Horse riding: a noble, but risky sport
For its enthusiasts, horse riding may refer to many things: leisure, passion, races, competition, business and even an Olympic dream.
Since its very beginning, the discipline has evolved from being mostly military or utilitarian (up to the 20th) century to become more of an athletic (with its races and competitions) and aristocratic activity. For many years now, the sport has become more affordable and the number of its Canadian followers is still growing.
This opens up a wide and profitable industry sector but that still bears important risks of claims and accidents – in some cases very serious. In this respect, we can think of actor Christopher Reeve’s (Superman), who became paralyzed after falling off a horse. Correspondingly, a fire starting in a stable housing twenty-five horses will provide very little time to save the animals before it is too late.
To prevent certain injuries, it is essential to own, amongst other things, a riding helmet, adjusted trousers, boots, quick-release stirrups and to adapt the security of the competition facilities’ to the participants’ level.
On the other hand, keeping in mind that farming buildings are often made of wood and offer a humid and dusty environment, it is important to bring close attention to the following: surface or piped electrical wiring, heating system adapted for damp environments, adequate ventilation system and regular maintenance of the premises.
Here are some tips to help you prevent damage:
- Make a habit of cleaning electrical boxes once or twice a year. Spider webs and dust are highly flammable.
- Extension cords are only to be used temporarily. If you need them on a permanent basis, ask your electrician to install a new circuit.
- Electrical panels need to be at least three feet away from any flammable material.
- Make sure that there are covers on every electric plug, switch and junction box.
- Solidly anchor heating and lighting equipment conceived for humid and/or dusty environments.
- If a fuse or a breaker trips repeatedly, find the source of the problem or contact your electrician. The tripping is a sort of protection to warn you of a potential problem.
- During extreme cold, verify if the main panel shows any sign of overheating by touching the external surface of it.
And if you plan on doing major repairs, ask to have access to your insurer’s prevention inspector to discuss how the new changes will affect your policy.
Prevention is the best tool to protect the life of your horses and your assets.