Horses are large animals that can accidentally and intentionally hurt their handlers. If you want to remain safe, then it is your responsibility to set and follow a series of rules while working with them. By practicing a few of these tips, you can limit the risks associated with horses.
- Never loop or wrap a lead rope, lunge line, or reins around your hand or any other part of your body.
- Lead a horse with a halter and lead rope. You should position your body at his shoulder while walking him.
- Proper footwear is a must! Avoid sandals and any soft-toed shoes. Barn boots that are stiff in the toe are optimal.
- You should remain calm and quiet. Do not allow children to scream, run, or play wildly around the horses.
- Let others know you are going to the barn, especially if you’ll be alone.
- Put your cell phone on silent, but make sure you have one nearby for emergencies.
- Feed treats in a bucket to avoid your horse nipping your fingers.
- Never stand directly behind your horse.
- While grooming, let your horse know where you are at by speaking to him or keeping a hand on him when moving.
- Don’t squat by his hooves. When picking out his feet or cleaning his legs, bend over from the hip.
- When turning out your horse, turn his body to make him face the gate. He should be standing patiently before you let go.
- Learn to tie your horse correctly with a quick release knot.
- Always fasten the front straps first when putting on a blanket.
These tips are for both beginners and experienced handlers. Many times, horse owners become too comfortable around their horses and act careless. It’s important to remember all horses, no matter how calm, have a mind of their own. Be safe!