Owning a horse is a big responsibility, as they require a lot of care and attention to make sure they’re happy and healthy.
As they’re such large, muscular creatures that have a mind of their own though, if you don’t know what you’re doing or act in an unsafe manner, it can be quite dangerous. Whether you already own a horse or two, or are considering getting one, these are the best ways to stay safe around your noble steed.
Behave Responsibly Around Horses
Understanding a horse’s behaviour is essential to gain its trust and create a safe environment. Should a horse feel threatened for any reason then it has two main instincts; fight or flight. For this reason, you should never stand too close behind a horse in case it kicks out. Otherwise be confident when dealing with your horse, have a first aid kit on hand if something does go wrong, prepare and plan a procedure to deal with such issues effectively and to minimise risks. Closing all gates, fastening stable doors securely and removing obstructions are key.
Wear Protective Clothing
When handling and riding, it’s vital that you and anyone else is wearing sensible protective clothing. It needs to be comfortable and easy to move in but also provide enough protection. Of course, a riding helmet is essential, while a body protector is advisable. The costs of all this can soon add up, but you may be able to bag some bargains in the upcoming Black Friday equestrian sales.
Ride with Care
A quality saddle is required, and all riding equipment needs to be well maintained and correctly fitted. Damaged equipment can lead to problems and lack safety. Only ride horses which you are sure you can control safely, starting in an enclosed and familiar environment first so you and your horse can grow accustomed to each other. When riding on roads, fluorescent and reflective gear is a must, be wary of drivers and always keep two hands tight on the reins.
Make Sure Others Act Safely
Especially when there are children around your horse(s), you need to set a good example and make sure they are acting in a safe manner. Communicate at their level so they understand any rules, make sure they’re wearing protective clothing and always be on guard. Where possible, provide them with a horse or pony appropriate for their size and experience level too.
Harry Hall membership is worth considering when owning a horse, to protect against any damage or injuries your horse may cause. Otherwise the above tips should help you, your horse and others around it stay safe.