University of Vermont AAHS

AMEA

August 1996, Vol. VI, Number 3

Table of Contents

Riding Rehabilitation
North American Horsemen's Association
Horsepower Helmet Survey
Equestrian Injuries Surveillance at a Rural Medical Center
Horseback Riding-Related Drownings
Girl Scouts Horseback Riding


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Riding Rehabilitation

by Lauren Douglas Watson

As the senior physical therapist, one of my most challenging patients was a man who wanted to return to calf roping (individual event) after the loss of his left leg above his knee. Physical therapy's primary role is to evaluate and treat physical limitations through exercise, stretching, and conditioning. Return to a past recreational or vocational skill is a common goal for many patients in physical therapy. Pursuits that require refined technical skills or are very physically demanding are an even greater challenge to the physical therapist. In this particular case the patient chose to ride with his prosthesis to enable him to meet the physical requirement of calf roping.

The basic process in returning an individual to previously performed task is first to identify the skills one needs to perform the task. I examined many hours of taped calf roping to identify the physical demands of the event. The patient needed to mount his horse from the right side and stay balanced with one leg effectively hugging the saddle, also needed to dismount while the horse was still in motion and run to the calf on his prosthetic leg. Lastly, he needed to straighten out his left leg wearing, the prosthesis to put the calf over on his back. It is also very important to understand the limitations of the injury and the nature of the disability, if it is chronic, progressive, or permanent. For example, this rodeo rider who wanted to return to the rodeo was amputated an his left leg at the mid thigh, an obvious permanent disability The rodeo rider's major physical limitations from the amputation were: decreased flexibility, limited parameters of a prosthesis that could straddle a horse, decreased strength, endurance, and tolerance to wearing a prosthesis, skill of running, coordination, and balance. Consideration of other past or concurrent medical conditions the individual may have: i.e., diabetes, cardiac conditions, visual changes, and asthma also need to be assessed for impact on reaching the goal. In this case the gentleman had a cardiac condition that had been resolved at the time he began physical therapy.

Specific treatment plans are required of physical therapy in mapping the road to recovery for each patient. At first, physical therapy focused on improving the rodeo riders' physical Limitations by performing daily a stretching and strengthening program, wear time for the prosthetic leg, endurance training, and standing balance tasks. As the rodeo rider gained strength and flexibility in the basic skills of walking, standing, mounting and dismounting more advanced skills of running, balancing on a moving; object and safely falling and recovering where addressed. As any patient progresses through the rehabilitation process, the basic skills are being constantly reinforced and improved such as increasing prosthetic wear time at level of endurance.

The person going through rehabilitation must understand that few or many adaptations may be necessary to reach a goal after an injury. Success is only found if an individual is willing to be flexible with how to reach the end goal and the capacity to which they can perform that goal. This individual who wanted to perform in rodeos again had to be willing to mount the horse on the right and make many adjustments to his saddle, stirrups, and prosthetic leg components. Some can attain all the physical skills needed to ride a horse again but fail to achieve their goal because they are unwilling to modify their environment. Several patients have stated to me over the years that if they cannot perform in the exact manner they had previously they did not want to pursue the activity. Creativity and determination are key factors to accomplishing anything. There is no place for inflexibility here.

Limitations of the individual, environment, and the goal all need to be assessed. The next step is a good game plan with creative ideas to simulate the goal and to decrease the limits of the disability. Unending pursuit with hard work and determination will see you through!

Lauren Douglas Watson
Vanderbilt Capers Avenue
2201 Capers Avenue
Nashville, TN 37212

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North American Horseman's Association


by Linda Liestman

The North American Horsemen's Association (NAHA) of Minnesota was founded as a grass roots organization in 1987 by Linda Liestman, President of Ark International Group. Its mission was to provide difficult-to-find services related to safety, insurability, equine tort law reform, strength, unity and promotion of the horse industry

The first goal accomplished in 1987 was the development of risk reduction programs for an insurance company which was starting a group equine liability insurance program during the mid-80's insurance crisis. During this time of crisis there was inadequate, little, or no coverage available for riding instruction, pack and trail operations, horse drawn vehicle rides and pony rides. Some insurers of lower risk activities, such as boarding, breeding, training stables and personal horse owners, could cover liability for the horse, but for riding horses. Available insurance carried premiums which grew to double or triple overnight, making them unaffordable, unattainable, and impossible to budget for many. The insurance crisis situation was forcing shut-down of higher risk horse businesses across the country in 1985-1986, many of which would not restart once coverage was again available two years later.

