The results of a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention study remind horse owners that they need to be careful when participating in horse-related activities.


Researchers involved with the study, published in the April online edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, monitored the number of horse-related injuries treated in the emergency rooms of 66 hospitals in the United States. During that time, an estimated 102,904 people (the majority of which were female) were treated for nonfatal horse-related injuries each year.


Most of the incidents (66.1%) occurred while riding (either from a fall or being thrown). Kick injuries were common in unmounted individuals.


The area of the body most often injured was the head and neck (23.2%), followed by the lower extremities (22.2%) and the upper extremities (21.5%). Injuries most often resulted in contusions and/or abrasions (31.4%) and fractures (25.2%).


The researchers estimated that for each year the study encompassed, more than 11,500 people sustained traumatic brain injuries from horse-related incidents, and more than 11% of those required hospitalization.