Yes, I did read the study, and the "problem" fences that were cited do tend to be the fences at which most accidents occur. I am not denying the dangers of eventing, and yes, some accidents do occur because of recklessness or pushing the horse beyond his or her limits, but I still believe that some crashes are simply due to inopportune medical crises. For example, earlier this year, a horse died at an Advanced level event. I am sorry to say that I cannot remember at the moment who the horse was or who was riding, but I do recall that the horse had either a heart attack or an aneurysm immediately before a fence and crashed into it quite hard. If I remember correctly, the examining vet did not believe that it was due to overexertion.
As for aneurysms and heart attacks: do they always occur because of overexertion? NO. Quite a few heart attacks occur while a person is standing around in their living room. While I have not personally done any research to support my opinion, my opinion is based on what I have observed throughout my life.
I also believe that more equine injuries take place in the field than while a horse is in work. Take a look around the bulletin board: it is likely that more people are asking for jingles for a pasture-injured horse than a horse that was injured during work. For example, when I was younger, my mother's mare dropped dead of a brain aneurysm in the field. Recently, my sister's mare tore a collateral ligament while turned out. A horse can easily take a misstep and do quite a bit of damage, or be kicked, or even just be a victim of a freak accident. A fairly well-known stallion recently ran into a tree and died while turned out.
It would be interesting to have a trauma vet weigh in on this discussion.
"I also believe that more equine injuries take place in the field than while a horse is in work."
many horses spend MUCH MORE time in a field. you need to adjust and compare the time spent on a x-country course to time spent in a field in order to make any kind of meaningful statistical comparison.
plus, many MORE horses spend time in fields as compared to the number of horses who event. you would need to adjust for that, too.
turn out injures can have many variables-is the pasture safe? is the herd well integrated? do the horses have adequate food, shelter, water?
we all know of horses who have sustained mysterious injuries during turnout for which there seems to be no explanation. but there are also horses turned out in unsafe pastures, with unfamiliar companions, etc.
you really can't compare sports injuries to turnout injuries, except to say that sometimes the careless get lucky and sometimes the careful get hurt anyway.
and you really can't compare rollkur to eventing injuries or being turned out, becasue rollkur is intentional.
Personally, I am NOT comparing ANYTHING to rollkur. I think that the eventing injuries v. Zwangsjacke comparison is absolutely absurd, as zwangsjacke is intentional, while accidents are not (as you and many others have said).
And yes, your point of comparing the time spent working to that spent in turnout is an excellent one. I wasn't really trying to compare injuries while riding to those in turnout (although yes, it did sound like that, but it was not my intent) - I was simply trying to point out that eventing does NOT kill as many horses as some people believe it does. On the other hand, more horses DO get injured in turnout. Because we don't ride our horses twelve hours a day, perhaps it is more of a lower risk/longer exposure vs. higher risk/shorter exposure kind of thing.
I'm rambling...just sort of thinking out loud, I suppose.
I'm aware of those, thanks. Those are 2 of the 3 I said happened this year. And one of those was reported to be that the horse died before he took off for the jump, hence the fall. Probably heart attack or ruptured aorta. And I really don't think you can blame a congenital health problem on x-c. It was probably going to happen anyway.
My point is that while eventing is slightly dangerous, if you look at the total number of horses and riders competing to the number of deaths or serious injuries, it's really not much more dangerous than any other sport we do with horses.
To the person who said that horses get injured more in the pasture because they spend more time in the pasture, SO many more horses get injured, and killed (or put down) from pasture injuries, that proportionally they are still comparable. Like many thousands a day around the world as compared to the average of one a year.
And to the poster who said that horses don't die of heart attacks or aneurysms while doing dressage, that's absolutely not true. I personally have known 2 horses that died of an aneurysm while riders were doing dressage/ flatwork.
So, it looks like more than one horse every couple of years.
The point some posters make about the number of horses in pasture is an excellent one. There are literally millions of horses in pasture.There are not so many eventing horses. To make a valid comparison, you'd have to compare percentages (incidence per hundred horses). I couldn't find any data on that. But the same statement could probably be made about car accidents.
