It is estimated that 2.7 million people in the UK ride horses. It is often seen as a sport or hobby that families can enjoy together. Unfortunately, the danger horse riding presents is often underestimated. Even the most experienced and careful riders know that injuries and accidents do happen.

Here, Thompsons Solicitors answer some frequently-asked questions about horse riding injury and accident compensation claims.

1. What causes a horse riding accident? 

Some of the most common types of horse riding accidents Thompsons Solicitors’ personal injury lawyers deal with involve:

  • Riders being injured due to faulty equipment they have been provided with, such as a saddle, girth, bridle, reins or riding hat
  • Riders being injured because their girth has not been fitted correctly, causing them to fall from the horse
  • Horse riders being injured due to riding on an unsuitable and uneven surface
  • Riders being involved in a road accident with a motorised vehicle
  • Horse riders being provided with a horse to ride which has an unsuitable temperament
  • Accidents due to poor leadership or management of a hack (where an instructor should take a place at the front and rear of the group and arrange the other riders and horses between). But there are too many riders who fail to plan properly or to adequately signal to traffic.
  • Injury caused by a horse known to others to be temperamental but not to the injured.

2. As a horse rider, what can I do to try to avoid the chances of an accident?

There are many ways in which you can minimise the chances of a horse riding accident. You should:

  • Always wear appropriate footwear, like proper riding boots with a heel and instep. Trainers, sandals and other day-to-day footwear are not suitable
  • Never ride alone when in a rural area
  • Always check and double-check that the tack (girth, saddle, bridle and reins) are fastened properly
  • Wear fluorescent clothing to make sure you are visible when riding in public places
  • Take a Riding Road Safety test if you intend to ride on public roads
  • Always wear a back protector
  • Invest in a properly-fitting helmet which conforms to current safety standards
  • Learn to ride with a fully-qualified instructor so that you’re completely confident, and competent when riding on the road
  • Be realistic and make sure the horse you are riding is appropriate for your own riding skill level
  • Read the British Horse Society's safety advice.

3. What are the most common personal injuries sustained in horse riding accidents? 

Falls from horses can result in a wide range of injuries from bruising and grazing to broken bones, spinal cord injuries and head and brain injuries. Falls from horses can be made much worse for the rider if, after they have fallen, their horse then falls on top of them. This sadly happens more frequently than you would imagine. An average horse weighs in the region of 500kg and is as tall as a fully-grown adult; so this can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

Other common injuries caused by horses include bites, kicks, horses standing on a person's foot and horses crushing people against walls or gates inside a stable and outside. 

4. Who can make a horse riding accident claim?

If you have been injured in a horse riding accident, contact Thompsons Solicitors’ friendly personal injury specialists to find out if you are entitled to make a horse riding accident compensation claim. You can reach our legal enquiry team on 0800 0 224 224.

5. How can I start a horse riding injury compensation claim?

If you or a family member has been injured in a horse riding accident within the last three years, you should call Thompsons Solicitors’ personal injury lawyers as soon as possible for advice about making a claim. 

Our legal experts have successfully secured personal injury compensation for many people injured in horse riding accidents.

We can advise you on the validity of your personal injury compensation claim, talk you through the process of making a claim, and answer any additional questions you may have. To get in touch, fill in our online compensation claim form, or call us on 0800 0224 224.

6. I was injured in a horse riding accident over a year ago – can I still make a personal injury claim?

Yes. All injury claims are subject to a three-year deadline from the day of your injury. We recommend anyone who has been injured while horse riding to get in touch with our personal injury experts sooner rather than later, not least because the quicker you start your claim, the less likely you are to forget details of the accident that may prove important to your case.

7. How much personal injury compensation will I receive for my horse riding injury?

Your horse riding injury compensation will be calculated based on a number of factors, including but not limited to, the extent of the injury, its impact on your life now and any likely impact in the future. Any outlays as a result of the injury, can also be claimed. Our personal injury lawyers can give you a better indication of how much your horse riding accident compensation claim could be worth. For more information, contact us on 0800 0 224 224.

8. How long will I have to wait for compensation for my horse riding accident claim?

The length of time taken to secure compensation for a horse riding accident claim differs, depending on the complexity of the case. Our lawyers always ensure that you’re kept up-to-date on the developments in your case, as we understand the importance of bringing your claim to a swift conclusion, so that you can put your accident behind you.

9. How much will it cost to make a horse injury compensation claim?

There are a number of ways to fund a personal injury claim. If you, or a family member are part of a trade union, you will receive free legal representation and advice from Thompsons Solicitors as part of your membership.

If you are not a trade union member, feel free to call our friendly legal team who will be happy to advise you on other ways to finance your horse riding injury compensation claim. You can learn more about the different payment options by speaking to our personal injury experts on 0800 0 224 224, or by visiting our Fees and Payments page.