Lack of reinsurance and decrease in insurer surplus due to soft market underwriting and poor investment strategies was the major cause of the crisis. The horse industry insurers were afraid of claim potential due to escalating litigation trends. In addition the equine liability market was relatively small compared to large traditional markets, such as auto, homeowners, and restaurant insurance. Insurers lacked equine/insurance/claims experts with the right mix of skills to develop a program and make it successful. These factors, combined with minimum cost of $75,000 for an insurer to start a new program and three years to see results, make equine liability an unattractive market to enter.

The federal government responded to the crisis by enacting the 1986 Risk Retention Law, which made it illegal for state insurance divisions to discriminate against affinity groups, such as horsemen's associations, whose included seeking of a group commercial liability program.

This law made the climate right for some insurers to provide insurance at a reasonable "group" price if operators could meet them part way by forming or using an existing "affinity" group "and agreeing to develop and meet certain minimum safety standards. The operators had the advantage of king able to participate in writing Its own risk reduction programs. To do this, however required insurance expertise and writing skills.

After a lifetime of horse experience, 11 years experience training horses, teaching instruction independently at the university level, a published author and training course developer, Linda Liestman, then 28 years old, had entered the equine insurance service field in 1978 founding the Ark Agency Animal Insurance Services. Two years into her insurance career Liestman was told by an insurance company executive that if she would form a "safety control" liability insurance group for horsemen, it could benefit the industry by stabilizing insurance availability and rates. The idea became real at the enactment of the 1986 law, seven years later, when Liestman received a call from an insurance company asking her to develop such a program.

Upon implementation of the risk reduction programs in 1987, the first operators insured under the program did not care to have standards imposed upon them, yet knew that it was necessary for their survival. Most agreed that the industry could do better and they wanted to be part of the process.

Today, in 1996, the risk reduction programs are well accepted, well- known, and sought by both NAHA member insured and non-insured across the county. The programs have been requested from organizations and individuals in Canada, England, Japan, New Zealand, and other foreign countries. Organizations, insurance companies. libraries, colleges, schools and state, provincial, and local governments regularly request the standards for review and/or implementation. Much content, such as NAHA's description of the nature of the horse, quickly became a model for standard wording within the industry.

NAHA administrators developed the original standards according to insurance statistics on file from 1978 to 1987 and a common sense approach. The intention was to develop reasonable standards which, when applied consistently, could reduce and maybe even eliminate common types of accident occurrences and reduce severity of accidents and injuries. Where administrators lacked expertise, horse industry experts were consulted. Since 1987 risk reduction standards have been updated at least every two years by a panel of five NAHA administrators. Insurance incident reports, industry trends, common national and regional standards, and changes in law are considered. Horse business operators' concerns and suggestions are all carefully evaluated. At the annual NAHA conference the most critical proposed changes are discussed and debated with operators across the county. Finally, legal input is sought. If it is possible to make standards easier or less expensive by the insured, NAHA endeavors to do so.

The work would be worthless if not effective. NAHA risk reduction standards have had nine years of testing by the industry and have proven highly effective, both as a tool for industry education and in reducing frequency and severity of accidents.

A few examples: NAHA statistics show a 4% head injury rate compared to the national rate of 21% to 22%. NAHA frequency numbers and severity of horse drawn vehicle ride accidents dropped by 80% after Risk Reduction Program use. One minor pony ride handler incident took place over the NAHA 9 years period, compared to frequent serious rider/handler injuries prior to that time. One personal horse owner-handler fatality and no rider fatalities were reported for the NAHA's nine year period, compared with the statistics of a similar new program started by a competitor in 1984 that used no risk reduction standards and collapsed in two years. The latter program with one third the number of insured had three horse rental and pony ride fatalities reported in only one year 1984.

Other NAHA services. NAHA full benefit members receive an annual membership kit containing risk reduction programs, contracts and agreements which apply to their businesses, a book containing all NAHA risk reduction programs and business contracts, stable sign pack, education and horse industry promotion materials. Whether insured with NAHA or not, a member may participate in the annual safety award program which commends operators and clubs for their excellent proven accident records. Members receive the NAHA Yearbook of News, which provides 70 to 80 pages of cutting edge information. Horseman, Horsewoman, Equine Artist and Equine Law Practitioner of Distinction are nominated and recognized each year. Surveys, grant programs, equine law practitioner and expert witness lists, and special projects are all part of NAHA focus.

