How to Be Safe on a Horse

Three Parts:Knowing how to ride wellDressing properly for ridingRiding with care

Horses can be a lot of fun to ride. However, horseback riding is definitely one of the most dangerous sports in the world. Keeping safe while riding a horse involves knowing how to ride well, dressing appropriately and knowing what to do in the event of an emergency.

Part 1
Knowing how to ride well

  1. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 1
    Find a credited riding instructor. Find a horse riding school, barn or farm that specializes in the type of riding you want to learn. Once you find the credited instructor that teaches the kind of riding you want to do, start taking lessons.
  2. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 2
    Have lessons bi-weekly, at a minimum. For the lessons to be effective it is recommended for lessons at least once every other week, but ideally at least once a week is best.

Part 2
Dressing properly for riding

  1. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 3
    Have the right attire. This depends on the type of riding you want to do, but there are a few staple things every equestrian needs to wear whilst riding.
  2. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 4
    Wear a riding helmet. This is the most important part of your riding attire. It must fit properly and be certified to the helmet standards relevant for your country. (For example, ASTM/SEI certified.) Remember that the helmet must be replaced every time you have a bad fall, except for a few special helmets. Don't skimp on the quality of a helmet because a helmet can save your life––they regularly prevent severe injuries to many riders.
  3. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 5
    Wear the appropriate pants. Wear thick pants, jeans or breeches. This is to protect your legs from saddle sores and to help you grip the saddle.
  4. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 6
    Wear appropriate footwear. Wear hard toed shoes with a 1-inch heel; this will prevent your foot from slipping through the stirrup.
  5. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 7
    Keep hair out of your face. Wear your hair back with a hairband and perhaps a hairnet as well.
  6. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 8
    Add other items as needed. You may find some of the following help:
    • belt
    • chaps
    • gloves
    • crop.

Part 3
Riding with care

  1. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 9
    Know your limits. Don't try anything on your horse that you haven't done with your riding instructor. Until you can be considered an advanced rider yourself, it just isn't worth the problems that might arise for you when it's unfamiliar.
    • Don't push yourself too hard, or you'll end up getting hurt.
    • You know yourself when you're at your limits. If your instructor asks you to do something and you're uncomfortable doing it because you don't think you're ready, don't do it. Just tell your instructor that you feel unsafe doing it yet.
  2. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 10
    Put the helmet on for every single ride. Even if it's just a short ride from one end of the yard to the other, put that helmet on. Horses can get spooked by anything. Even if you think your horse is bombproof its not. You can't predict a gunshot, or a deer jumping out of the woods. Also, don't ride without a helmet because you think you have a "bond" with your horse. Horses are flight animals and they run at the first sign of danger, regardless of that special bond.
  3. Image titled Be Safe on a Horse Step 11
    Learn how to perform an emergency dismount. This is important because if you stay on the horse, you could end up getting more hurt than had you dismounted as safely as possible, rather than getting bucked off and thrown into a wall.
    • If you do fall off, make sure that you're out of the horse's way. However, stay down for a few minutes to make sure you're not hurt too badly. Then, slowly assess yourself, first wiggle your fingers and toes. Next, your hands and feet. Then feel your head, check for any blood. Next slowly, slowly, sit up. Sit for a minute, then try moving your legs. Next slowly stand up and retrieve your horse.


  • Learn how to be safe on the ground with horses, not just when riding.
  • Make sure you tacked up (put on the saddle and bridle) the right way.
  • Never ride alone.


  • Always ride in a safe environment. Know what obstacles are ahead of you and the horse and how to tackle them with confidence.
  • Horses can easily take a misstep and you can end up on the ground.
  • Never ride without a helmet.
  • Know how to handle a horse when things go wrong.

Article Info

Categories: Riding