Brain Injury & Horses

Horseback riding causes the highest proportion (11.7), of traumatic brain injuries among sports-related recreational activities. [CDC]

Brain injuries comprise about 18 percent of all horseback riding injuries. They are the number one reason for horse-related hospital admissions and the leading cause of death. [NIIC]

The proportion of brain injuries in sports-related emergency visits was highest for horseback riding. [CDC]

Three of every five equestrian accident deaths are due to brain injuries. [NIIC]

Each year roughly 70,000 people are treated in emergency rooms because of equestrian-related injuries. Tens of thousands more are treated in physician offices. [AMEA]

Horseback riding is a relatively dangerous activity when compared with other sports; equestrians suffer as many accidents per hour of activity as motorcycle riders. [AMEA]

There is a fourfold increase in mortality for injured, non-helmeted riders. [AMEA]

Riding injuries occur most frequently in riders younger than 21 years of age. [AAP]

Use of approved helmets has been associated with a decline in severe brain injuries. [AAP]


  • (CDC) Centers for Disease Control 2007
  • (NIIC) National Injury Information Clearinghouse 2006
  • (AMEA) American Medical Equestrian Association 2005/2007
  • (AAP) American Academy of Pediatrics
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