In 1994 NAHA spearheaded the formation of cross-horse industry tier committees to research and develop standards and a manual for cross-industry application of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). NAHA is joining forces with the Association for Horsemanship Safety and Education CHA and North American Riding for the Handicapped Association to begin the two year project in 1997. It is hoped this project will also assist in unifying horse industry factions.

The NAHA conference is held annually. Over 100 members and nonmembers attend from across the industry for three days . Prepared by Linda Liestman For more information, write or call: NAHA PO Box 223 Paynesville, MN 56362 Toll Free: 1-800-328-8894

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Horsepower Helmet Survey

HORSEPOWER, a magazine for young riders, published in Aurora, Ontario, Canada, conducted a Helmet Safety Survey of its readers. The results were published in the April/May issue. Over 100 readers responded, all under 18 years of age. This is an edited summary of their findings and recommendations.

Of the English riders who answered, 100% said they wear their helmets all the time. However they said that only 70% of their friends do the same. Of the respondents, 98% admit to having fallen off or had some other sort of riding accident at some time.

Only 25% of the young Western riders wear a hardhat all the time. Another 10% don one for lessons at shows, while a staggering 65% never wear an approved hardhat while riding! Most of their friends 85% rarely or never wear helmets.

English and Western Riders

A final category was created for some riders who fall into English/Western casual/pleasure riding category. Some of these youth possibly do not show or even ride very often - which explains the 93% accident rate among this group.

Most of these riders rode strictly on the trails (80%), dabbled in Western Pleasure (53%) or Hunter/Jumper (43%) activities, while the rest were involved with Pony Club, Dressage, Western Gaming, Eventing, Driving or Long Distance Riding (Competitive Trail Riding, Ride 'N Tie, Endurance Racing.)

Of this group of riders, 77% said they wore a helmet all the time, while 13% strapped one on only for lessons or shows. A total of 10% admitted to never wearing a hardhat for any reason. One third (33%) said their friends always wore a helmet, while 79% said their riding companions sometimes did, and 20% never wore a hardhat.

Conclusions:

The HORSEPOWER editor stated that she was startled that so many youths ride without a helmet despite knowing the risks. The editor further states: "What is even more frightening is that there are parents and riding instructors in the horse world who still allow their children/students to ride without proper head protection. Hardhats are constantly being redesigned to look more sleek and less geeky, if that is what the youth and their parents are worried about. Even if riding Western, there are specially designed safety helmets which fit under your Western hat. It is time for the Western divisions at all horse shows to get tough and insist that all juniors have proper headgear to be able to compete. If you do not wear an approved riding helmet when you mount, please reconsider. Do yourself a favor and watch the video, 'Every Time, Every Ride.'"

HORSEPOWER,
Susan Stafford, Editor
PO Box 670
Aurora, Ontario L4G4J9, Canada

Edited by Doris Bixby Hammett, MD

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National FarmMedicine Center
Equestrian Injuries

Surveillance at a Rural Medical Center

Background

Previous equestrian injury studies have focused largely on horseback riding injuries treated in hospitals and emergency departments (ED). A review of the literature reveals that information regarding non-riding injuries and injuries treated in non-ED outpatient settings is limited, National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) estimates of injury rates for the United States population have been based on ED surveillance of riding injuries.

Objective

This two year prospective study describes horse-related injuries (riding and non-riding) sustained by persons who received inpatient or out-patient care at a large rural medical center.

Method

Case reports were submitted by the hospital ED and selected outpatient departments of the multi-speciality clinic in a large rural medical center. Monthly E code reports generated by the medical records department were used for additional case finding. Care was taken in using all possible E code ranges for capturing horse and animal-related injury.

Injury event, diagnostic, and risk factor data were obtained through chart abstraction and patient interview. Cases who resided within a 14 zip code epidemiologic surveillance area (total population of 56.869) were used to determine population-based horse-related injury rates, as well. as horseback riding injury rates that could be compared with those determined through use of NEISS data.

Results

Results reported here are based on preliminary results from 22 of the 24 months of surveillance. An interview was completed by 88 of 93 (95%) of the total patients. An outpatient non-ED setting was the location in which 19 (21%) patients were treated. Patients' age ranged from 1 to 75 years, with 39 (42%) under 19 years of age.

