Horse Riding Accident Claims


Horse riding is a very popular pastime, with more than a million people in the UK regularly enjoying the activity.

Horse riding is inherently a risky sport and while that risk is usually adequately managed by instructors, riding schools and riders themselves, there are occasions when accidents happen which lead to personal injury, and these accidents can be due to someone else's negligence. Sadly, these injuries are often very serious. For example, injuries such as spinal or brain injury are not uncommon consequences of horse riding accidents.

If you have suffered a horse riding injury that wasn't your fault, you may be entitled to make a horse riding accident claim.


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What are the most common types of personal injury suffered in riding accidents?

Not all horse riding accidents happen because of someone else's fault. Riding on an animal that can think and act for itself is what makes riding unpredictable and fun! However, riding is an activity which can occasionally result in injury.

At the lower end of the injury scale (whilst still being painful and debilitating) horse riding accidents can result in severe bruising or cuts. However, given the nature of the sport, brain injury and spinal injuries are also not uncommon. Very often people suffer head injuries and don't appreciate the amount of temporary or short term consequences that can result from a blow to the head. These can include:

  • difficulties with memory,
  • struggling to concentrate,
  • a change in personality,
  • anxiety,
  • depression,
  • more common symptoms such as headaches.

At their worst, these types of injuries can involve fractured skulls and serious, life-changing brain damage.

How are horse riding accident injuries usually caused?

Horse Riding accidents can happen in many different ways. Here are some of the ways that injuries are caused:

  • Defective or ill-fitting equipment e.g. riding hat
  • Allowing a rider to ride an inappropriate horse or pony for their riding ability or experience e.g. an unpredictable horse
  • By a failure to risk assess the rider and/or the horse/pony they are allocated
  • Poorly organised hacks with inadequate leadership and supervision
  • A road traffic accident involving you and your horse
  • Insufficient checking of the saddle and girth causing them to loosen and the rider to fall
  • Being kicked or crushed by a horse
  • Failure to train and or supervise employees
  • Riding on an unsuitable surface
  • Not being provided with the correct safety equipment and clothing
  • Failing to provide a safe environment for lessons
  • Falling or being injured in the yard or in the riding stables as a consequence of those responsible for the premises not taking reasonable steps to make sure they are safe
  • A horse falling on top of the rider

If you have been injured in a horse riding accident, which could have been avoided, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.

Horse Injury Statistics

It's estimated that there are more than 4,000 horse related accidents every year and the British Horse Society believes that road accidents that involve horses are significantly under reported.

  • Maybe you have been exposed to dangerous horses at stables, a livery yard or riding school?
  • Perhaps you weren't given the correct training or equipment to handle a horse?
  • Maybe you have suffered an injury due to an unsafe or incorrectly managed riding environment?

If any of these scenarios apply to you, then you may claim injury compensation.

What is the aim of making a claim for a Horse Riding Injury?

If you have had a horse-riding accident and suffered an injury and financial loss, whether you were riding a horse for pleasure or you were working with horses, then you may be able to claim compensation.

The purpose of horse riding compensation claims is to put you back into the position you would have been had the accident not happened.

In the case of serious injuries, in particular, it has to be accepted that putting you back exactly as you were prior to the accident is not going to be possible.

However, the aim of a horse-riding accident compensation claim is to ensure that you have all the best facilities at your disposal, to help your rehabilitation and care. This is on top of making sure that you get the maximum compensation possible for pain, suffering and loss of amenity.

The ultimate goal for us, as your expert horse riding accident solicitors, is to make your life as comfortable as possible, even if complete recovery from the serious injury that you have sustained, is not possible.

By making a horse riding accident claim, it will enable you to obtain funds to pay for expenses, for much needed treatment and rehabilitation, vets fees, your loss of earnings and any other losses that you have incurred as a result of the accident.

Who will my horse riding accident claim be made against?

Who the personal injury claim will be made against, will depend on how the accident happened. Most frequently, horse riding related accidents are made against:

  • the owner of the horse
  • a riding school owner (if the injury took place during a riding lesson)
  • your employer (if you work with horses for someone else)
  • the driver of a motor vehicle (in the case of you and your horse being hit by a car, motorcycle or other forms of motorised transport)

How do I start a horse riding accident claim?

The sooner you seek legal advice after your horse riding injury, the easier it will be to make a claim. the circumstances of the riding accident will be fresh in your mind and that of any witnesses to the accident.

