Economic impact of injuries

The IPOS Reins sensors cost 595 euros. It’s quite an expense, but if you know how much money you could save with it, it’s not that bad. By training with reins sensors you can recognize injuries at an early stage and thus prevent worse. Injuries cost professional sport horse trainers an average of € 5,077 per year, private horse owners € 2,258 per year and Riding school horse owners an average of € 4,506 per horse per year. This is the amount that you could have saved each year by riding with Reins sensors. An acquisition price of 595 euros al of a sudden doesn’t seems so high anymore.

Dutch equestrian sports generate a turnover between one and a half and two billion euros per year. The demand for Dutch bred sport horses is large, also abroad. Sales is therefore the most important reason that a horse ends its sports career with that combination. The second biggest reason for ending the sports career is for veterinary reasons. This was mostly due to injuries. The most common injuries are tendon injuries, osteoarthritis or trauma. How often these injuries occur has been determined on the basis of various investigations both Dutch and investigations in other countries. On average, 15.3% of professionally held sport horses and horses in private ownership get a tendon injury each year. A horse in these categories has a 7.4% chance every year to develop osteoarthritis and a 0.9% chance to sustain of trauma (wounds and broken bones). In case of riding school horses, injuries are more common. A riding school horse has a 69% chance of developing a tendon injury. The chance per year of osteoarthritis is 11.5% and the chance of a wound or bone fracture is 11.9%.

To calculate how much money the horse industry could save by preventing injuries, we have multiplied the chance of an injury per year by the total cost per injury. This is how you estimate the economic impact.

Economic impact calculation

In total, all these injuries cost the Dutch horse industry 854 million euros per year, which amounts to an average of 2,608 euros per horse per year. This is more than half of the total turnover of the Dutch equestrian sport. When we look at the different types of horse owners, a private horse owner spends more on treatment costs than a Riding school owner. And a (elite) sport horse loses more value than a recreational horse when he has been injured. That is why we have further divided the costs per type of owner.

Lot's of horse owners know the worry of having an injured horse


If you, for example, are a private horse owner, with a 8-year-old horse that you compete with, you have a 23.6% chance that your horse will be injured this year. The average age at which this type of horses is injured for the first time is 8.7 years.

You will go to the vet with your horse and a diagnosis will be made. In most cases it turns out to be a tendon injury, you will then have to walk your horse in hand twice a day. We do not calculate any costs for this because you do this happily, of course. Your horse gets special footwear and painkillers, perhaps you also opt for schockwave therapy to promote the recovery of the tendon.

After 5 weeks you will return to the vet for a checkup. In the event of a tendon injury, the treatment costs amount to an average of 981 euros (depending on the severity). It often takes 3 months for your horse to be declared completely healthy and you can slowly start training again to your old level. Despite the fact that you will not sell your horse, he has become less worth after the injury. This is mainly because the chance of the horse being re-injured is high. Official horse valuators estimate the average depreciation for this privately kept horse at 6,000 euros.

The total economic impact of tendon injuries in horses from private owners is thus: 267,200 (horses in private ownership) x 15.29% (prevalence tendon injury) = 40,863 (horses with a tendon injury per year) x (981 + 6000) (treatment costs and financial loss) ) = 285 million euros per year.

Economic impact per type of owner

We’ve calculated the economic impact per type of owners as described in the example above. We take into account specific cost items and varying values ​​of horses. In the table below you will find the costs per type of owner per horse per year.

Explanation of table: * The number of injured horses is the total number of times that a tendon injury, osteoarthritis or trauma occur in a year. Other injuries are left out of consideration, because here is too little data available, the actual numbers are probably higher. The treatment costs and recovery time differ per type of injury. ** Costs consist of loss of income, financial loss, treatment costs, costs for extra work and extra direct costs.

How can an IPOS Rein Sensor prevent injuries

Due to an early warning of injuries, the IPOS rein sensor can contribute to reducing the major economic impact of injuries in  equestrian sports. In addition to the economic benefit for the horse owner, this improves horse welfare and reduces the emotional damage that injuries entail.

  1. Recognize the injury

  2. Take a break in mild symptoms

  3. Train your horse specifically

  4. Take action

Recognize an injury

Research shows that horse owners often do not realize that their horse is irregular. In an English study, irregularities were found in 47% of the horses while the owners reported that their horse was regular. The IPOS Rein Sensors can recognize an irregular rhythm, which is often a sign of an injury. In this way, injuries can be detected more quickly, so that horses can get rest and receive treatment in time and worse can be prevented.

In case of mild symptoms, take a break immediately

Horses that get no rest or treatment with mild symptoms have a greater chance of a long training stop later. It is therefore essential to give horses a rest period immediately when signaling a seemingly small injury to prevent prolonged breaks in your training. In a Dutch study on the health of private owned horses and riding school horses during normal training conditions, 41% of the horses who had a long training stop for veterinary reasons had already noticed symptoms of an injury during the study period, without giving the horse a temporary training break. The horses that did get a temporary training break during the study were all free from a long training stop. The IPOS Rein Sensors can assist in the timely installation of a resting period by quickly detecting mild irregularities. This can prevent a long training stop later.

Train specifically

Horses that are not trained precisely for the demands of their discipline have a greater chance of being injured than horses that are trained precisely for the demands of their discipline. From a study done by Dr. C. Munster it becomes clear that the fitness of a horse during training is a determining factor in the prevention of injuries. Horses with a good level of fitness are less likely to get injured than horses with an average level of fitness. The regular measurement of training can make a big contribution to improving the fitness of the horse and so the chance of injuries can be reduced. The IPOS Rein Sensors and the IPOS app can help monitor the training and provide information about the fitness of the horse.

Take action

Lönnell’s research shows that not recognizing or not intervening in case of slight lameness will always lead to higher treatment costs later. By taking action in case of mild lameness, treatment costs will be reduced and recovery time will be shorter. Do not think that it will all work out, if in doubt take a couple of days rest, if it doesn’t get better than call your vet.


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