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Saddle up safely guidelines for return to horse-related activities after concussion
  1. Fernanda C Camargo1,2,
  2. Dong (Dan) Y Han1,2,3,4,5,
  3. Erika E Erlandson1,
  4. Fernanda C Camargo1,2,
  5. Jill C Stowe1,2,
  6. William Gombeski1,2,
  7. Carl G Mattacola6
  1. 1University of Kentucky, Lexington, Fernanda
  2. 2Saddle Up Safely Executive Committee
  3. 3Kentucky Neuroscience Institute
  4. 4Sports Medicine Research Institute
  5. 5Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Centre
  6. 6Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Objective The objective of this proposed guideline is to adapt the Zurich Graduated Return to Play protocol into an equestrian “return to riding” protocol.

Design Saddle Up Safely (SUS) is a coalition of over 40 medical, public health, educational, and equine organisations from the US and Canada led by the Uvniversity of Kentucky’s UK HealthCare and the Agriculture Equine Programs. The objectives of this coalition are to raise awareness and understanding of rider/handler safety, reduce the number and severity of horse-related injuries and encourage injured riders to return to the sport safely. In 2015, the SUS Auxiliary, which consists of physicians, nurses, research and outreach personnel, and industry leaders adopted and modified the Zurich Concussion Guidelines to create the first “return to horse-related activities” guidelines. These guidelines include 6 stages of rehabilitation (Light Aerobic, Equine-specific exercise, Light Riding, Return to Full Riding – No Competition, Return to competition), along with appropriate riders’ exercise, objectives, and examples for each stage. The purpose of this development was to provide sport-specific guidelines for equestrians recovering from a concussion and their care providers.

Conclusions This is the first return to activity guideline developed for equestrians. This protocol is easily adopted by equestrians recovering from a concussion and should be made available to health care providers worldwide. The protocol is currently available in English; however, it can be translated into French, Spanish, Russian and Arabic to comply with procedures of the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Appendix (the following table will be added to the poster abstract should this submission be accepted).(Table 1) Returning to horse-related activities after concussion: level of activity/exercise recommended by rehabilitation stage

Abstract 110 Table 1

Note: If you experience problems, always return to a previous level.

Competing interests None.

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