My name is Melinda Johnson and I suffered with foot pain for many years. I went to see a podiatrist and after an examination, I was told that I had heel spur syndrome. I followed the recommendations of my doctor by doing at home treatments along with physical therapy. I was amazed at how much these treatments helped my foot pain. Living with pain can have a big impact on your life and that's why I started this blog. My foot pain kept me from doing many things that I enjoy and I want to help others who are going through the same situation. As you browse through my blog, you'll learn about home treatments, medical procedures and new advancements in medicine that can help reduce pain. It is my hope that by writing this blog, you can live pain free too.
Horseback riding is one of the most dangerous recreational activities for both children and adults. Each and every year, tens of thousands of equestrians are hospitalized in horse-related accidents. Most of these accidents are head injuries, which also account for about 60% of horse-related accidental deaths.
With these risks in mind, should you prohibit your child from taking riding lessons? Absolutely not! Horseback riding is a rewarding activity that can teach your child responsibility, empathy, and goal-setting. This activity can also teach your child to be aware of the surroundings and practice good judgment. If your child falls, however, keep in mind that the resulting injuries may not be just physical. The psychological effects of falling from a horse can potentially stay with your child for life.
What If Your Child Falls?
What happens if, despite diligent safety precautions, your child falls or experiences a horse-related accident? An old adage recommends jumping right back on the horse after falling off, but do not rush your child back into it.
If you have any doubts about your child's physical condition, take your child to the emergency room for a thorough check-up. Your child may have a concussion or another injury not immediately apparent. Furthermore, if your child ever falls off of a horse and you suspect that the helmet is damaged, replace it before your child rides again.
The Long-Term Effects of Falling Off of a Horse
Unfortunately, if your child falls off of a horse, the mental scars may be more severe than any physical injuries. Horseback riding can boost your child's self-confidence and self-esteem, but for some children, one tumble is traumatic enough to immediately erode that gained confidence. After all, your child may fall despite doing everything right; it is no wonder that this seemingly illogical outcome can mess with a child's head!
For starters, the fall likely produced at least a few bruises, so if your child is still sore, riding too soon after the accident can be an unpleasant experience and turn your child off from riding altogether. Once you are certain that your child's physical injuries have healed, gauge your child's enthusiasm; is your young equestrian eager to pick up lessons again, or does your child seem to dread the next horseback experience? Keep in mind that your child might be raring to ride again but suddenly balk when it comes time to mount.
Your child needs to understand that communicating any fears or anxieties with you is encouraged. If your child is afraid to discuss these feelings with you, the activity can grow even more dreadful and dangerous. If your child seems loath to ride, try to determine whether your child has simply moved on from the activity or if paralyzing fear is actually standing in the way. If the latter is to blame, the effects of letting fear stand in the way of your child's desires can become a lifelong pattern marked by disappointment and lack of confidence.
When Fear Interferes
If you suspect that your child still loves horses and misses the days of riding, consider electing the help of a skilled child therapist or psychologist. This event can be a turning point in your child's development, and you should not expect your child to simply "get over it."
A therapist can help your child manage and overcome fear resulting from a horse-related accident so that this anxiety does not become crippling or have a long-term influence on your child's self-confidence. Furthermore, a therapist can identify whether or not your child is suffering from other psychological wounds resulting from the fall, like depression or panic attacks, and help your child overcome these disorders, as well.
Talking with a therapist from a place like Associated Psychologists & Counselors could benefit you as a parent as well as your child.