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Rider on horse with 'it matters that you get specialist legal advice'

Horse riding accident claims – legal help

Horse riding in Scotland has never been more popular. Over 200,000 people ride horses every week in Scotland and there are over 100,000 horses in Scotland being used for recreation or sport.

The majority of this takes place safely but it is a sad fact that accidents involving horse riding does happen. Horse riders are also vulnerable to serious injury when involved in an accident. It is therefore essential that, if something does go wrong, victims are represented by a lawyer with an expertise in horse riding accidents.

Often as a result of an accident you may sustain personal injury; loss of earnings; if the accident happened to a child their education may be affected; you may suffer psychological injury and if riding your own horse substantial vets fees and the replacement of expensive tack and equipment such as your riding hat may leave you out of pocket.

Common causes of horse riding accidents

Car overtaking too closely

There are various ways in which an accident can occur when riding. An example would be if whilst out riding on the road, a car overtakes you too close or too fast and causes your horse to spook, either you or both you and your horse could fall and sustain injury.

Even if the car fails to stop, if you report the incident to the police or have witnesses we can help.

Riding school standard of safety

Accidents can occur whilst riding at a riding school either in an arena or out on a hack.

Riding establishments are under a duty to take reasonable care of their clients; to provide them with the correct horse for their ability, correctly fitting and safe tack, qualified and experienced instructors, a riding hat of the correct and current British Standard and a safe environment in which to ride.

Transporting horses

When you are transporting horses, this can also pose risks; for example if you are using a professional transporter you must ensure that they have the correct Certificate of Competence, and appropriate insurance.

There are many important questions you need to address such as:

  • Are you going to load the horse or the transporter – what are the consequences if you do?
  • What happens if you are transporting your horse with a friends and your horse injures the other or vice versa whilst in your box?
  • Do you know the weight your vehicle can tow or do you need to have taken your towing test?
  • Could your trailer become detached from your vehicle?


There are various ways you can suffer injury and often the cause is related to lack of/ or insufficient risk assessments by the organisers.

But it could be the behaviour of another rider and in these case investigations would be required into what insurance they had, as organisers insist on individual rider insurance.

Riding out with others

There is risk of getting kicked or bitten by another horse when out riding. Every road user has a duty to other road users which also means if someone is injured as a result of your horse kicking out, or biting, then you could be found at fault.

Low flying aircrafts

When out riding accidents can also occur as a result of Gas Guns or Bird Scarers and there are legal controls for the use of these.

Low flying aircrafts are a common cause of accidents and the Ministry of Defence take it very seriously when accidents happen as a direct result of their flying activities and have worked closely with the British Horse Society to try to avoid these.

Accident at work in horse industry

It may be that you may work in the horse industry and have suffered an accident at work. This may have been caused by lack of training or perhaps you were not provided with the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Specialist lawyers in horse riding accident claims

At Digby Brown we have the expert knowledge and requisite experience to deal with both straightforward and complex cases involving horse accident claims.

Our in-house specialist, Tina Boswell, based in our Dundee office is a member of Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) and also the Equine and Animal Lawyers Association. She lectures on Professional Practice for the Society of Equine Behaviour Consultants and advises them on all areas of accident prevention and professional negligence.

Tina is a horse owner and keen rider and understands that specialist skills and knowledge are required in these types of cases.

No win no fee funding

Working on a no win no fee basis, we can provide you with the information and support you need by giving you expert advice on a horse riding accident claim for compensation for a personal injury.

Contact us

If you have been injured in a horse riding accident then please call us on 0333 200 5925 or fill in our brief enquiry form.

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