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3 ways all riders will get hurt at some point — without even falling off

Forget falling off, sometimes just riding quietly and being around horses can result in rubs, sores and more. Riders are at home with constantly having at least one damaged part to their body; it seems to come with the territory.

Here are three ways that being involved in horses tends to result in the need for a plaster, a doctor or occasionally an X-ray…

1. New long leather boots. We all love them, but also hate them. Because in order to be long enough once they soften and drop down round the ankle, new long boots have to be too long at the start of their lives in our service. And that means they dig into the back of your knees. Sometimes such digging in even results in little sores, which need covering with plasters each time you ride to prevent them getting bigger and sorer. But such is our vanity — new long boots have to be really long — we’re willing to put up with such pain for as long as said dropping down takes.

2. Sore hands from water. Those who work on a yard will know this one well. The constant wetting and drying out cycle involved in washing off numerous horses every day, scrubbing out water and feed buckets and cleaning tack can play havoc with your hands, to the point where the skin over your joints starts to crack off. When I was a working pupil, one of my fellow working pupil’s thumbs disintegrated to the point where they got infected and went green and she had to go to the doctor. True story. Yuck.

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3. Squashed foot. However gentle your horse, at some point it’s likely he’ll dump his 500kg-plus bulk on you. And when it happens, it never seems like that one foot is carrying a quarter of his body weight, but like he’s putting absolutely all of his weight down through that hoof. Sensible Pony Club mothers will advise immediate removal of boot and sock and immersion of the foot in the nearest cold water trough. Painful, but effective.

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