The bucking of a horse might be beyond your control. But you can take many steps to make sure you and your horse are safe.
Horses are great pets and companions. Many of us like to visit stables and ride “by the hour” while on vacation. As wonderful as these creatures can be, it’s important to remember that they have a lot of strength. Therefore, before you visit your friend’s horse or a stable, brush up on your safety skills. Here are some good horse safety rules and guidelines to follow when interacting with these animals:
- Be as calm as possible around horses. Sudden movements or noises can scare a horse, and it may jump sideways or kick its leg out.
- Never stand directly behind a horse. Instead, walk in front of a horse, when you can. If you happen to be grooming the backside of your pet, stand to the side that you are grooming.
- When leading a horse, hold the halter and lead rope—not the halter strap. If you hook your fingers through the halter strap, the horse can pull away and either damage your fingers or end up dragging you down the lane!
- Wear sturdy shoes or boots. Those hooves can hurt if you are accidentally stepped on.
- Always place treats either in a bucket, or in the palm of your hand with fingers out of the way. Horses, like any other pet, can get eager for treats and mistake fingers for food. Ouch!
- When cleaning a horse’s hooves, bend over the leg instead of squatting down beside it. This allows for you to get out of the way quicker if the horse becomes excited or nervous.
- The safest place to stand by a horse or approach it is by its shoulder about ten feet away. This is where the animal can easily see you and not be startled.
Hopefully these tips will be helpful in keeping you and your four-hooved friend both safe. Have a good ride!
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