a walking horse to a 4 year old App mare. He was going to start camping with (her) group and she said she felt sure he tried to get her to leave barn instead of waiting for his wife to come home. She figured mare reared and he used spurs and prob grabbed mares mouth. She went over, he got to house and passed from ruptured sternum, and aorta, ultimately. Very sad.
        The one that has given me nightmares just happened.
        One of my very dearest friends. She was a very experienced rider, drill instructor for her own mounted patrol, competitor, etc. had a WONDERFUL mustang who did it all but she got into dressage and co purchased a “project” warm blood with her instructor. In May, without instructor there, she put a western saddle on him and left her huge arena to practice in the field next to arena where letters were. A noisy vehicle and trailer spooked him and he went up and over.
        Stacy it has shaken me to the core. I wasn’t there but my love for her and lifelong experience with horses has caused my imagination to run wild. I’m having a terrible time even when I’m on my own well-trained horses. I’ve trained them nd owned them forever-one 20 years, one 13 years, one 8 years and one 4 years I’ve ridden all over, West and East, shown a little, given many many lessons and since this happened in May I’ve only ridden a handful of times. My joy in riding is gone, but not my love of my horses. (FB page is Debra Brown Weber-you can see them. They are great horses. So, I don’t blame either horse for what they did…they are just horses. Still…

    • Janette

      August 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

      Dear Deb, I can relate to your trauma. We have just had the first anniversary of the death of a champion female jockey here in Darwin, Australia.
      I assisted Simone with a fractious young horse in the barriers for race one and she was killed in her next race for the day ( link below ). So many of us had a similar internal trauma as you, Deb. Some of us struggled to even pat our horses for some time. Thankfully we were all offered free professional mental assistants. Having the support of a team and knowing others felt the same was of great benefit to me also. I keep telling myself that Simone would not what anyone to loose the joy of riding.
      I hope you find the joy again Deb.

      • dweber2000

        August 6, 2014 at 9:14 am

        Janette-I thank you deeply for your support. Going to try riding with the perspective of training “for a client” as I ride my good horses. I’m going to take them back through the same steps I would if I were readying them for a beginner client, or a horse I’m getting ready to sell. What could it hurt? I know how to start horses and if the perspective of mine is that they are “in training” and might possibly be for sale, I will be detached, and not suffer anxiety so much. I will have a plan. Thank you and I’m sorry for your loss as well. Deb

  41. Leigh

    July 26, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    Personally I believe I’ve come off of a horse every way possible. Including being flipped over on top of. I have had a couple of broken ribs and some toes, a Cossacks and arm broken. All for the love of horses. My husband suddenly dismounted and broke his arm, back, hip and cracked his jaw. His stirrup hung up which snapped his pelvis. He will still go out on a ride with me but a super mellow easy going horse is the only way he will ever consider it. Yup horses can be and are dangerous. You have to be careful and alert at all times. You just never know. I always say be aware of your surroundings and do your best to CALMLY deflate and possible explosions before they happen. Know your horse. What does your horse feel like under saddle when spooked? What spooks your horse? Where are her ears? What is the body telling you? Now to listen..

  42. Karine

    July 26, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    I got a concussion last year when I fell of my friend’s horse. The first time we took him for a ride since fall… He bucked and the saddle was way to small for me so I flipped over and landed on my head.

    And last week a foal slammed if hoof on my foot. Two toe nails torn off and a tiny fracture on one of my toes.. Hurts ten times more than landing on my head…

    Little injuries like getting stepped on while brushing my horse and not being careful where I put my feet and a couple of kicks when I tried to clean my rescue’s feet but nothing really bad.

  43. Shanin Collins

    July 26, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    During a penning competition a horse went down and rolled over her rider. When the horse got to it’s feet and took off it clipped it’s rider in the head then proceeded in a terrified run around the penning arena. When it found no outlet it went around one more time then attempted the 5 foot fence, tumbling over the top, crushing a woman and scattering horses in it’s path. It left the building the arena was in and fast as it could move ran across the gravel apron and ran into a metal fence post, head first, with out even seeing it and killed itself instantly. Even as a spectator it was the most terrifying and traumatic horse experience of my life. The rider and the spectator both got carted to the hospital and eventually were ok. The rider lost partial hearing. Thank goodness they were both young and the arena dirt was deep.

