Working Safely Around Horses

As a horse owner it is imperative that you know and understand how to work around these animals, for both your safety and theirs. Whilst many of us are aware that riding fast without a saddle is extremely dangerous, few of us know that grooming a horse whilst near the ground carries more safety risks.

Statistics show that more horse-related injuries occur while an individual is near to the ground as opposed to when they are actually mounting the horse or in saddle position.

Speed and height are not the only implications that can cause injury around your horse either and you need to be aware of all these tips to stay safe.

Wear a helmet

It is important to wear a helmet, not only when you are riding the horse but also when you are around it. This will allow you to remain safe during feeding, grooming and leading – it is important to remain alert at all times to ensure maximum horse safety too.

You should also remember to keep the shortest distance possible between you and the horse whilst you are on the ground, also try to keep a short lead on them as this will prevent them from turning and biting you.

Stay close to the horse

It is a common misconception that the further away from the horse you are, the safer you are. This is simply not true as the greater the distance between you and the horse, the more the kick will impact you. Try to stay close instead.

Let the horse know where you are

It is really important that the horse is aware of where you are at all times, be sure to always come at them from the front so that they are aware of your approach and are not shocked by your sudden appearance.

This concept should also be used when you are grooming them – always start nearest to the head and work your way backwards. Remember that if you tickle the horse it is likely to kick so adopt a firm but not hard touch.

Feeding time

During feeding you should always ensure the fence is between you and the horse and never place a horse between you and the exit. This is for your own safety and can help to prevent nasty accidents.

Begin good habits young

If you own a horse from a young age then you have ample opportunity to teach it good habits. This means speaking to it soothingly – not shouting – and never feeding it from your hands.

You should also try to encourage the horse to be around people as this teaches it good social skills and prepares it for later life.

Whilst it is important to be firm with your horse, you should never mistreat it – put rules in place but be respectful to the animal.

As long as you keep the above tips in mind and remember never to make any sudden movements, your horse should remain happy and calm and your riding safety will always be the best it can be.

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