Landsafe Equestrian Safety Clinic Review

Anyone who has spent time in the equestrian world knows that it is both an enjoyable and a dangerous sport. Falls from horses can result in everything from a bruised ego to a catastrophic injury or even death. So what if there was a set of techniques that could be learned that could possibly help a rider avoid a catastrophic injury? The Landsafe Equestrian Clinic sets out to do just that. Read about our experience taking the Landsafe Clinic for horse rider safety.

The Risks Associated with Horseback Riding

Equestrians understand that there are so many factors that can either work in their favor or against it when it comes to horse safety. Both in the saddle and on the ground, staying safe in the company of horses is not always easy. The list of potential safety hazards when working with horses is long, but here are some of the most common causes:

  • Rider inexperience
  • Horse age (young), behavior and/or training
  • Equipment failure
  • Environmental factors (anything from loud noises to a person in the crowd with an umbrella)

Anyone interested in working with or around horses needs to be aware of the possible dangers that come with the territory.

How to Minimize Risks

Unfortunately nothing is going to eliminate the risk for potential injury when it comes to horses and horseback riding. You can do everything “right” or “by the book” and still run into trouble. That being said, you can definitely work on making your riding environment safer and make sure you are property outfitted with safety gear.

Here are some of the most common ways to minimize some horseback riding risk:

  • Ride a suitable horse (one that has the training and temperament that matches your skill and comfort level)
  • Choose a reputable lesson barn/instructor
  • Gradual skill progression (ie not attempting a huge jump after just learning small crossrails)
  • Correct use and proper fit of safety gear (helmets, protective vests, appropriate footwear and clothing)
  • Ride in a well-maintained arena or trails
  • Avoid severe weather conditions, including extreme heat or cold
  • Use tack that fits both horse and rider, is regularly inspected, and well maintained

Can you minimize injury risk from horse falls?

Well, the team at Landsafe feels confident that yes, there are certain techniques that riders can employ to help minimize potential injuries. Are they 100% guaranteed? That’s silly – of course not. Nothing in life is 100% guaranteed. However after watching my daughter participate in an 8-hour Landsafe Equestrian clinic, I can say with confidence that yes, knowing certain techniques and strategies to “fall smarter” could definitely give a rider a leg up on safety. (Pun intended!)

Landsafe Equestrian

Landsafe is a company founded by a husband and wife team: Keli and Danny. Both of them have an extensive background in the equestrian world, including eventing. Keli also has a very strong background in gymnastics. They combined all of their knowledge and experience to create a program for equestrians to learn unique safety techniques. Their 2-day clinic guides riders of all ages through various fall scenarios. They use a combination of tumbling and a simulator to teach their techniques.

Landsafe Clinic Goals

Straight from their site, there are 3 main goals for a Landsafe clinic:

  • Save lives
  • Reduce injuries
  • Increase safety education of parents and riders

Landsafe Clinic Review: Our Experience

Background: Our lesson barn offered a clinic with Landsafe. My daughter (14 years old, 10+ years riding) participated in the adult/teen version of the clinic which took place over 2 days (4 hours each day).

Each day started with stretching, then tumbling, and finally: the horse simulator.

Landsafe is booked out months in advance, so it’s best to get on their waitlist ASAP if you are interested in having a clinic.

The Landsafe clinic setup took up a large portion of the indoor area! The horse simulator sits atop an inflatable pad. Next to the simulator is an array of tumbling mats and inclines.

Part 1: Tumbling

The first half of each clinic day was spent on tumbling. The tumbling portion of the clinic reviewed all kinds of body positioning, rolling techniques and how they relate to potential falls from a horse. The girls had to work on creating a protective frame with their arms and hands, protecting their faces. Each move progressed to another move and prepared the riders for work on the simulator.

Part 2: The Simulator

Okay, this simulator was pretty cool! The horse looks huge when you first walk in and see it, but once the safety inflatables below it are blown up, the horse sits at a much more approachable height of 14.2 hands.

The horse has a saddle on it with adjustable safety stirrups. It is also wearing a bridle.

Just like the tumbling portion of the clinic, the simulator portion was introduced in incremental steps. The riders started out learning how to tumble off the horse without holding reins, without their feet in stirrups, etc. By the end of the 2nd day when they were working on emergency dismounts, they sat on the horse while the horse moved for several yards before they did their jump and roll.

Overall, the main emphasis was to clear the horse’s body (especially in case the horse were to roll on them and crush them) and put space in between themselves and their horse, while protecting their head/face with locked arms.

Make sure you watch my video below which shows many of these exercises in action!

Was it worth it?

As you might imagine, this clinic was not cheap. At the time of our clinic, the price was $350 per rider, plus our farm charged an additional small fee to cover the generator rental.

I wasn’t sure how much my daughter would get out of the clinic or what her takeaways would be. We didn’t know anyone who had personally taken the clinic before, but the information on their website was definitely impressive and interesting. Keli and Danny did a great job sharing their program and kept things moving, while interacting with the kids on their level.

I am happy to report, my daughter LOVED this clinic. I was able to watch most of the clinic across both days, and I was super impressed. The techniques being taught were practical and built slowly upon each other. She (fortunately) has not had to use these skills yet, but I know a time will come in the future when she needs to put them into play.

Definitely check out the Landsafe website for more info and I hope our review helps you as you decide if the clinic is a good fit for you, your kid or your barn!


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