Rider Safety Program Releases Booklet on Pasture Safety

Rider Safety Program Releases Booklet on Pasture Safety

Safety While in the Pasture

UK HealthCare, in partnership with University of Kentucky (UK) colleges of Agriculture and Public Health and in conjunction with close to 50 community, equine, and medical organizations, has released a new educational booklet within the Saddle Up Safely educational partnership.

"Safety While in the Pasture" covers topics such as understanding herd behavior, gates and gate areas, horse equipment, bringing horses into the barn, turning horses loose, riding in pastures with turned-out horses, and pasture maintenance.

The booklet was written by members of the Saddle Up Safely Auxiliary, a group of dedicated volunteers passionate about rider safety issues who serve to help create and disseminate the campaign's educational messages.

"The auxiliary regularly met to discuss and debate each safety point to ensure the recommendations were grounded in good horsemanship and were realistic," said Bill Gombeski, MBA, MPH, director of strategic marketing at UK HealthCare and Saddle Up Safely lead. "I really appreciate their dedication and vision."

Saddle Up Safely was launched in 2009 in advance of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in response to the number of riders admitted to UK's Emergency Department. The campaign aims to increase awareness and educate riders about riding and horse handling safety. The campaign's ultimate goal is to reduce the number and severity of rider injuries and help make a great sport safer.

To visit the campaign website, share tips about experiences involving horse and rider safety, or read the blog, go to http://ukhealthcare.uky.edu/SaddleUp/. A copy of the pasture safety booklet is available online.

Holly Wiemers, MA, is communications director for UK Ag Equine Programs

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