  44. nokotadreamer

    July 26, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    my first official ride, I only had tennis shoes on. The half-arab mare I was on was really spooky about one end of the arena, and I came off 3 times. Got my foot caught in the stirrup and dragged all three times.
    Last fall, I was riding bareback for the first time, fell off at a trot (from a quarterhorse pony!) and broke my tailbone. Lifeguarding was agony for the last two weeks of the season, I can tell you! 😀

  45. Cassondra

    July 27, 2014 at 12:10 am

    So, I am an emergency nurse at a level one trauma center. We see the worst of the worst wrecks. The docs I work with are always quick to share a horse related injury with me since I ride. One of our trauma surgeons did a study a number of years ago on horse related injuries. He found that the longer a person has been riding the lower the incidence of serious injury. The fact is that as we get “more experienced” we tend to take less risks- leaving the risky business to the more adventurous riders. Makes perfect sense to me,

    • Alex Sykes

      July 28, 2014 at 12:48 am

      Or at least we get better at staying within our skill level.

  46. Kori Nestibo

    July 27, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Compound fracture of the numerous, two weeks in hospital in traction before cast could be put on.😞

  47. Helen Johnson

    July 27, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Thursday eve. horse fell under me broke my shoulder damaged my elbow, bruises everywhere. Still waiting to see how it gets patched back together.

  48. Lindy Foster

    July 27, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Last year I was riding my spooky young horse while being lunged; I had ridden him several times before, and he was fine, although always reactive. Somebody banged a door shut and my gelding took off bucking which he had NEVER done before! I think it was being on the lunge line that got him really scared, as he couldn’t escape. The trainer couldn’t stop him and I hung on for quite a few bucks, then figured I’d better fail out. I landed flat on my back and knocked the wind out. Drove my self home after I caught my breath, but my back still hurt the next day so I went to the Dr. Turned out I had a compression fracture of the T12 vertebra. I’m pretty sure it happened during the bucking, not the landing. But I’m back riding now, and my back doesn’t bother me at all!

  49. Amanda Dunwald

    July 27, 2014 at 12:58 am

    I have never been in a serious accident but my mom worked in the stock yards and she got bucked off herding a bull down the alley and kicked in the head. She had a broken skull and bleeding in the brain. She is alive and she will still ride. I just love her to death.

  50. Sharil Palaggi

    July 27, 2014 at 1:10 am

    I just had 11 stitches put it my leg.. I was riding my horse when another horse spun around and kicked me .. Freak accident.. I was lucky no broken bones .. 😄

  51. Nikki B

    July 27, 2014 at 3:42 am

    I have my daughter wear a helmet, body protector and she has toe cages on her stirrups so her foot cannot go through the stirrup, she also wears western boots that are loose at the top so her foot can come out. Some people think I’m over protective but I think I’m just being cautious 🙂 My injuries over the last few years have all been while I’ve been off my horse, I was leading him across a bit of water and he leapt and knocked me over, I got a black eye and a massive bruise on my thigh, another time I got between him, food and another horse and he kicked me in the butt, huge bruise – I was very lucky that he hit such a padded part of me, could have broke my hip or leg! I have to remember that he is 16.2hh, around 600kg and sometimes unpredictable. Breakaway stirrups look like a great idea to me……

  52. Gitte Ogendal Garcia

    July 27, 2014 at 4:09 am

    My first trainer/teacher who also happened to be my second cousin lost his life in a horse related accident. He was with a large group of people hunting, and his horse ran off. He fell off and landed in a creek where he was found later on. His neck was broken. This accident got me thinking a lot. Because of all the wild and uncontrolled situations I had been in too. I had just been lucky. This was in 1979, the year I arrived from Denmark to California, and the year I was introduced to western riding and to the American Quarter Horse. I have never again ridden those large dressage horses. As for myself I did have an accident with a pony who got scared of a dog, she made a quick turn around, went down, and I fell of and broke my ancle.

  53. Miranda

    July 27, 2014 at 6:47 am

    I got my first horse for Christmas when I was 15. Three days later I was riding him and he bolted, my foot was stuck in the stirrup and he drug me along the top of a barbed wire fence. The fence cut open my neck, armpit, arm, and the underside of my breast. The doctors said I was lucky because if the cut on my neck had been any deeper or to the left or right any more I would of bled out before I got to the hospital.