But with regard to humans, I found this http://depts.washington.edu/hiprc/pr...questrian.html
Their study conducted from 1992 to 1997 occurred over 54 days of cross country (prenovice to advanced) and included 16,940 riders. There were 193 injuries and 2 fatalities. They found the injury rate to be 1.1%. Another study (Whitlock MR. Injuries to riders in cross country phase of eventing: the importance of protective equipment. Br J Sport Med, 1999; 33 (3): 212-214.) found the injury rate to be as high as 4.3%. One of the conclusions of the first study,"Eventing is one of the most dangerous equestrian activities."
Any numbers on horses that die of colic per year? That's abuse.
What is your point to this thread nhwr, what (if any) point are you trying to make? A while back I mentioned topics on EVENTING might better be answered on the Eventing Forum. A while back I mentioned Denny Emerson, who visits from time to time there, may have a few really good answers for you.
I personally am more concerned at the number of obviously unfit horses one sees competing at Pony Club events (Note Pony Club run the majority of unafilliated eventing here in NZ).
Many years ago the owner of the yard I kept my horse at lost her only child in a Cross Country competition, the pony fell and crushed her. The teenager had already competed in an earlier cross country class on the pony and the pony was tired, made a mistake and flipped.
ACC runs the accident prevention in NZ and a report from them noted that more riders were injured or killed when in walk, as they tend to reduce their level of concentration. One pupil of mine was with her mother walking around the paddock, her mothers horse tripped and fell crushing her. The same child later broke her leg when her and a friend were enjoying an icecream walking back from Pony Club - a duck flew up out of the water-race.
Every year people are killed in cars either as a result of their careless driving or as the result of some other idiot on the road. Yet we still drive.
In general we only here of deaths of competition horses and riders. It happens everywhere in all walks of life. I remember the day we found Emma a horse dead in her box, she certainly didn't have a strenuous life and she was only 8yrs old.
If people wormed their horses properly from day one then many aneurisms would not occur, red worm being the leading cause of horse aneurism.
I personally take great care that my horses are kept well, are fit for the work they are to do and are looked after when injury happens. Generally from larking about in the paddock!
"I found it kind of disturbing that a horse with a fractured splint (though treated) would be returned to competition."
Yeah, and do you know how many racehorses return to racing after bowed tendons, fractures, and other injuries that are much worse. Why aren't you placing them under fire?
"To me this means that equine fatalities are a recognized and accepted fact in the sport."
Honestly, I don't see your point other than to bash eventing. As I stated before, ALL riding sports carries risks with it...racing, eventing, dressage, reining, etc etc. To point one out specifically and say "how can people train this way" is obsurd. People aren't "training their horses" to have them fall on them in x-country, they are accidents. As others have said, horses can get killed running in their own paddocks. Heck, my horse has been laid up for 5 months b/c he was running around like an idiot outside, not because of riding.
I won't even touch the topic of Rollkur, which IS a training method. Now that's something I would say "How can people train horses this way? It's abusive".
lstevenson, I can see that you aren't really used to analysis, so let me explain it to you.
They found the rate of injury to be 1.1% in their study. They make no representation of what the injury rate is globally. As HXF rightly points out that is one in a hundred (slightly more actually). This study references another study that finds the rate to be 4.3%. That is more than 1 in 25. And they do represent eventing to be one of the most dangerous equestrian activities, despite what you have to say about it.
To make valid comparison between eventing and pasture injuries (which people are not usually involved in) you have to consider the amount of time spent in each activity as well.
so... every time i go to the KHP and there are 400+ competitors, 4 of them should die? Funny, I've been to many many events over the past 8 years, and have only heard of one where a horse died (at a 4*)... This includes all levels, BN-A...
I find that statistic hard to believe, or maybe in area 8 we are just safer? lol.
"Do you care, or don’t you care? Because if you do care, you better speak up now or take what you get."
— Denny Emerson www.savethe3day.org
**proud member of the trakehNERD group**