Horseriding is a popular hobby that employs many people. The
Icelandic horse gives Icelanders and foreign guests immense pleasure,
both as a source of recreation and as a way to enjoy nature in Iceland.
There are multiple hazards in horse riding and it is imperative to
maintain the highest safety standards. The first thing people can do is
choose a horse that is well-suited for their ability, as this can
prevent accidents from occurring.
A horse and rider act as one unit, and if the horse is well trained its
reactions should be rather predictable. The rider needs to understand
what messages his or her behaviour and the environment send to the horse
and should likewise be aware of what messages the horse sends.
Keep the following in mind:
- Safety equipment needs to conform to CE quality standards with
basic requirements regarding safety issues for each relevant group of
- A riding helmet is standard equipment for a mounted rider and
for dealing with dangerous horses. It protects against head injury.
- It's absolutely essential that children wear adequate helmets that are properly adjusted and comfortable.
- A helmet that has suffered an impact is no longer safe and should not be used.
- A safety vest gives protection against trauma to the back and
rib cage. Vests reduce the effect of impact by spreading the force over
a greater area. This decreases the risk of ribs, collarbone, or
vertebrae breaking with a fall, as well as that of a spinal cord
- Safety stirrups are designed to prevent the rider from getting
stuck in the stirrups in the event that he or she falls off the horse's
back and is dragged.
- Reflectors and lights are necessary so that others on the road can see the horse and rider in twilight or darkness.
- Saddles should be fit for both the rider and the horse.
Examine the condition of the saddle well. Be sure that the leather is
soft and strong. Remove saddles that are cracked, dry and worn down.
Verify that the saddle works well and is fit for the horse that it is
intended for, is adjusted and correctly used.