The roles of equine ethology and applied learning theory in horse-related human injuries

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Horse-related injuries to riders, handlers, and veterinarians can be both serious and long-term in their effects on the victim. This review of literature covering horse-related injuries to human beings sought to identify rider and handler injury incidence and the relationships between antecedents and demographics of incidents. Review and evaluation of previously recommended prevention strategies were also undertaken.

There was evidence that recent technological advances in protective equipment may have mitigated some injuries but the frequency of the incident has not changed. Despite several authors acknowledging the important role the horse played in many of the incidents, there was little specific detail about this role recorded. The emerging field of equitation science will contribute important insights that make horse-use safer by reducing the ‘‘unpredictability’’ aspect of horse–human interactions.