Use and Perceptions of Equestrian Safety Equipment

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Vande Kamp, Kailey
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Middle Tennessee State University
Modernization of equestrian sport has focused on advancements of safety equipment. The purpose of this study was to investigate factors influencing the use of safety equipment in equestrian sports. It was hypothesized that use, perceptions of efficacy, and influencing factors would differ according to discipline but not other demographic factors. More than 700 responses were obtained from an online survey. Reported helmet use was lower in western disciplines than English disciplines (P<0.0001) or driving (P<0.0001). Only 58.2% of all participants reported “always” wearing a helmet, yet 74.2% considered helmets “very effective” in preventing injury. Usage of other safety equipment was lower. These results suggest that while helmet use is considered an effective way to prevent injury, discipline still influences safety equipment use. Understanding equestrian demographics and disciplines that are likely to use safety equipment, as well as how they are influenced will allow for greater education and safety.
Equestrian, Helmet, Horse Riding, Safety Equipment, Animal sciences