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Animals 2015, 5(3), 561-575; doi:10.3390/ani5030372

A Critical Review of Horse-Related Risk: A Research Agenda for Safer Mounts, Riders and Equestrian Cultures

1,†,* , 2,†
and
3,†
1
The Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, 44 Greenhill Road, Wayville, SA 5034, Australia
2
Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
3
School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marina von Keyserlingk
Received: 24 June 2015 / Revised: 3 July 2015 / Accepted: 7 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Horses and Risk)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [152 KB, uploaded 17 July 2015]

Abstract

While the importance of improving horse-related safety seems self-evident, no comprehensive study into understanding or reducing horse-related risk has been undertaken. In this paper, we discuss four dimensions of horse-related risk: the risk itself, the horse, the rider and the culture in which equestrian activities takes place. We identify how the ways in which risk is constructed in each dimension affects the applicability of four basic risk management options of avoidance, transference, mitigation and acceptance. We find the acceptance and avoidance of horse-related risk is generally high, most likely due to a common construction of horses as irrevocably unpredictable, fearful and dangerous. The transference of risk management is also high, especially in the use of protective technologies such as helmets. Of concern, the strategy least utilised is risk mitigation. We highlight the potential benefit in developing mitigation strategies directed at: (a) improving the predictability of horses (to and by humans), and (b) improving riders’ competence in the physical skills that make them more resilient to injury and falls. We conclude with the presentation of a multidisciplinary agenda for research that could reduce accident, injury and death to horse-riders around the world. View Full-Text
Keywords: horse-riding; risk; mitigation; culture; research; review; safety; behavior change; eque-culture; motivator horse-riding; risk; mitigation; culture; research; review; safety; behavior change; eque-culture; motivator
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Thompson, K.; McGreevy, P.; McManus, P. A Critical Review of Horse-Related Risk: A Research Agenda for Safer Mounts, Riders and Equestrian Cultures. Animals 2015, 5, 561-575.

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