  54. Katharine

    July 27, 2014 at 7:29 am

    Worst injury for me was two years ago. My horse spooked and I fell off and broke both bones in my lower leg. It was a simple fall, a freak accident but it did some damage. Both bones broken, both bones sticking out of my leg, had 5 hours of surgery and now have 2 plates and 12 screws in my ankle.

  55. Lauren

    July 27, 2014 at 8:32 am

    A few years ago I was riding a buddy sour horse on the trail, alone of course. I was a few miles from our property when he suddenly decided he didn’t want any part of it and started bucking. The last thing I remember is thinking “well I should probably bail right about now”. A few hours later I woke up in my bed covered in blood and still wearing my boots. I ran out to the horse and was happy to find out that my unconcious self was responsible enough to take the horses bridle off and put him back in the pasture. When I finally decided that I should go to the ER I ended up having a huge laceration in my head from where he kicked me and a major concussion. I remember everyday how lucky I am to be alive after that accident. I still don’t remember what happened in those 4 hours I’m missing.

  56. Ben Soles

    July 27, 2014 at 8:38 am

    I would not put horse riding in the category of pro sports but rather grouped with boating, sledding,moter biking and quading and watch the results

  57. Kevin Farley

    July 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    thought this was dad

    *Kevin Farley*

  58. Sandy Robbins

    July 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I had bought a 2 year old Quarter horse and sent him to a trainer to be broken. I would go to the trainers place and ride him under supervision. The last time the trainer told me to go get on my horse in the round pen and meet him in the next training field ( he was riding another clients horse). I had to use a stool to mount my horse. I put my foot in the stirrup and my foot hit him in the butt and he launched into orbit! I went flying and landed on my back knocking the wind out of me. So i knew i had to get back on. I go to get back on him and no sooner get my foot in the stirrup again before i knew it i was flying through the air again! There was no one around at time. I finally saw some one and told them to go get the trainer. He came over to me and told me i had to get back on….we tried it again! Again i went flying only to land on my back for the 3rd time. I had to lay there for awhile because my lungs had decompressed too much i couldn’t breathe! Him being 16.1 hands and me 5’4″. I was lucky ….no broken bones but my whole right side was black and blue. My horse is now 9 years old and old lady broke. I am now 60 and still think back to the day when he threw me 3 times in 20 minutes!

  59. Stacey Lewis

    July 27, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    The worst wreck we saw was on a family trail ride. Busy holiday weekend riding was later realized a poor choice. The rider was on a new horse, with unfamiliar tack. The horse threw her and became a galloping mess. Saddle slid underneath it and it careened down the trail, up the side of a hill before falling, rolling and screeching back to camp. It was ugly. The rider was sore but otherwise unhurt. Definitely scary.

  60. millspaw

    July 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I just had an accident one week ago that caused fractured ribs. This is the first time that I fell and actually went to the hospital. My horse and I had entered into An Obstacle Course Challenge. I was on the 9th of 12 obstacles, a hula hoop throw. Seemed simple throw the hoop over a steer head. When the judge gave me the first hoop and I moved it up to throw the beads in it rattled. I am not sure if my horse thought it was a snake or not, but he had a flight response. This particular Arabian has the habit of not just spin and run, but buck, too. I made it through three bucks before it dawned on me to drop the hoop. That seemed to make it worse as he scooted away and I fell on my back. I did get back on him and make him stand while I rubbed the hoop over his neck and head. I threw the two remaining hoops and even made it over the steer head with one. I also continued the course and finished. Not until after the award dinner, where I was dubbed the “Tough Award” did I go to the hospital. I am 61 years old and now I am considering buying a vest to help protect me in the future. Thanks, Stacy for posting about safety equipment.

