Horses can be very dangerous. Both beginners and advanced riders need to practice safety when working with these large animals.
Safe habits should be formed in the early years of horseback riding. Once they are developed, you’re bound to continue practicing them. Read through these 10 habits and pass them on to other equestrians!
- Purchase safe equipment for yourself: This can include gloves both for riding and handling, a properly fitted helmet, boots with a 1-inch heel, and even a vest if riding a green horse.
- Always check your tack thoroughly: Get in the practice of looking over your headstall, reins, saddle, cinch, leg wraps, halter, and anything else you use on a daily basis. Look for cracks, rips, or broken clips.
- Ride with a helmet: Never get into the saddle without protecting your head. It can save your life.
- Check your cinch at least three times: You should tighten it when you put the saddle on, after you’ve walked him to the arena, and just before hopping on.
- Teach him an emergency stop: The one-rein stop should be practiced in each gait. He should willing come to a halt when you ask him.
- Learn an emergency dismount: In the event you can’t get your horse under control and need to dismount, know the correct way to safely get off a moving horse.
- On the ground, make sure your horse is respectful and stays out of your space: He might need to be reminded every once in awhile, but don’t let him become pushy or invade your bubble.
- Tie your horse with a quick release knot: If he panics, you’ll want to be able to get him untied quickly! This will avoid injury to yourself and him.
- Never stand directly behind your horse: Always work on the side of him. If you have to brush his tail pull it over to the right or left.
- Don’t startle your horse with quick, sudden movements: Introduce everything to him by allowing him to sniff or see it with both eyes. Be calm and confident.
You’re on the road to practicing safe habits if you follow these ten. Horseback riding can be a lot of fun, but don’t get hurt by becoming lazy or sloppy with how you ride or handle your horse. Set an example with good habits and those at your barn are likely to follow!