Horse riding is a very fun and enjoyable activity. However, it is important to remember that sometimes things may go wrong, and we need to make sure we are as safe as possible.
What are some things that we can do to maximise our safety?
Wear a helmet
Helmets are special types of hats that help to protect our heads in case we bump them, especially if we fall from a horse. They are very important to wear whenever you ride a horse to help keep you safe. Riders all over the world wear helmets and they have saved many lives. Helmets are worn in many other sports such as cycling, rock climbing/caving, baseball and football. Helmets come in all shapes and colours, but it is important to remember to wear an approved horse riding helmet for greater protection. Helmets are also great to wear to protect our faces and heads from the sun!
Wear Riding Boots
Riding boots a leather shoes that protect us when on the ground around horses, but also when riding them. Riding boots are a lot more sturdy than other shoes. They are important whenever you handle a horse on the ground, to maximise safety and help keep our feet safe. They are also extremely important when you ride a horse! Boots have a flat surface (no tread) and a heel. This helps us when they are in stirrups are are less likely to become stuck than other shoes with tread, no heels or laces! Make sure when you ride a horse you wear boots similar to the one in the picture with a flat sole and a heel! All leaders of little league ponies must wear appropriate footwear for your safety - no thongs, sandals or ballet flats. You are welcome to borrow riding boots!
Clothing, hair and jewlery
When you ride a horse it is important to wear clothing that is not too loose that it flaps as it may become caught. Leaders also need to be dressed appropriately for their safety. Many riders wear long pants called jodphurs. These pants are stretchy, but firm, allowing us to move but preventing them from becoming caught. Alternatively you may wear other pants such as stretchy jeans or leggings. It is also important to wear shirsts that cover the shoulders, to protect us from the sun and the environment. Again, shirts should not be flapping as they may become caught.
Long hair is best tied back in a low pony tail or bun, so that it is secure and fits comfortably under your helmet. Finally, jewlery should not be flapping and is best kept in a safe place while you ride to prevent it becoming lost or caught. Wearig the correct clothing can also protect you from the sun. Sleeves, hats, long pants and sunscreen all help keep us sun smart. For more summer tips, please see the 'Summer Riding' blog.
These are just a few ways to dress to assist you in better comfort and safety as you ride and handle horses! At Forest Park we have a limited number of boots and helmets that you are welcome to borrow. Alternatively you can purchase your own, we suggest Horseland Canberra in Fyshwick. This ensures that you have the correct size.
Please don't hesitate to ask your instructor about riding attire and any other safety questions you may have! It is always better to ask about any questions about safety. Enjoy your riding!