  61. Patricia Nichols Coins

    July 27, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I found my dream horse, I was looking her over and found she had been abused. I told my husband I wanted her and she was scared to death of a human. But in 30 days she was under saddle and trusting I was not going to hurt her. We had been riding her for three months when we went on a trail ride in the mountains. All day the only problem we were having is if someone would lope up behind her, So I chose to ride in the back. Someone had fallen behind, ( unsure of why) and came up behind us running. I heard them and started to turn her so she would be able to see what was running at her. But to my dismay I was to late, the other rider T-boned us. It pushed her off balance and she stepped of the road with one hind foot. Just so happened we were on a mountain dirt road. And were she stepped off the road at was a straight down cliff. When she stepped off the road it caused me to flip off her back backwards. I hit the ground on my back and right hip. I seen my life ending. I was hitting trees, rocks and anything else that was there. The only thing that stopped me was my right spur caught a tree, ripping my leg and hip into a backward position. After they were able to get me back to the top of the cliff I refused to leave my horse. All I could think about is how scared her must have been. I had been the only one to show her kindness and love her whole life. Now someone had hurt us both, what was she feeling? Was she okay? Was she hurt?
    I made my way to her with the help to some caring people. My friend was holding my mare, she was shaking and scared. I called her name, hugged her neck, she nickered softly as if to say I did not mean to Mom. It took three men to help me get back on her because I had a fractured hip but I rode her back. I knew if I did not, I would never ride again. It took me three years and a child’s horse to get my nerve back up. But I ride her now and love her so much. It took that accident to help us both to learn about trust in a whole new way. But we made it.

  62. idea027

    July 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    At the fun show friday at the MoCo fairgrounds they were running barrels when the saddle started to slide (the cinch was obviously not tight enough) when the guy fell off. He stood up but the slipped saddle was on the horses side, and it was flipping out, bucking and running. Then, it jumped over the fence and took off, but when it went over, it got a lady watching on the fence and working the gates. She sure didn’t move until the ems got there. It was terrifying to see and we joined hands and prayed. Luckily, her head and spine were fine, but she had a concussion, broken arm, and dislocated shoulder.

  63. Loren Schumacher

    July 27, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    While loading her into our trailer, my mare spooked as I put the butt bar into its slot. She crushed my hand and arm against the bar breaking my middle finger and pulling the tendon from the bone. At the same time my wrist was lacerated exposing and nearly severing another tendon. All of this missed the Radial Artery by less than 5MM! I still went to the Dan James Clinic I had signed up for and didn’t arrive at the emergency room until 12 hours later. Dan loved it.

    I’m just glad Stormy only weighs 950 pounds. We have no idea how much force even a small horse like Stormy can generate when it moves. I am really a lucky guy not to have been hurt much worse.

    By the way, I am still wearing a splint and have since May 10.

  64. Janice

    July 27, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    Two years after I tripped in a grass bunker and broke my left ankle, I fell off my paso and broke my right ankle. I was out of commission 7 months. Mostly my fault since he was green broke and I wasn’t skilled enough to handle him. He went back into training and I went back to lessons as soon as I got the ok from the doctor. We are both better as a mount and rider. And I still have him 11 years later!

  65. Caitie

    July 27, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    Funny, I played tackle football for two years, women’s lacrosse for eight and men’s lacrosse for four. I’ve had plenty of bumps and bruises but my worse accidents – the one that I ended up in the hospital over, was on a horse.


    July 27, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    The worst accident ever turned out to be a blessing in disguise. On May 17th, right after California Chrome lost his chance for the triple crown win,  My husband and I went out to play with the horses. We have a four year old filly that had only had someone on her back a handful of times in an indoor roundpen. The plan was I was going to pony him on her with our older trustworthy mare. When I turned my back my husband was on the filly and off they went, she scattered. He went off, hit his head on a large metal fence post and was knocked unconsious. He spent four days in trauma care with a fractured skull small brain bleed and broken ribs. While doing tests , scans on him they found a small nodule on his lung. Long story short it was lung cancer. (He is 71 years old and has not smoked in over thirty years). On July 18th they were able to remove his upper left lobe of his lung, and several lymph nodes. Only one node was found to have cancer. Why he got on the horse without being prepared we will never know for sure. But  have an idea it was not by accident. If this had not happened they most likely would not havefound this cancer untill it had progressed to a not very good prognosis. His prognosis now is excellent and he is doing great. He can hardly wait to get back on and ride again!

  67. Brandy

    July 28, 2014 at 12:24 am

    I was barrel racing in Kentucky, approx 15 yrs old I was coming for home down the alley way and the girl who was working the gate started to open the gate and shut it as my horse approached. Needless to say my horse and I didn’t stop and he went through it and I landed on top of it. The impact knocked me out, when I woke up a trainer was holding c-spine on me waiting on the ambulance and he says to me ” you did this for the attention of the boys didn’t you” of course I was red faced. The ambulance picked me up and they didn’t lock the gurney in place, every turn, and curve they took the gurney slid around everywhere. I broke my pelvic bone. This is one of my worst injuries I’ve had.

