UK Healthcare, in partnership with University of Kentucky colleges of Agriculture and Public Health and 40 community, equine, and medical organizations, continues its five-year educational campaign, Saddle Up Safely, with the development of a horse-related injury brochure.
"As the official medical provider for the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games, we have a passion for serving the horse community, and are grateful to have so many partners that believe in the campaign's mission to raise awareness of horseback rider safety across the state and beyond," said Julia Martin, MD, associate professor of Emergency Medicine at UK HealthCare.
In a research study by John Mayberry, MD, and colleagues at the Oregon Health Center in Portland, riders with 50 hours or less of riding experience were found most likely to be injured while riding. The study also recognized that more advanced riders were more likely to be seriously injured while riding and less likely to wear a helmet.
In the fight to reverse these statistics and survey results, Saddle Up Safely’s newly published booklet lists basic tips for riders, trail ride checklists, helmet-fitting information, and safety tips for minor injuries, sprains and fractures, head injuries, and chest and abdominal injuries. Rehabilitation and therapy resources also are available.
Martin stressed that this educational campaign is more important than ever before: The recent UK HealthCare survey found 60 percent of Kentucky horseback riding respondents did not wear any safety apparel the last time they rode.
To visit the campaign website, share tips about experiences involving horse and rider safety, and read the blog hosted by Fernanda C. Camargo, DVM, PhD, equine extension professor at the University of Kentucky, visit www.saddleupsafely.org.
Photo: First Lady, Jane Beshear