UK HealthCare, partnering with University of Kentucky colleges of Agriculture and Public Health and 40 community, equine and medical organizations, continues its five-year educational campaign, Saddle Up Safely, with the development of a horse-related injury brochure.

"As the official medical provider for the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games, we have a passion for serving the horse community, and are grateful to have so many partners that believe in the campaign's mission to raise awareness of horseback rider safety across the state and beyond," said Dr. Julia Martin, associate professor of Emergency Medicine at UK HealthCare.

In a survey by John Mayberry and colleagues, riders with 50 hours or less of riding experience were found most likely to be injured. The study also recognized that the more advanced the rider, the greater the chance of serious injury, and the less likely the riders are to use a helmet.

In the fight to combat these statistics and survey results, the newly published booklet lists basic tips for horseback riders, check lists for extended trail rides, information about fitting a helmet correctly and safety tips for minor injuries, sprains and fractures, head injuries, and chest and abdominal injuries. Rehabilitation therapy and resources are also available.

Martin stressed that considering the recent UK HealthCare survey, finding 60 percent of Kentucky horseback riding respondents not wearing any safety apparel the last time they went riding, this educational campaign is more important now than ever before.

Source: University of Kentucky

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