    Present day – my daughter got a broken collar bone and dislocated shoulder after she was bucked off (loose saddle and she spurred her horse in the flank) the day after Easter this year. She was off for about 9 weeks, 3 weeks after being released from the doctor she was bucked off again and landed on a fence -no broken bones just bruised and sore, then the Sunday before fair started her horse (a different one) went down backwards and had to go to the ER. The paramedics thought she might have fractured her spine, thank god no fractures. She is ready to get back on as soon as her muscles will allow her to. She’s ready to get this horse ready for the 4-H drill team. We all have a lot to learn.

  68. Alex Sykes

    July 28, 2014 at 12:38 am

    As a farrier, injuries are part of the job. Wait till an 1100# pregnant mare decides you’ve been holding her back leg too long and sits down… On you. It almost like a badge of honor. Get a bunch of farriers together and they’ll inevitably start comparing injuries.

  69. Jacque

    July 28, 2014 at 3:52 am

    After not riding for 24 yrs I told my husband that I was going to get me a horse again he said no wrong word to tell me, I started riding when I was 3 so everytime I would go to anything with people riding horse’s I would cry cause I wanted my riding back, kids are all grown so now’s my time. So I went to a horse sale (on the way out the door he said Don’t buy anything wrong) they rode out on this mare I new she was mine so I told my friend with me I’m buying her she said no she’s to thin , they said sold we came home. She has some issues but we were working on them and she jerked back and the lead rope ran through my hand and caught my right hand ring finger just right and broke it in 4 places, 2 pins etc etc.good news is was released Friday to go back to normal activity. 🙂

  70. Grace

    July 28, 2014 at 6:16 am

    The worst horse related injury I’ve ever had was when I was playing horse polo an a girl on the other team tried hitting my horse (blue) in the face with her polo stick. Blue spooked and reared an I slid off the back of him and he spun round and cantered across my back, I had two lovely black horseshoe bruises on my back for a month and there’s still a faint scar of the hoof prints on my back now even though it happened two years ago When I was 10.

  71. Karen

    July 28, 2014 at 6:26 am

    My worst wreck WITH horses was on the ground. I was holding a mare to be covered by a stallion. She wasn’t interested. She tried running off, and I tried circling her. But she turned towards me, stepped on my foot, and proceeded to knock me flat and run right over the top of me. I smashed the back of my head on the ground, had hoof prints up my front and gravel in my back. The hospital said skull fracture, broken ankle, and broken ribs. I got amnesia, which was really frightening. Turned out nothing was broken, just terribly bruised. The amnesia cleared after a day…although there are three hours I still don’t remember (and I was never knocked out). I was very luck.

    ON a horse, I got bucked off a colt (first ride, I asked for too much, stupid me), and landed on my back. Broke two vertebrate, although I didn’t know it until several years later when I was xrayed for the above incident, and they discovered the healed areas. Another one was a bad crash jumping where I broke my collar bone, and the third was on a quiet trail horse who tripped while trotting and went down so fast I got my collar bone and face smashed into the ground. Cracked the collar bone (again), broke my nose, and ended up with a bunch of stitches in my face.

    However, those things have happened over the course of a carreer spanning 45 years now, where I was riding from 1 to 12 horses a day, and was specializing in problem horses and colt starting. And participating in show jumping, cross country, galloping racehorses, and fox hunting. So, not that bad really.I’ve only been in the hospital those times, and never spent more than 12 hours there (and most of that was waiting for doctors and xrays!).

