A POS­I­TIVE FOR PEER PRES­SURE

EQUUS - - Eq Medicalfro­nt -

Some­times peer pres­sure is a good thing: A Ger­man study shows that rid­ers are more likely to wear hel­mets and be safety con­scious if their fel­low eques­tri­ans have sim­i­lar habits and views.

In an on­line sur­vey, the re­searchers asked 2,572 rid­ers about their eques­trian ac­tiv­i­ties in gen­eral and their per­cep­tion of related risks, as well as their at­ti­tudes to­ward pro­tec­tive gear, the use of safety equip­ment and other safe­tyre­lated is­sues.

The data showed that, not sur­pris­ingly, rid­ers who in­di­cated that safety was a pri­or­ity were more likely to wear hel­mets. Like­wise, the most in­flu­en­tial vari­able when it came to a rider’s habits and at­ti­tudes was his or her at­ti­tude to­ward safety equip­ment. How­ever, the at­ti­tudes of other rid­ers at the same sta­ble were also very

im­por­tant---the im­pact of this peer group was the sec­ond most in­flu­en­tial vari­able in the study.

The re­searchers note that this in­flu­ence “pro­vides a valu­able start­ing point for the pro­mo­tion of safety be­hav­ior … train­ers, sta­ble man­agers and horse sport as­so­ci­a­tions are asked to in­form their pupils, mem­bers and clients about safety … to re­duce safety-related prej­u­dices and es­tab­lish a pos­i­tive se­cu­rity cul­ture among the rid­ers in a sta­ble.”

Ref­er­ence: “Fac­tors in­flu­enc­ing the safety be­hav­ior of Ger­man eques­tri­ans: At­ti­tudes to­wards pro­tec­tive equip­ment and peer be­hav­iors,” An­i­mals, Fe­bru­ary 2016

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