Data from a health risks of Australian veterinarians (HRAV) study were reviewed to identify reported serious injuries incurred while working with horses and the factors associated with these injuries. Of the 2188 serious injuries reported in the HRAV study, 1583 (72·3 per cent) were associated with animals, and of these, 453 (28·6 per cent) involved horses. Most of them were sustained in stock or handling yards. Factors associated with an increased frequency of injury included activities such as suturing, wound care, tubing and drenching. The parts of the body most commonly injured were the head and face and the lower extremities. Fractures were the most common type of serious injury. The use of safety precautions at the time of the injury was reported by 70 per cent of those injured.