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Concussion Risk in Horseback Riding: How Tozuda Can Help

by Dimitrios Kakaris August 12, 2021

Concussion Risk in Horseback Riding: How Tozuda Can Help

Horseback riding is a sport known for its grace and beauty; however, it is still a high risk activity. The risk level is comparable to that of football and hockey, and depending on the study, is even higher. In fact, around 70% of all horse related injuries are head injuries, and 91% of those are concussions. The numbers can be hard to nail down due to underreporting, and this is a big problem in the sport. Like other high impact sports, Horseback riding has a culture of strength and resilience. The phrase "get back on the horse" encapsulates this perfectly. This is not just a motto, however, in the sport, but an expectation, and sometimes a requirement. However, this could be a life-threatening decision. 

Only around 40% of riders reported being educated on head injuries, and only 15% of them from their trainers. This is a serious problem, and riders and coaches alike should know how dangerous not reporting a concussion is, especially given how common they can be.

If a rider were to fall and get a TBI, or concussion, and then fall again, this could compound the injury greatly, and increase recovery time by months. This can also lead to what is known as second impact syndrome, receiving a second concussion, which is most often fatal. While a concussion cannot be prevented, a second impact certainly can be. Proper injury protocols and medical staff could eliminate this possibility. But riders don't need to be thoroughly checked after every fall, only ones that could cause a concussion. 

With a Tozuda Head Impact Indicator, riders and coaches can know when they are at risk of concussion or TBI. Our simple and objective tool turns from clear to red when met with forces typically associated with concussions. If the force does not reach that threshold, it will not change, and the rider should be safe to continue. The value is in knowing the risk. It is not worth risking your life to get back on the horse a week sooner. After indication, if a rider seeks medical attention immediately, recovery should take around a week, if they wait or do not, it could take up to 3 months. When proper procedures are followed, the difference can be massive. Now when riders truly can get back on the horse, they can do so with their health and safety. 


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