Fifty-two (54%) of the injuries were sustained while riding; 36 (41%) While engaged in other horse-related activities. Seventeen (18.3%) were admitted to the hospital and 41 (44.1%) returned home with need for bed rest or observation. The most frequently recorded injury diagnosis (47 patients, 50.5%) was contusion or abrasion. Fracture occurred in 30 (32.3%) and head injuries in 13 (14%). Head injuries were sustained by 10 children under 19 years of age (23% of youth injured).

Fifty patients resided within the 14 zip code epidemiologic surveillance area. Overall horse-related injury rates for this population were 4.92 (95% confidence limits 3.65, 6.48) per 10,000 person years. The latter compares with a rate of 0.95 determined by using NEISS data for the United States population. Horse-related injury rates for children (<19 years) in this study were 6.86 (4.19, 10.59) per 10,000 person years; the adult rate was 4.14 (2.79, 5.91).

Farm was the place of residence for 37 (42%) of the patients; 36 (41'%) rural, non- farm. Nine (10.3%) of the injured persons had never been involved with horse-related activities before the event; 18 (20.6%) had been involved for more than five years.

In a typical week, 15 (17.4%) of the injured patients did not spend time around horses; 24 (29.9%) spent an average of less than seven hours; 23 (26.7%) spent from 7 to 13.9 hours, and the remaining 23 (26.7%) reported spending 14 or more hours per week.

Riding safety instruction within the past two years was reported by 12 (14.68%) of the injured children and 7 (14.3%) of the adults. While mounted, a certified helmet was "always" worn by 12 (14.6%) of the patients who had previous riding experience.

Implications

A significant proportion of the injuries noted in this study were sustained in non-riding activities and were serious in nature. Case finding efforts were strengthened by inclusion of outpatient departments and E code reports. One-fifth of the patients in this study were seen for treatment in a non-ED outpatient setting. This has implications for future surveillance efforts.

To our knowledge, populations-based incidence of horse-related injury rates have not been published previously. Rates for riding injuries noted in this study are more than two times those estimated by the United States population.

Factors that may contribute to horse-related injuries should be explored further. Future surveillance and intervention efforts should recognize the special injury potential for children involved with all horse-related activities.

NB Young
DT Stueland
BC Lee
PD Gunderson
M Follen

National Farm Medicine Center
Marshfield Clinic
1000 North Oak Avenue
MarshfieId, WI 54449

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Horseback Riding-Related Drownings
Oklahoma 1988-1994

by Sheryll Shariat, MPH

Background

Horseback riding as a recreational activity is growing in popularity. Over 30 million people in the United States ride horses. Fifteen million of these riders are over the age of 12 and ride on a regular basis. There are an estimated 8.3 million horses in the United States and 80% are kept for recreational use. In Oklahoma, there are an estimated 325,000 horses and 40,000 owners.

The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reported 92,763 emergency room visits for horseback riding injuries in 1987-1988. According to Oklahoma Vital Statistics data, 41 animal-related deaths occurred in the state during the period 1990-1994; 17 occurred while the person was riding an animal. A national review of state medical examiners' data from 27 states documented 205 riding fatalities from 1978-1987; 60% of the fatalities resulted from head injuries, 14% from abdominal and trunk injuries, 9% from chest injuries, 5% from drownings, 4% from spine and neck injuries, 3% from multiple injuries, and 1% from injuries to the extremities. Another 4% of fatalities resulted from other causes such as being struck by lightning, strangulation, and exposure.

According to Oklahoma statewide submersion injury surveillance data, eight horseback riding deaths due to drowning occurred from 1988-1994. This update focuses on the epidemiology of horseback riding-related drownings.

Descriptive epideminololgy

All persons were male, 75% (6/8) were 20-29 years of age. Four persons were white, two Hispanic, one black, and one Native American. Fifty percent (4/8) of persons were involved in cattle ranching activities at the time the drowning occurred.

                         TABLE
AGE GENDER  RACE  MONTH  TIME   LOCATION        ACTIVITY29   M       W    Apr   8:30 PM Flooded pasture   Moving
                                                  cattle
22   M       H    May   6:00 PM River      Moving cattle
44   M       NA   May   1:00 PM Creek         Trail ride
22   M       B    Jun  12:10 PM Creek  Riding /w friends
26   M       W    Jul  12:10 PM Pond    Breaking a horse
42   M       W    Aug   Unknown Pond             Unknown
25   M       W    Aug   9:30 AM Pond Chased bull in pond
20   M       H    Aug  12:50 PM Pond     Chasing coyotes

In 38% (3/8) of the cases, weather conditions of rain/flood were a contributing factor. Four of the eight drownings occurred in a farm pond, two in a creek, one in a river, and one in a flooded pasture. All of the drownings occurred during the months of April through August. All but one drowning occurred during the daylight hours; 5 occurred between 9:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. In all but two cases, the decedent was with a friend, co-worker, or family member at the time of the drowning.

