5 Year Old Daughter Horse Riding Incident Advice

Steve320

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wongl said:
Duty of care by the stables/professionals is only part of it - while they can take actions to mitigate risks to make it safer, they cannot ultimately remove all the dangers from what is a dangerous activity. The only way to do this is to not to participate from such activities completely. So in this respect the parents of children must share the duty of care with the professionals by placing or removing their children from potentially dangerous activities. If a child wants to learn to ride a horse, they must be prepared to take a fall at some stage as no professional person can completely mitigate a rider from falling in the real world due to an infinite number of variables. In my opinion, their main duty of care is to ensure the horse selected for the rider is appropriate for the rider - but even so, the stables have to, from time to time, put a rider on a slightly more demanding horse in order for the rider to develop more advance skills. As far as I am aware, no stables that I know would knowing put a rider on a horse that is too advanced for the rider. There is nothing to be gain by endangering the rider and/or the public.

I don't disagree, and nor does the content of my post. I would have thought that a stable implementing best practice process would, prior to moving a child up a stage, describe that decision to a parent in order they can agree/consent to the change in circumstances / potential risk?

If not then as a parent I am left to make an ill-informed choice, and for many parents, find myself feeling uncomfortable/stupid having to go and ask 'whys my child not got someone in control of the horse'?

Maybe best practice doesn't apply - but I'd certainly hope it's a business principle for those that are involved with children in particular?
 

wongl

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Anyone that needs that explaining to them, probably wont understand what they are being told anyway.

You are quite right here - when I was younger I often wondered why they printed the words "Caution the contents of this apple pie could be hot" on apple pies sold by a certain franchise. I really didn't see the point of the warning and how such a warning would actually prevent stupid people from burning themselves?

Later, I learned that this warning was actually about preventing accidents, but about preventing legal actions.
 

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Again you perversely avoid the point, a 3 year old child cannot assess risk, a 3 year old child cannot be skilled in controlling a horse many times its weight and strength, so it is its parents who are deciding, not for the child who I expect would have been just as happy on a toy horse.It is all about them,not their child and that is not how a responsible parent behaves. You clearly have little comprehension of the reasoning ability of very small children,just as I have little about yours.

Avoid? I said exactly that in the post you just quoted! "Obviously it is the parent, not the child, determining what risk they are willing to take"

And when a 5-600 kg horse decides it had enough, it matters little if you are a 3 yr girl, or Hulk Hogan. It will make f all difference and the horse will be off.

In your mind a 3 year old shouldn't be riding, I get that. But that is your judgment, and I'm sorry I don't buy you that you hold the ultimate rights to draw the line on the acceptable age for minors to start riding. It is down to the individual parents to do so, not that I would do it myself.

I have 3 boys, 6 months, 4y and 6y. I have as good an understanding of their reasoning and as anyone.
 

wongl

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I don't disagree, and nor does the content of my post. I would have thought that a stable implementing best practice process would, prior to moving a child up a stage, describe that decision to a parent in order they can agree/consent to the change in circumstances / potential risk?

If not then as a parent I am left to make an ill-informed choice, and for many parents, find myself feeling uncomfortable/stupid having to go and ask 'whys my child not got someone in control of the horse'?

Maybe best practice doesn't apply - but I'd certainly hope it's a business principle for those that are involved with children in particular?

I don't disagree with you about discussing it with the parents first, but even then it is a judgement call. When i was younger and doing lots of sports, it is usually the judgement of my coach whether I should up the game during the activities. Sadly my parents were not able to be around to take a keener interest. I was glad that my coach took it upon himself to constantly stretched me so that I could be the best I can be. This is a key part of my growing up and development. Many of the things I did in my youth are sadly not available to kids these day due to our appetite for risks and what is PC.

In this case we haven't establish that the fall was caused by the OP's child being progressed to a more advanced horse. Also, we cannot assume that there is only one best practice when it come to a complex activity like horse riding. I am sure there are many different methodologies to horse riding including the starting age and the type of horse/pony etc. We simply don't know what the OP chose for their child.

As I said previously, it is a judgement based on the individual and complex circumstances. We do not know, nor did the OP, whether such matters were discussed with the OP's wife who was the original instigator and responsible person organising the riding lessons. The only real fact stated was that the accident happened six months in to the lessons at the first time the OP attended the lessons and spotted several things he was unhappy about the stables. But evidently not unhappy enough to stop the lesson.

There are many unknowns here and I am not trying to judge anyone, but merely pointing out that while horse riding is obviously a dangerous activity, we shouldn't all jumped to conclusion that a 3 year old should or shouldn't ride a horse. The decision has to be based on individual circumstances and on may factors.
 
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oldguy57

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Many many years ago the law used to refer to the Clapham Omnibus ie basically what would the average person on the street answer to a particular question. I would venture to suggest that the man on the Clapham Omnibus would say that 3 year olds ( or 5 year olds) and horses do not safely mix. I cant see that there are any complex issues involved at all . Certainly not the same as 3 or 5 year olds kicking balls about on a field or whatever. Obviously no help to Rockits but I'm sure we all wish him well with his daughter and whatever he decides to do.
 

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maha

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Hi,

Sorry to hear about your little girl i would be livid if that happened to mine.

Some advice there is a riding school in Enfield called Gillians Riding School who might be able to give you the in and outs on this. I have a 3 year old and she is not allowed to ride on her own and is only allowed on small ponies and for only 15 mins max.

They told me that the insurance that riding schools have means only kids above the age of 8 can ride on proper horses and can take lessons for up to an 1 hour. Also under the age of 8 all the kids have to ride with the horses being led by an instructor. If i was you I would ask for their insurance company details and question the insurer directly then take it from there.

