A prospective one-year study of horse-riding accidents was performed in an area with a very high frequency of amateur riding. Totally 174 patients with riding injuries were registered--66% children--making an incidence of only 0.7 per thousand riding occasions. However, many of these injuries were of a severe nature, one leading to death and 27 of the patients reporting persisting symptoms at follow-up one year after the accident. Eleven per cent of the accidents lead to cerebral injuries and 44% to fractures, mainly of the upper extremities. Eleven per cent required hospitalization and 17% operation under general anaesthesia. Clarification of the circumstances concerning the accidents indicated that many of the severe injuries could probably have been avoided by use of better safety equipment.