Three million people ride regularly in the UK, including around a million children who regularly attend riding schools and pony clubs. Horse riding is almost a national obsession, but it is also inherently dangerous. Horses are powerful, independent, and unpredictable animals. Though generally docile by nature, they scare easily and are quick to take flight. Often accidents at riding schools are caused by the negligence of the school's owners or staff.
Under the Animals Act 1971, owners are responsible for the behaviour of their horses, including damage and injuries that they cause. A riding school has a duty of care towards all visitors, to provide a safe riding environment and take all reasonable measures to prevent accidents and injuries occurring. This will include providing adequate protective equipment, ensuring constant supervision, comprehensively assessing a rider's abilities and matching their level of skill to a suitable horse.
Dangerous & Unpredictable Horses
Injuries resulting from accidents at riding schools include fractures, dislocations, bruising, shock, and in severe cases spinal, head and brain injuries. A riding school should be able to predict the way a horse will behave in various circumstances. They should not provide riders with horses which have a history of unpredictability or dangerous behaviour. Inadequate supervision or poor treatment of horses in a riding school yard may cause them to run loose and collide with visitors, or cause a horse to kick, potentially resulting in serious injuries to anyone standing behind them.
Skill Of Riding School Instructors & Quality Of Equipment
Riding school instructors should also be experienced and skilled in their level of tuition. Common errors include riding at an inappropriate pace for pupils, or across terrain that is dangerous relative to a rider's skill level, causing them to fall. They must also provide appropriate safety equipment for pupils; riding helmets may be faulty, badly designed or incorrectly fitted, worsening the effects of a fall. Horse tack, including reins and stirrups may break if they are not properly maintained, again presenting a danger to riders.
Riding School Accident Compensation Claims
Provided your claim relates to an accident at a riding school that has taken place in the last three years, Bartletts can represent you on a no win no fee basis. You are assured of keeping 100% of any compensation awarded, with no deductions. In the event that your claim is successful, our fees are paid by the losing party. Apart from financial compensation for pain and suffering, you can also claim for loss of earnings, the cost of medical treatment and travel expenses. The vast majority of the claims we take on are successful, and where they are not we will charge you nothing.