In two cases, the horses were wearing tie-downs. (A tie-down is a leather strap that attaches to the bridle underneath the chin and runs underneath to the girth. It prevents the horse from rearing its head. A horse cannot swim while wearing a tie-down.)

Discussion

Horseback riding can be a dangerous activity. Properly trained riders should be aware of the inherent dangers and exercise the actions necessary to avoid injury and death. Hired cowboys are usually asked to provide their own horses as terms of employment, probably to insure an appropriate level of experience. However some cattle operations have learned that requiring their employees to ride company horses may reduce employee injuries.

Prevention

Drowning while riding a horse is a relatively rare event; however some common factors emerge from this case series. Four of the riders who drowned could not swim; in two cases flooding was a contributory factor, and in two other cases the horse wore equipment that was a contributory factor (i.e, tie-down). Riders may take the following precautions to prevent this type of event from occurring.

All riders should know how to swim.

Know the proper use of equipment around water (e.g., loosen or remove a horse's tie-down).

Avoid muddy bogs or dangerous terrain (especially around water) that might interfere with the horse's footing.

Avoid riding horses in heavy rains or flood conditions as (Oklahoma) landscapes are scattered with ditches, ravines, and rolling terrain. Dangerous "drop-offs" may underlie seemingly shallow water.

Crossing a road with an unknown death of water flowing over its surface is dangerous and should be avoided.

"Swimming a horse," although a common practice for experienced riders, is dangerous. It should never be attempted by an inexperienced rider, or any rider who cannot swim as the rider may be separated from the horse.

Sheryll Shariat, M. P. H.
Injury Prevention Service
Oklahoma State Dept. of Health
1000 NE 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73117-1299
from INJURY UPDATE May 31, 1996

Editorial note:

During the years covered by these figures (1988-1994) Oklahoma had 23 deaths riding/driving animals, 2 animal pedestrian deaths, and three unspecified animal related deaths for a total of 28 animal related deaths.

We do not know how many of the animal deaths were horse related (i.e. rodeo bull riding) but we feel few would be from camels, elephants (circus). or llamas. Nor do we know if the horse related drowning deaths were listed under animal riding deaths or as drowning deaths, but using these figures both ways (8/28, 8/36) the percent of horse related drownings were between 22% and 29%; far above the 1985 median [medical] examiner figure of 5%.

It may be that many of these deaths are coded (listed) under drownings and are lost in the statistics. We encourage others to study horse related drownings in their state. Many more may be occurring than available records show.

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Girl Scouts Horseback Riding

To participate in riding, girls must possess physical coordination and balance. They must be old enough to understand and practice safety procedures and to use good judgment in reacting to situations. Girls must be mature enough to take responsibility for themselves and their horses.

Planning and Supervision

All riding instructors must be adults currently certified by an accredited horsemanship instructor training organization or have documented proof of a minimum of three year's experience successfully instructing in a general horseback riding program.

All assistant riding instructors must be 16 years or older and be currently certified by an accredited horsemanship instructor training organization or have documented proof of one year's experience successfully instructing a general horseback riding program.

Riders must be supervised by instructors or assistant instructors at all times when in the proximity of horses, whether mounted or not.

Each rider must be tested and classified according to her riding ability.

The horse and riding area must be assigned according to the rider's ability.

Beginning riders must attend an introductory safety lesson, including information on horse psychology and behavior, and approaching, handling, and leading a horse.

A beginning rider must ride only in a ring or corral; a rider must feel confident and demonstrate basic skills in controlling the horse and maintaining proper distance before trail riding.

A safety check by an instructor of each rider's clothing, the horse's tack, and the riding area must be made before each riding session.

Only one rider is allowed on a horse at any time.

Eating or drinking is not permitted while riding.

Additional Checkpoints for Ring or Corral Riding

A minimum of one instructor and one assistant instructor must supervise any group of 10 or fewer riders, with one additional instructor or assistant instructor for every five additional riders.

A pre-ride demonstration must be given to all first time riders, including mounting, dismounting starting, stopping, steering, and balanced body position.

Each horse and rider must be under the observation of one of the instructors at all times.

Additional Checkpoints for Trail Riding

No more than 10 girls to a group, excluding an instructor and assistant instructor. For beginning riders or younger girls, adult supervision may need to be increased.