  72. Wendy Russ

    July 28, 2014 at 11:53 am

    If you’ve never been hurt by a horse, then you haven’t been around them very long!
    Your pic reminds me of perhaps my 1st hurt when my friend & I were racing our steads around the outside of a square arena. I turned too close and about tore my leg off on that outside corner. Still have the scar and a several more hurt stories. But… I’m 56 years old and no broken bones thus yet 😀

  73. Chris

    July 28, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    I have been around horses since the day I was born. I started riding them by age 5 and by the time I was a teenager I was helping to break them. I am by no means a professional. I have seen so many handler errors (not to mention, I made quite a few myself) along with freak accidental things that you could never dream would happen. One such accident was when I was 14 and my mother and I were breaking a 4 year old mare. I was light weight so I was in the saddle while my mom was on the ground. Things were going great for the first 20 minutes. Our ring was in our pasture, so my mom made sure the mare had on her halter and lunge line. Suddenly out of nowhere, a deer jumped into the pasture about 200 feet from where we were working. The mare didn’t buck, instead she started running backwards, faster than she moved forward. My mom couldn’t stop her at the end of the line so I prepared as much as I could for that awful ending I knew was going to happen. The mare tripped over a pile of gravel and she flipped over backwards on top of me. I tried to jump at just the right moment so I wouldn’t take the complete force/weight of the horse on me. I didn’t quite make it, I landed on my back and the mare landed on hers. The horn of the saddle caught my ankle and crushed my foot from the ankle down. The mare passed out from the scare (no injuries for her!) Once we were able to wake her up and get her to the barn, it was off to the hospital for me.In the end we found out that I had a concussion, crushed ankle and foot, and my back was broken. I was more worried about the horse and how she would react from that point on. I am pleased to say she turned out to be a fantastic games horse and she never reared after that again. It has been almost 30 years since this happened and I have seen so many things happen since then. Sometimes, an accident is just that… accident! I rode for many years after that and I never regret what I did. I have been kicked, stepped on, bucked off, and still, other than that freak accident, the worst things have happened to me at home/in the home. No matter what we do, there is almost always a risk of injury. How you handle those situations is what defines you.

  74. Dianne Kalp

    July 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    I had a bad accident last year when my horse slipped in the mud and fell sideways landing on my leg and the force from the fall slammed my face to the ground breaking 4 bones in my face. It’s been a year and I still have numbness on that side of my face. I did not have a helmet but I purchased one before I rode again. I have rode for years without one but never realized how fast an accident can happen. Please be safe and wear a helmet.

  75. Anna

    July 30, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    My worst wreck in 47 years of riding, training and showing horses. I went out riding on my fairly green paint ALONE, #1 stupid of me, I knew better but got impatient waiting on my friend. And no helmet, started to leave the barn and went back for my cell phone. I jokingly said…..I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! Well ten minutes into the quiet ride down the dirt rode two pit bulls came out of nowhere. One jump my horses face and the other his hind quarters, he too off in a dead run through the desert, I tried to pull him around to stop by the “flight” instinct had kicked in and there was no way of stopping him. I decided to bail off, pulled my feet out of the stirrups looked down in a slit second for and big rocks and let myself go. I ended up with a brain injury. I don’t remember much at all. That was my second brain injury, the first from a wild mustang that really wated to get me good, and he accomplished his goal. I have only been thrown once in all these years, and once was enough from my little great Arab mare. She tossed me like a salad, broke my pelvis and as of today I am waiting to have an MRI done as my hip was injured and it may have to be replaced. She was a great horse, found out she was having hormone problems and that is what caused the bucking fit. And I mean BIG down drafting bucks! Needless to say, I may not be able to ride my boys anymore. But I do have a miniature horse and cart. 😊 but my love for horses will never dull. I am in the process of training a yearling Arab colt, it’s just going to take a little bit more time on my part. Luckily Arabs mature much slower, he is doing great while I teach him from my chair! Be safe out there my horse friends!

  76. Lyndsey

    July 31, 2014 at 7:57 am

    I was riding a jumper and the horse fell to his knees a few strides after a jump. I went over his head and broke my collar bone in half (almost threw the skin). Thankfully the horse stayed on his knees until I was out of the way or he would have trampled me. I had to have surgery and now have a plate and 6 screws in my shoulder.
    I did get back on a jumper a few months later to get over the fear. But now I only ride reiners and cutters. Much more fun and relaxed than the hunter jumper world.

  77. Carmen Peone

    August 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I’n sitting here in an arm cast as i was working my colt, bending him at a walk, he lost balance and we rolled over a wire panel fence. i had to have him roll over the top of me so his legs and hooves wouldn’t go back into the fence. it all will turn out okay. My 2 year old is perfectly fine, i have a bruised up left side of my body and like a said broken arm. First broken bone ever at 49.

