Helmet Use Amongst Equestrians: Harnessing Social and Attitudinal Factors Revealed in Online Forums
The Appleton Institute, Central Queensland University, 44 Greenhill Road, Wayville, SA 5034, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Marina von Keyserlingk
Received: 20 March 2015 / Revised: 23 June 2015 / Accepted: 6 July 2015 / Published: 17 July 2015
Epidemiological research details a high rate of horse-related injury, despite technical countermeasures being widely available and largely affordable. Whilst barriers to engaging in preventative behavior such as helmet-use have been identified, less attention has been given to enabling factors. These factors could contribute to the design of more effective injury prevention interventions. To identify barriers as well as enablers in an Australian context, we explored how riders discussed helmet use amongst one another in an online setting. Our analysis revealed that social relations heavily influenced safety behavior. In particular, we identified three attitudes that affected helmet use: “I Can Control Risk”, “It Does Not Feel Right” and “Accidents Happen”.