As a lifelong horse-person and First Lady of the Commonwealth, I understand how important the horse is to Kentucky. We have long been known as the “Horse Capital of the World” and to ensure we retain this title, we must focus on the health and welfare of horse and rider. This is why I am proud to support Saddle Up SAFELY, a rider safety awareness program sponsored by UK HealthCare.

All too often, riding injuries occur due to lack of education or understanding of equine behavior and proper riding practices. In fact, a current study shows that half of equine-related injury patients believed their injuries were preventable and due to rider error. Through Saddle Up SAFELY, UK HealthCare seeks to educate current and future riders about the hazards of riding and simple steps that can be taken to prevent accidents.

Often, riding injuries are attributed to a lack of experience; however, these accidents are not just incurred by novice riders. People who have riding experience are just as susceptible to injuries. Generally speaking, most of these accidents occur because of overconfidence and a lack of awareness in the rider. By learning proper riding techniques and horsemanship and taking the time to practice the safety measures in this brochure, riders of all ages and levels can improve their ability while limiting dangerous situations. Horseback riding is an extremely rewarding and thrilling sport, but it should be safe as well. Through Saddle Up SAFELY and UK HealthCare, we hope to make a great sport safer and more enjoyable for all riders and equine enthusiasts.


Jane Beshear