Tuesday, August 16, 2016

FCE Rider Safety Survey Part I

Thank you to everyone who completed the 'Fraidy Cat Eventing Rider Safety Survey! The survey is now closed and am I thrilled with the 288 unique respondents.

There's a lot of rich data that I'm hoping to parse into meaningful insights. In particular, I love the commentary adjoining most questions. For example, the following cloud is built off your comments from the question digging into the various pieces of gear you have used that have been directly involved in an accident (for better or worse).


Actually - the commentary was pretty telling in that particular instance bc many of you scratched your head at the question, observing, 'This is all just regular gear, I don't understand the point of this question!'

While other comments were more along the lines of 'Oh girl, grab yourself a cup of coffee and sit right on down bc I have a little story to tell you!'

That difference, right there, is exactly why I conducted this survey. We are programmed to learn through experiences. We know what we have lived. And as our individual experience with horses grows (86% of survey respondents have been riding for 10+ years), we naturally tend to give more weight to our own experiences, while discounting the likelihood of things that haven't already happened to us. The more we have seen, the more we think we've seen it all.

The following chart looks at the number of responses for each piece of gear listed, distinguishing where respondents felt like the gear caused an accident or contributed to the severity (grays) or instances where the gear prevented an accident or reduced the severity (blues).

  
A lot of time could be spent unpacking the above chart - what does it mean, and what are the implications? How can riders use this information to make better choices about gear?

My three key takeaways from are as follows:
  • The old faithfuls require care and attention too. Bits, girths and stirrups are most commonly involved in accidents, for better or worse. These are arguably the critical components of standard gear, regardless of discipline. Survey data reaffirms that problems with this gear can and will lead to an accident, while simultaneously demonstrating that they also play a key role in keeping riders safe. Bottom line: be conscientious about the basics. 

  • Neck straps are a winning proposition. Neck straps are the single piece of gear exclusively cited for preventing or reducing the severity of an accident, with over 40% of survey respondents giving them credit. As there is no apparent downfall to riding with a neck strap according to this survey, riders may see real value in adding one to the standard getup. 

  • Riding gloves make life better. Or, at least according to the survey, riding gloves prevent things from getting worse. A full quarter of survey respondents claim that riding gloves reduced the severity of an accident. These are an easy and cost-effective method to diminish risk.
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More thoughts to come on the survey and resulting findings soon. In the meantime, the participation contest winner has been drawn via Excel's random number generator.

Congrats to Hannah R - you should receive your $25 Riding Warehouse gift certificate via email today! 

38 comments:

  1. Really fascinating data! I can't wait to read more about the responses ☺

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    1. Ha I just have to get my act together and actually analyze it further!! ;)

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  2. This is SO cool. Thank you for taking the time to set it up and get the data together, I'm sure that was a lot of work.

    I must have missed the neck strap question, unless people simply mentioned it in their comments. I can def say it has saved my ass a few times and I ride with it almost every time! Gloves too, always!!

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    1. It was in there - there was just a whole huge giant cluster of gear lol. Awesome to hear you're such a fan of the neck strap and gloves tho - apparently they are big helps!!

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  3. You should publish this! Very interesting and informative

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    1. Ha thanks - idk how worthy of publication it'll be but I'm definitely happy with the results so far!

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  4. Cool data! I am looking forward to more of the responses from everyone, that was a big sample size. Congrats on the results!

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    1. Thanks - I'm THRILLED with the response. Definitely got a lot of help from shares (including eventing nation who produced another ~90 responses)

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  5. Very interesting. I tend to be a minimalist when it comes to gear, but I may just need to add a neck strap to my list. Can't wait to read the rest.

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    1. Most neck straps are pretty unobtrusive - I mostly just use the neck piece from my running martingale.

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  6. I'm a big proponent of a neck strap - if only to have it as a way of getting off of my horse's face when approaching a jump so I don't pull him into it :) Well, that was when I was jumping anyways. Can't wait to see the rest!

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    1. Ooh I definitely have used the neck strap for that too - haha usually when I'm nervous and just want to pull pull pull!

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  7. I'm crushing on your data skills so hard right now.

    Do you think the oh-shit strap that attaches to the d-rings would have the same effectiveness as a neck strap? I'm thinking my beginner rider would benefit from one.

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    1. Hm honestly now that you mention it I'm regretting not including that on my list lol. Personally I would think t would have the same benefits. Frankly I'm thinking some other pieces of equipment also benefit from having straps across the neck (like most martingales and breast plates)

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  8. Okay, really surprised at the riding gloves and the bit choice values! So true, our own experiences shape what we feel will help keep us safe and what is dangerous.

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    1. The gloves really stood out to me as an unexpected finding too! And they held strong even from the earliest responses. Bits were more expected just bc so many ppl have strong opinions there... But still. All very interesting!!

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  9. Mmmmm all the datas. Luffs them. Interesting what a role gloves played in things - that's not normally what I would think of as safety equipment!

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    1. I wouldn't have thought of gloves as "safety" either even tho I understand them as being intrinsically functional. Apparently they play a pretty big role tho!

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  10. Super interesting! Thanks fur compiling all that data! Congrats Hannah R :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm having a lot of fun playing around with the numbers!

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  11. I can't wait to see this broken down even more! So cool!

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    1. More to come sooooon!!! (Once I get my shit together lol)

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  12. I wonder if the laced reins causing an accident was from lack of care or from the reins themselves.... hmm

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    1. Some of the comments talked about reins getting tangled up - sometimes in boots, sometimes in other things. Perhaps the laces have a great opportunity for tangles? I honestly don't know.

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    2. I know they have a greater chance of hurting your hands if you aren't wearing gloves!

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    3. Maybe! Tho idk - rubber and cotton can burn pretty good too.

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  13. Are neck straps still legal in dressage? I know they talked about eliminating them and if they did, that would be a potential drawback.

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    1. Perhaps - tho not a drawback in terms of safety (the context in which I meant that word). Tho even if the strap isn't allowed in the show ring it could still be used in schooling

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  14. Thanks for the great survey! I've had one (one too many!) accidents with an old girth elastic breaking. I HATE old girths now.

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    1. Oooh yea nobody likes when elastic snaps :(

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  15. I am going through this for the third time! I can't wait to see more :)

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    1. Ha awesome! I hope to have more interesting stuff to share soon!

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  16. Thanks for doing all the data crunching!

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  17. This is all very cool. It's interesting how much value neck straps have. I have them., I just constantly forget to put them on. I need to make it more habitual.

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    1. definitely! that one actually surprised me a little bit. i mean, yea duh we know they are helpful, but this data really put it into perspective.

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  18. Very, VERY interesting!! Thank you for sharing the results in such a great chart

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