There is no activity which is completely safe, including no activity at all. I grew up around horses, my grandfather was an old stable sergeant from the horse cavalry, and I began sitting on horses around the time I was learning to walk, and riding when other kids were using training wheels on their bikes. I have fallen off a lot of times, been stepped on, bitten, and kicked. But I have suffered more and worse injuries while riding bicycles. My 5-year-old takes riding lessons, and enjoys them. She is not as horse-crazy as other girls, but I think that riding horses is a skill which everyone should have, even if it is not very useful. In my younger days I did a lot of riding, grooming, and mucking out stalls. I also traveled with the rodeo for a couple years. It was an important part of my life.