Horse Jumping Accidents: Common Causes And How To Stay Safe

Last Updated on April 11, 2022

Jumping is one of the most popular disciplines in the equestrian world. However, horse jumping accidents can be very dangerous for both the horse and rider. Though rare, sometimes jumping accidents can be fatal.

In most cases, jumping is a sport that both horses and riders enjoy. However, there are dangers that come with this exciting discipline. Though precautions can help keep horses and people safe, accidents can still happen.

Common Causes Of Horse Jumping Accidents

Jumping is one of the most popular riding disciplines across the world. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous equestrian activities as well.

In horse jumping accidents, the level of injury can range vastly. In some cases, the horse and rider may be able to walk away uninjured. However, the most serious accidents might result in death for the horse or rider.

Though jumping accidents can happen to the best horse and riders, there are some common causes that can lead to accidents. By identifying these causes, you can help reduce the chances of accidents happening.

Common Causes Of Horse Jumping Accidents

Inexperienced Rider – Horse Jumping Accidents

One of the top causes of jumping accidents is inexperienced riders. Jumping requires skill, balance, precision and proper timing. Inexperienced riders may lack the skills necessary to safely jump a horse.

Oftentimes, an inexperienced rider may not be able to predict or feel that a horse is not properly prepared for a jump. This lack of awareness can cause the horse to refuse the jump, hit the jump or even fall. Any of these circumstances can lead to an accident.

Check Out Is Horse Jumping Cruel? Horse Jumping Facts Revealed!

Green Horse

A green horse is a horse with little to no training. A horse that is green needs time to learn the proper timing and skills needed to jump. Pair a green horse with an inexperienced rider and you can have a serious accident on your hands.

Damaged Tack – Horse Jumping Accidents

Damaged tack can lead to serious problems, as it can break even under the smallest amount of pressure. A stirrup breaking while a horse is going over a jump can lead to a rider flying off. In addition, if any part of the bridle breaks, a rider may lose control of the horse.

Unsafe Conditions

Unsafe conditions can lead to serious jumping accidents. If the surface is too wet, it may cause a horse to slip while taking off or landing a jump. In addition, if there are distractions your horse is not familiar with, such as construction work or fireworks, your horse may spook and cause you to fall off.

Unsafe Conditions - Horse Jumping Accidents

Asking Too Much From Your Horse

Not every horse has the same jumping capabilities. If you push your horse past its capabilities, you can set yourself up for disaster. The higher the jump, the higher the risk of accident and pushing a horse too far can lead to injury.

Read more about Horse Show Jumping Attire – Rules And Etiquette Explained!

How To Stay Safe While Jumping

While there are inherent risks that come with jumping, there are precautions you can take to keep you and your horse safe. These precautions can help minimize the risk of injury and allow you to enjoy jumping while also improving your skills.

Always Wear A Helmet

Though wearing a helmet might not be able to prevent an accident, it can save your life in the event of one. You should always wear a helmet when jumping a horse. Helmets can save you from serious head injuries and even save your life.

Be sure to wear only a horseback riding helmet and not any other style of helmet. It is also vital that you wear a properly fitting helmet.

Invest In A Body Protector

A body protector or a protective vest can help protect you from the impact of a fall when jumping. They can be particularly helpful to cross country and show jumpers, where there is more risk of injury. They are worn on your chest and can help protect your bones, organs, and joints.

Ovation Adult Comfort Flex Body Protector

Take Lessons With A Qualified Riding Instructor

It is important to have a qualified riding instructor that can teach you all the skills you need to jump. A good instructor will begin with flatwork before progressing to jumping. They will teach you all the skills you need to know how to jump.

When choosing a riding instructor, do your research. A good instructor will take the time to work with you one on one and will not rush your progress.

Know You And Your Horse’s Limits

Though it is always good to learn more and continue to make progress in your skills, it is important to know you and your horse’s limits. Don’t push yourself too quickly, as this can lead to mistakes when it comes to jumping. Learn what your horse is communicating to you with body language and don’t push them past their capabilities.

Click Here to Learn about Horse Riding Instructor Career Guide

Clean Your Tack Regularly And Replace Damaged Pieces

You should always clean your tack on a regular basis to keep it clean and supple. Cleaning your tack regularly also allows you to see any damaged pieces. Replacing damaged tack can save you from serious accidents.

Protect Your Horse – Horse Jumping Accidents

It is important to make sure your horse is sound and does not have any injuries when they jump. Make sure to examine your horse for any abnormalities such as bumps or cuts when you groom them. In addition, it can also be a good idea to invest in some tendon boots and bell boots to protect your horse as they jump.

Jumping Safely

Jumping naturally comes with risks, however, with the right precautions it can be done in a safer manner. It is important to always take precautions to prevent horse jumping accidents.

Do you have any questions regarding horse jumping accidents? If so, please ask any horse jumping questions in the comments.


Is Jumping Safe for Horses?

Jumping can be dangerous for both horses and riders. However, with the right precautions, it can be done in a safe manner that both horse and rider can enjoy.

How Common Are Horse Riding Accidents?

According to the National Library of Medicine, horse riding accidents "affect approximately 35.7 persons per 100,000 population every year in the USA." Approximately 10-30% of horse riding injuries are head injuries.

Why Does a Horse Refuse a Jump?

There are a few factors as to why a horse may refuse a jump. Some of the most common reasons include rider error, slippery conditions or the horse being overmatched for the jump.

How are Horses Trained for Jumping?

After a horse is trained for flatwork, training for jumping begins. Training will begin with ground poles, then trotting poles and next cross-rail jumps before working up to all types of jumps.