Spencers Solicitors offer a free, no-obligation consultation to help ascertain whether your claim has reasonable prospects of succeeding. This will also enable us to advise you on the best way for you to proceed if you decide you want to claim damages following your horse riding accident.

If we consider that your claim has good prospects of success, we'll happily take your claim on for you - if you so wish. We have to stress that who you choose to be your solicitor for the purpose of making a horse riding accident claim, is entirely your choice.

If you decide that you would like us to deal with your horse riding claim for you, in most cases we'll be able to do so by using a no win no fee claim agreement.

Paramount to the success of any claim, is to carry out an investigation at an early stage, so as to ensure the evidence required to succeed with your claim is gathered before it is lost.

As soon as you have instructed us to act on your behalf, we will promptly investigate the circumstances surrounding your accident and the injuries you have sustained. This will assist us to make an early assessment of the medical treatment that you will require. It will also help us to gather the necessary evidence to prove that someone else caused your accident and that you have suffered unnecessarily as a result.

Spencers Solicitors put the injured person first. We are keen to meet our clients face to face in the comfort of their own home or, if appropriate, whilst still in hospital. Spencers Solicitors conduct cases for people all over the country, so it doesn't matter where you live. We will still come out to meet you if we think it will help your case.

Spencers Solicitors Case Study

Spencers solicitors represented the Claimant in this case. She received £52,639 by way of damages, for the injuries to her spine sustained when she fell from a horse during a riding lesson, although liability was denied. She suffered an unstable fracture of her spine and underwent internal fixation of the fracture, returning to work full-time one year after the accident.
The claimant (C) was riding a horse in an arena during a riding lesson operated by the defendant authority (D), when she was thrown to the ground. Children were playing and making a noise near the arena. One of them let out a very loud high-pitched scream, causing the horse to spook and move in a sudden and unexpected manner. This caused C to be thrown off the horse. She sustained significant injury.
C brought an action against D for breach of statutory duty under the Animals Act 1971 s.2(2) and the Supply of Services Act 1982, alleging that D was negligent in failing to risk asses and implement an adequate system to ensure users of the stables did not behave in an irresponsible manner, resulting in excessive noise near the riding area.
Liability denied. D argued that C voluntarily accepted the risk that the horse might behave in an unpredictable manner during the course of the lesson and denied that the stable helpers were behaving in a manner which would give rise to a reasonably foreseeable risk of injury to riders.
Injuries: C suffered an unstable fracture of her spine.
At the time of the accident C was employed as a caretaker. Seven months after the accident she returned to work part-time. She returned full-time one year after the accident, with modified duties.
Out of Court Settlement: £52,639 total damages

Why are Spencers Solicitors different when it comes to dealing with horse riding claims?

We believe Spencers Solicitors are different to other, more general personal injury solicitors due to:-

  • Our personal and professional experience of horses and equestrianism
  • Our proven track record in equine litigation which spans many years.
  • Our passion for horses and the wonderful sport of horse riding.
  • Our ethical and responsible approach to litigating fearlessly for our client when an accident occurs and when we believe it should and could have been avoided.
  • Our experience and expertise in handling the type of serious injury claims that are often caused by being involved in a horse riding accident.

Our team have written numerous articles for leading publications such as:

Spencers Solicitors has a proven track record with claims where riders have been injured due to the negligent actions of others. We have achieved successful outcomes on cases that other Solicitors have refused to accept under 'no win no fee' agreements.

We will seek compensation to cover the cost of any expenses you have incurred so far, including loss of earnings, and will address any future financial needs your injury has created such as corrective surgery, privately funded physiotherapy or nursing care, or adaptations to your home to assist with limited mobility.

What is the time limit for making a horse riding accident claim?

There are statutory time limits for lodging your personal injury claim with a court. This is usually 3 years from the date you were injured. With investigation and negotiation often taking several months, it is better not to delay but to contact Spencers Solicitors, today.

To discuss your claim with one of our specialist solicitors, call us direct on 08000 93 00 94, or complete our online claim enquiry form leaving your contact details and we will call you back. If you're worried about legal fees, don't be. Horse riding accident claims are normally dealt with under a no win no fee arrangement, so if your claim doesn't succeed you won't pay for our work.

Personal Injury Accident Guides

Please read through our bespoke "accident guides" which will help you understand and navigate through the injury claims process.


View Accident Guides

Personal Injury Case Studies

Please take a look over our case studies which explain how our legal teams have helped secure our clients with the compensation they deserve.


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