  78. Janette

    August 6, 2014 at 7:08 am

    I have become friends with a young lady who almost died when her horse fell at full speed. No broken bones,but she was in coma for three mouths from the massive brain injury. Eleven years on and she still struggles with every day life, but the very thing that took her quality of life is the thing that kept her fighting for life ( she was determined to ride again). As her short term memory is still very poor ,I made a video on my phone to remind her of her achievements ( link below ). She even lost the reflex to swallow after her accident but she never lost the timing and the understanding to ride. As she has so many permanent mental and physical disabilitys, I believe she rides from instinct now.

  79. Kim

    October 25, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I am currently recovering from a broken tibia and fibula which required surgery to put a rod and screws in my tibia. We were going on a short ride before I packed up for an overnight camping trip with the horses the next morning, We came to the creek crossing that we have crossed 1000 times before and my mare suddenly spooked and began slipping on the rocky bottom. At that point, I actually could have come off the horse and avoided injury, but I noticed the side of the creek was approaching fast and it had a rocky ledge. My mare was recently bred and I knew if her belly hit that ledge she would loose the baby. In the 4 seconds I had to think of a plan, putting my right leg back across her uterus was the best I do. Just as I had predicted we were on that ledge in no time and as soon as we made contact I heard my bone snap. As soon as we came out of the water I looked for a flat spot to come off of her and held her until a friend could come get her to tie her up. Then I laid down and waited for the ambulance to arrive. They couldn’t get a pulse in my foot so I was air-lifted to the nearest trauma center. Hands down worst pain of my life, but the vet was just out last week and mama and baby are doing great, so I have no regrets! Fortunately I have good insurance and was in the best shape of my life before the accident! I have no doubt that I will be 100% by the time the foal hits the ground!!

  80. zulima

    October 26, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Hi. My 5 year old daughter was hanging on the side of a pony while it was going wild. We attended the hoedown at her school, and she wanted to ride the ponies, she was on the horse less than 2 minutes before it started acting crazy, bucking and tried running off while my child was stuck on the saddle and hanging on the side of the horse. We were horrified, we ran to her and finally got her untied, thank god she only got bruised up and a rope burn on her arm. My question is, should I hold the pony company responsible? Or my daughter’s school? Im so upset. I feel that these types of businesses should be more regulated. It took 4 of us to get her off the pony, we thought she was going to die. It was horrific.

    • JJ (@MsMopar1)

      October 27, 2014 at 7:13 pm

      I have had a couple of incidents at my home trying to give lessons to children. I have their guardian or parent sign a waiver, which includes the statement that they understand that horses are animals, they are unpredictable and dangerous and injury or death could occur. People always try to assign human character and feelings to animals, and they often forget they are only animals.

      Nobody has been hurt, but last year, my deadbroke mare broke into a canter with an aggressive 10 year old who has ridden for 2 years but only at a trot, whereupon she began to scream and wail, and balled up into the fetal position, completely letting go of the reins. Her mother was screaming and I was on foot trying to catch my horse; it was TERRible! Anyway after the mare ran around and around in circles, scared to death, she finally stopped and I got my student calmed down and riding at a trot again. Needless to say, I do not seek out riding students anymore. If you let a child get on an animal, it is your responsibility, and nobody else’s. It is too easy to assign blame elsewhere and sue people nowadays.

  81. izzy

    November 25, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    I am none for having horses doing crazy thing when I ride them. I have had a pony do a full on buck and take off at full speed but somehow I stayed on! But the only 2 times I fell off was once when i was when I was 3 and I flipped over a pony’s head and and a few months ago when a horse refused a jump. And both times I just got back on.

  82. Brandi

    December 14, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Horses are very dangerous, I always ride with a helmet (on to my 6th one this year, I must have one heck of a guardian angel!). I have a displaced shoulder blade, a tendon in my thumb pulled off the bone, and road rash from a fall from a dead run on a dirt road, which I am very lucky to have survived, there was a hoof print on the front of my helmet. When a horse tripped at a slow canter and flipped over on me, I had a concussion and a pulled thigh muscle. I’ve been knocked down and stepped on, kicked twice, head butted numerous times, and bitten a couple times. and even flipped out of a mini horse cart twice, once because the cart broke and once because the mini spooked from a bird flying up from the ditch.


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