Horse Safety

American Paint Horse

Raising a horse is a great experience but also a big responsibility. Below are some tips for keeping your horse safe and for ensuring human safety while interacting with a horse.

Protecting the horses

Use a lead rope and not just a halter, since the horse could become agitated by the perception of danger and bolt. A horse cannot be left in the pasture wearing a nylon halter. If he gets caught in a branch he will get stuck. A leather halter is better, and no halter at all is best.

A new study links the odor of ammonia in stables to respiratory problems in horses. In order to avoid problems, your horse’s sleeping quarters should be kept as clean as possible.

When riding, check the girth every few minutes to make sure it is snug but not too tight. When dismounting, loosen the girth slowly to avoid girth galls.

Protecting yourself

Always wear closed shoes in the stable to avoid being stomped on. Put away equipment so that neither you nor the horse will trip on them. Try not to walk behind a horse so that you won’t get kicked. If you must, walk close to him so his feet can’t gain momentum and talk to him so he is not surprised.

When riding the horse, it is important to use an approved helmet to avoid serious injury. Sturdy shoes with a heel will help maintain balance. Clean your tack often and check it before every ride. It should be stored in a dry area to avoid decay. Make sure your stirrup leather can easily slide out of the saddle and the keeper is down so you will not be dragged if you fall. The bridle must be adjusted properly or the horse will be antsy.

When you dismount, make sure to remove both feet from the stirrups before swing your right leg over the horse’s hindquarters. This way, if the horse takes a step while you are dismounting, you won’t be badly hurt.

Children should not ride a horse unsupervised. Horses should be properly matched with their riders. A spirited horse should not be paired with a novice and a tired old horse should not be paired with an experienced rider.

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