Society in general views riding horses as an upper-class activity. Of course it does; horses and horse care are expensive. Motorcycles, and those of us who ride them, on the other hand, are not so well-regarded to say the least. But when it comes to the safety of the two activities, equestrians should get their noses out of the air.

A new study published in the journal Trauma Surgery and Acute Care Open, tells us that compared to other sports humans love, motorcycling is not that dangerous. Horseback riding is the real danger here.

Studying Rates Of Traumatic Injury

Researchers at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley pulled a decade of data from the US National Trauma Bank from 2006 to 2017. They found that injuries involving chest, head and neck while riding horses were the deadliest. That’s not news to those of us who ride motorcycles.

What might be news, is that a UK study (where, admittedly, riders wear more protective gear than in the US) found riding to be safer than skiing or horseback riding. Individuals suffered injuries at .6 per 1000 hours of skiing, .49 per 1000 hours of riding horses, but just .14 per 1000 hours of motorcycling.

This new study, too, found riding horses to be more injurious than riding motorcycles. Heck, motorcyclists have been lumped in with skiers and football players. That might give us a bit of a boost in social standing right there.

Wear the Gear

The two-wheeled community continues to work toward safer riding. Advances in helmet design and riding gear that’s well-armored and comfortable help us wear the gear and ride again tomorrow.  Perhaps the equestrian community should take a cue from the motorcycling community in this regard.

The coming electric revolution will quiet our machines down. Any continuation of studies that say motorcycle riding is the safer activity, might help turn the tides on attitudes toward bikers. Plenty of studies have shown that motorcycling makes us happy, though none of us needed a study to tell us that.

Imagine future parents steering their kids away from things like horses, skiing and football. Encourage your kids and your friends to participate in a much safer activity: riding motorcycles!

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