Behaviour & Awareness

Behaviour is clearly part of risk management. Developing awareness, anticipation and appropriate actions is part of horse riding and a gradual process. Some examples of high risk behaviour might be: exaggerating one’s ability at a trekking centre, not retiring a tired horse from a cross country course, riding home in the dark without lights or reflection. Many of us may have done any or all of these things at one time and reflected upon the wisdom of our actions. It is probably worse when we lack the awareness that there may be a risk involved. Then, we are unable to make a judgement or take a ‘calculated risk’. One could argue that all horse riding is a calculated risk. Horse riders are dependent upon each other and our teachers to learn about minimising our risk.

Pony Club publications (for example The Manual of Horsemanship) and instructors are a good starting point for learning the ‘ground rules’ around horses.

Many horse riding accidents happen on roads. The guidance from the British Horse Society, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and Highway Code is highly recommended. Since 2007, The Highway Code has been strengthened on the subject of high visibility clothing and carrying lights after dark or in low visibility conditions.

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