How you handle an accident is of vital importance, so try to remember the following:

  • Send a group member or passer-by to warn oncoming traffic (in both directions if possible) to slow down or stop.
  • If a horse or pony is loose, catch it and rejoin it with the others. Try to appear calm and encourage the loose horse with your voice.
  • Ask someone to call the police and ambulance. Tell them it will be necessary to describe the exact location. A vet may also be needed.
  • When carrying out these immediate steps and going to help the fallen rider, remember your own safety and that of others is of paramount importance.
  • If the fallen rider is conscious, ask if there is pain anywhere. If so,tell the rider to lie still and not to move if possible. Reassure them by confirming that help is on the way and by listening to what the rider has to say.
  • If a fallen rider complains of pain in the neck or back, it is essential that theydo not move, sit or stand up until a doctor or paramedic says so.
  • If the fallen rider appears unconscious and is not responding to questions, the most urgent priority is to check that his/her airway is clear. The airway is the passage through the nose and mouth by which air reaches the lungs.
  • To clear the airway, lift the chin upwards and forwards at the same time as an assistant prevents the head and neck from movement. The chin is lifted by two fingertips placed under the point of the chin with gentle pressure applied to the rider¨s forehead with the other hand. Do not take their hat off, although you may need to undo the chinstrap.
  • The tongue is attached to the lower jaw and will be lifted away from the back of the throat as the chin is moved. It is necessary to maintain the chin in the correct position or the tongue will fall back.