Prior to the trail ride, a brief warm-up must take place in a ring or corral to ensure that riders are well suited to their horses and can control all of the gaits and functions required during the trail rider

The group must ride single file, one full horse length apart, with the assistant instructor at the head, the least experienced riders in the front, and the instructor at the rear.

Distances between horses must be increased when the horses' speed increases.

Riders must have control of their horses and maintain the spacing between horses.

The length of the trail ride and the gait of the horses must be geared to the ability of the least experienced rider.

Supervision must be increased far inexperienced riders or difficult trails.

Riding trails must have good footing and be free from dangerous obstructions, such as low-hanging branches.

Trails must be marked, mapped, regularly inspected and maintained.

Gates must be left as found, open or shut.

Public roads and highways must be avoided whenever possible. (If a group must cross a road, the instructors must first halt the group in a line well before the road, check for traffic, and then signal the group to cross. At the signal, all horses are turned to face the highway and all cross at the same time.)

Horses must be walked up and down hills and should be walked for the final 10 minutes of any riding period.

Equipment for a hail ride must include.

Helmets

Halters

Lead ropes

Rain gear

Gear must be tied to the saddle or packed in saddle-bags. Backpacks, day packs, fanny packs, etc,, are not to be worn by any riders.

Other situations

In case of other horseback riding situations, such as open range riding, horse shows, led pony rides, etc., a written safety management plan specific to the activity must be prepared.

Some programs, such as riding for girls with disabilities, vaulting, pack trips, driving and games may require special equipment, as well as horses and instructors with specialized training.

Clothing

Long pants and appropriate protective clothing must be worn.

Clothing must be snug to prevent becoming tangled with the saddle.

Jewelry, especially loop earrings, heavy pendants, and bracelets, must not be worn.

Boots or shoes with a least a half-inch heel must be worn to prevent feet from sliding through the stirrups.

Riders may not ride in hiking hoots with lug soles, tennis shoes, sandals, or barefoot.

Riders may wear well-fitting gloves to protect hands from blisters, rope burns and cuts.

Equipment

Properly fitting protective headgear, with a correctly adjusted safety harness that meets the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F-1163-88 requirements, displaying the Safety Equipment Institute (SEI) seal, must be worn by girls and adults, including all instructors, wranglers, stable hands, etc., when around horses, whether-mounted or not.

All equipment must he in good condition, checked regularly for wear and repaired as necessary.

Records of repair requests and completion of repairs must be maintained and kept.

All equipment must be properly adjusted for each rider and horse.

The saddle size must be appropriate for each rider.

All girth straps must be fitted properly and checked by the instructor prior to mounting.

Stirrup lengths must be adjusted for each rider.

Site

Council approval must be obtained when selecting a non-Girl Scout riding facility.

The stable operator must provide evidence of liability insurance and references from other youth group users of the stable.

The stable area must be inspected prior to use by council staff.

The following applies to both Girl Scout council and non-Girl Scout riding facilities:

The riding area must be away from outside distractions and free of debris.

The barn and riding areas must not have exposed barbed wire fencing.

The instructional rings, corrals, paddocks and stables must have clearly posted rules and regulations.

The horses must be properly cared for and the stables, corrals, barns, etc., must be kept dean and uncluttered.

Tack (saddles, bridles, etc.) must be clean and in good condition.

Weather conditions must be suitable for riding. The ground must be firm and free of ice.

Riding should be done during daylight hours only. Any riding at night must be in an enclosed, well-lighted area.

Permission and any necessary permits must be obtained before riding on public or private lands.

Emergency Procedures and First Aid

An adult with current first-aid training must be present in the ring or on the trail.

A first-aid kit must be available in the ring or on the trail.

An emergency vehicle must be readily available.

Plans for emergency communication with the police, hospitals, and park or fire officials must be arranged in advance and known by each instructor.

Plans for response in ease of an emergency such as a fire, severe weather, injured rider injured or loose horse, etc., must be known by all participants and instructors.

For extended trips, the itinerary must be left with a contact person. The person must be called upon departure and return.

At Girl Scout facilities, a method of communications between the riding area and the site director or health-car personnel must be available.

In stable and ring areas telephone numbers for the fire department, local hospital or emergency ambulance service, and veterinarian must be conspicuously posted, and the location of the fire alarm must be known to all girls and adults.

Reprinted by permission from Safety-Wise,
copyright 1993, Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

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