Last night's announcement of the tragic death of actress Natasha Richardson brings home again the risks that we all take, every day, as we work around horses. Head injuries are always lurking, and there are days when I think working around horses in the barn and paddock carries just as many risks as riding.
While Richardson's death took over the airwaves last night, there's another story going on a little closer to home. In Florida, a rider is hospitalized with a head injury suffered when a horse caught its foot in a jump. Click here to read about the concern over Stephanie Keliner's condition in an update from today's?Palm Beach Post.
And I'm sure that there are similar dramas going on in hospitals around the world, although most would not be as severe.?
Stephanie was jumping without a helmet. Wellington's town statute requires riders under the age of 16 to wear them and farms in that town may be fined for every incident of helmetless riding...but adults are just as much as risk.
Just ask Stephanie...when she recovers, which we all hope she will.
Click here to read a special report on spinal cord injuries in equestrian report from the journal Nature.
Click here to read a project report on helmet safety for equestrians from the University of Connecticut.
Riding does have its risks, but please try to minimize them with safety gear, and knowing the basic preventions. And what would you do if you saw a riding accident or found a fallen rider out on the trail?