Specific estimates of the risk of horse-related injury (HRI) to university students enrolled in veterinary and animal sciences have not been reported. This study aimed to determine the risk of student HRI during their university education, the nature and management of such injuries. A retrospective questionnaire solicited demographic information, data on students’ equine experience prior to and during their educational programs, and on HRI during their program of study. Of 260 respondents, 22 (8.5%) reported HRI (27 incidents). Including concurrent injuries the most commonly injured body parts were the foot or ankle (nine of 32 injures), the upper leg or knee (eight of 32), and hands (three of 32). Trampling and being kicked by a hind limb were each associated with 30.4% of HRI, and 13% with being bitten. Bruising (91.3% of respondents) and an open wound (17.4%) were most commonly described. No treatment occurred for 60.9% of incidents; professional medical treatment was not sought for the remainder. Most incidents (56.5%) occurred during program-related work experience placements. Although injury rates and severity were modest, a proactive approach to injury prevention and reporting is recommended for students required to handle horses as part of their education. Student accident and injury data should be monitored to ensure effective evaluation of risk-reduction initiatives. The risk and nature of university student horse-related injury (HRI) was studied. Of 260 students, 22 (8.5%) reported HRI (27 incidents). Including multiple injuries, reports described involvement of the foot or ankle (nine of 32 injures), upper leg or knee (eight of 32), and hands (three of 32). Trampling (30.4%) and being kicked (30.4%) accounted for most HRI. The injuries were usually bruising (91.3%) or an open wound (17.4%). Most (60.9%) injuries were untreated; professional medical treatment was not sought for the rest. Most incidents (56.5%) occurred during program-related off-campus work experiences. A proactive approach to injury prevention is recommended for students handling horses.
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