The Stables

What To Do In A Horse Riding Accident

Having recently been involved in assisting a very serious horse riding accident, it became apparent that there were certain things to think about when coming across an injured rider or horse and how to deal with the situation.

So, if you are with a rider that has fallen off their horse, or are the first on the scene of the accident, here are some tips to think about in making a very traumatic situation a little less so: –

First Things To Do Immediately After A Fall

1 Assess straight away if the rider needs medical assistance and call 112 or 999. If the rider is injured, make sure you keep them still. DO NOT try and move the rider in case of potential risks involved with a spinal injury. DO NOT remove the helmet.

2 If there are any open wounds that are bleeding apply pressure with a clean towel if near the yard or use a jumper/hoody that is quickly at hand.

3 Contact the injured rider’s family and advise of the accident, giving clear but calm instructions as to what has happened and where you are. Stay with the rider and reassure that help is on the way. Keep a level of calmness however chaotic the scene is, which will help the horse and rider.

4 Call for help if you are in the vicinity near the stable yard.  If you are on your own, make sure the rider is safe and then catch and secure loose horse(s). If you are familiar with horses, look over the horse for potential injuries that you can relay to the person who is coming to collect the horse or is being seen by a vet.

5 If the rider is conscious try and get a clear picture from them what happened, where they fell and if they have any worrying signs that you need to relay to the paramedics.

Never PIN Protect Your Phone Out On A Horse Ride

Some riding accidents are riders that have ridden out on their own and the first on the scene are people that are not familiar to them or have no horse experience. Good advice is to make sure you have your phone with you always when you ride out especially alone, which is not PIN protected.

In your contacts use ICE “In Case of an Emergency” and put your emergency contact details including the yard where you are from and a number that someone there can be reached. If space allows, (iPhone have a notes section in its contacts) add your horse’s name and any information that would be useful to the person assisting for them to know. Make sure your vet’s contact number is also included clearly. If you can, have your emergency details at the top of your contact list.

Providing you have network coverage, use your map in the event you are in an unfamiliar area so that you can pinpoint where you are. This is vital to relay this important information to the emergency services.

Make Sure Your Yard Has A First Aid Kit

In every tack room, should be a first aid kit for humans and horses. Have an up to date first aid booklet that is easy to find in the kit too with emergency procedures to remind you what to do if it needed. Make sure that there is a list of contact numbers that are clearly visible too on the yard.

Report The Incident To The British Horse Society

The British Horse Society has an incident section on their website which gives them a clear understanding and knowledge relating to numbers of horse riding accidents in the UK. If you can, please give them details of the incident after the event.

I hope you never have to put this advice into practice but to remind ourselves what to do and to be prepared will make a very stressful situation hopefully a little bit easier.

Stay safe!

Written by Samantha Hobden of

Image credit: Shutterstock

Please note: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified medical professionals in the event of an accident. This is an advisory post only.