Hope she is ok and all works out.


I thought a few of you might have an opinion or advice around this one so much appreciated if anyone could help us a little.

My daughter has been going to horse riding lessons since about October last year so would have been 5 1/2 years old then. She is 6 in May. I have to be honest it wasn't something I was massively involved in as to what/where she went etc. as my wife sorted all this out. I have been through all my bad parent personal interrogation a zillion times already so I am not happy with myself to start with! if I had this time again I would make sure I was more involved. I have been often working on the Saturday half to 3/4 days for the last 6 months also with jobs around the house to do so never went to see her.

I went for the first time this Saturday just passed. Not sure if I was the bad omen or maybe it was lucky I was there but an incident took place that morning that is the kind of thing that changes things/people forever. I am sure parents on her will have experienced similar and can understand and empathise but it is a parents worst nightmare. About 20 mins into a 30 min lesson the horse bolted and my tiny little girl could not hold on/lost her balanced and fell from the horse. She fell under and it seems a flailing hoof has kicked her in the mouth/face/nose. She was wearing a new riding hat we bought her and luckily wasn't not unconscious or sustainained any further or more serious injuries or worse! Not that we know of at this stage anyway. The medium to long term issues are unknown at this stage.

Don't get me wrong she has not got away lightly and has been through a very serious traumatic experience. Also sustaining a very very nasty blow to her face. We are not sure if the initial work/procedure/stitches is it or that there will be further work/procesdures required at any point in the future at this stage. Her face is still badly swollen, she cannot eat, it seems there is a fracture or several to her nose and/or cheek bones. The injury is quite severe.

The riding school weren't great in my opinion in dealing with the incident as best as it could have been for several reasons. I jumped over the fence and went to her and comforted her trying to ascertain if there was anything further than the obvious initial facial injuries. We immediately phoned for an ambulance on our mobile and the emergency services weren't much cop either. Couldn't tell us if an ambulance had been sent or how long it might roughly take to arrive. Having visions that it could be much longer than it could take us to drive to Barnet Hospital only 15 mins away we took the decisions to rush her to hospital ourselves.

The hospital were massively busy but luckily we managed to get her a room on here own. She was given an initial inspection but as the surgeons had just scrubbed up to enter into surgery we were told we would need to wait an hour for them to come down to look at here. This actually became 2 hours then nearly 3 hours. A junior Maxillofacial specialist then came down and gave us an option of general anaesthetic followed by an operation or local anaesthetic with local/immediate stitches. She had half her lower lip cut through completely but it was still partially attached so seemed best to go with a local anaesthetic with immediate stitches. This was completed but unfortunately there was still quite a lot of bleeding. We discovered at this point that there was an further worse injury to the inside upper gum/lip. Needed more local anaesthetic and a lot more stitches! My little girl was extremely brave as the needle with local anaesthetic injected in was really hard to watch and have been very painful for her. We thought it was the best thing given the information we had at the time.

I have lots of questions. Firstly to myself for not preventing this happening or not allowing it to be a potential issue for various reasons. Secondly with the riding school. She was for at least 50% of the lesson on her own riding the horse with no teacher holding the reigns at all and allowed to trot unaided and even canter it seems at some point. Forgive me I am really not a horsey person at all and know nothing! I just found it strange that a 5 year old would not be riding a horse with a teacher holding the reigns at all times.

Is it normal or acceptable that this should have happened? In my opinion she is not big enough or experienced enough or in any control whatsoever to be in control of a horse without assistance or constant hold of the reigns by a teacher. Opinions?

Also the horse she was riding didn't seem happy to me (again I am not a horsey person!) but the other 3 horses in the area in the lessons seemed fine to me. It had been doing a few weird things in a previous lesson as we turned up early. Also it was dribbling lots from its mouth. Didn't seem right to me.

My immediate attention has been making sure my daughter is OK and have taken full time time out of work to help deal with this. I pay a decent amount for BUPA cover for all of us and we arranged and saw a specialist at Northwick Park Hospital on Monday. Followed by a second appt with a 2nd specialist on Harley Street today. Now I have started collating the dates/times/details to date. I want to make sure that if there are any issues, responsibility or negligence with the Riding School that this is dealt with. I couldn't live with myself if another child experience a similar incident due to this.

Should we involve the police and report the incident? Is there a governing body or regulator in the this environment to investigate and make sure there are no issues? I am not one of these litigation types but it has caused quite some amount of cost and time for us to deal with this. I am not really bothered about this or the money but need to decide what we should do about it and what our responsibilities and actions should be.

Any thoughts, advice or help? Much appreciated as I am not well versed in this kind of thing....luckily!
 
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rockits

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Horse riding is certainly a dangerous sport. Tragic accidents can happen at any time. Who would have predicted that a rider on a horse/pony would be be kicked by another horse?

Bonnie Armitage: First picture of girl, 9, who died after being kicked by horse during hunt event - Irish Mirror Online

Terrible incident and feel terribly for the parents. I'm so glad that our incident didn't end this way. It is really hard to even try to think about.

I have questioned myself and some of the guidelines around horses/lessons for obvious reasons. I have to question why a 9 year old girl is involved in a hunt with 30-40 riders/horses though as it seems was the case. Seems like a potential recipe for disaster with all that commotion and horse/rider traffic.

Of course I am far from an expert and have no knowledge of the circumstances so purely speculation. Is this normal and to be accepted as fair risk for the reward. I know we can't sit in like hermits all our lives but it seems such a terrible situation.
 

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