Law 1 – A Horse Can Hurt You & Even Kill You

A horse can kill you or hurt you.  This needs no proof.  Until about 100 years ago everyone in the world used horses to shape human civilization.  It is hard for many of you to imagine a world without cars, trucks and planes but in 1900, humans around the world used horses and ships to go anywhere.  Trains were in their infancy.  I have not seen a statistic for the number of injuries and deaths from horses in those times but I would assume it was high.  Currently there are about 3750 people worldwide killed in traffic accidents (1,350,000 people per year).  I would bet that if we were still using horses rather than cars, trucks or motorcycles then the rate per capita (percent of the population) would be higher.

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A horse can kill you or hurt you.  This needs no proof.  Until about 100 years ago everyone in the world used horses to shape human civilization.  It is hard for many of you to imagine a world without cars, trucks and planes but in 1900, humans around the world used horses and ships to go anywhere.  Trains were in their infancy.  I have not seen a statistic for the number of injuries and deaths from horses in those times but I would assume it was high.  Currently there are about 3750 people worldwide killed in traffic accidents (1,350,000 people per year).  I would bet that if we were still using horses rather than cars, trucks or motorcycles then the rate per capita (percent of the population) would be higher.

Injuries from infected cuts to broken bones to permanent disfigurement is not included in the fatality rate.  We are all aware of this yet we don’t think about it because of something called “probability neglect.”  This is where we are more fearful of things that scare us even though the probability and statistics don’t support our fear.  

A great example of probability neglect is the lack of fear of getting into a car even though the chance of being killed is rather high. But some people won’t fly in a plane because they are afraid of it crashing even though the number of deaths from plane crashes is comparatively low.

There were 201 deaths caused by farm animals in a year.  This included horses.  But there were over 1 million visits to the emergency room in a year for injuries caused by horses. If there is a good chance of being injured by a horse then why do we still get around them?  The answer is probability neglect.  The probability of being injured around a horse is high but we love being around them so we neglect the probability.

The solution is to learn how to reduce the probability of becoming injured or even killed by horses.  This section on horsemanship is really all about safety around the horse.  Through thoughtful actions you will reduce the probability of becoming a hospital statistic.

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