Thursday, 14 November 2013

Seven tips how to be safe around horses

Seven tips how to be safe around horses

The horse has been man’s companion for centuries, but even the most experienced horse lover needs to remember the safety rules when dealing with this animal. Here are seven important tips to remember when dealing with horses.

1.Let them know you’re there
The last thing you want when you first approach a horse is the element of surprise. Avoid this by loudly saying “DOOR” when entering the barn.
2.Stay to the side
Horses have eyes at the side of their head; therefore they have a hard time seeing you when you stand right in front of them. Avoid confusion by always sticking to the side of their body.
3.Palm down, thumb under, fingers closed
Stick your hand in this position towards their nose and allow them to smell you. This is the safest way to introduce yourself to your new friend.
4.It’s all in the earsYou can tell everything about their mood from their ears; twisting side to side=listening, faced forward=not aggressive, pinned back=beware; this is your first warning of aggression.
5.Body language
Horses are very calm animals. Any sudden change in behavior; such as pawing the ground, ears pinned, biting the air, or any sudden change in movement should be taken cautiously. 
6.Beware of the behind
Horses are prone to kicking. When walking behind a horse, speak to it, let it know you are there, get as close to its rear as possible, running your hand along its back as you pass, the closer you are to it the less damage there will be if it kicks you.
7.It never hurts to have a buddy
Until you are fully comfortable with a herd of horses, it is always smart to have someone watching your back. Sometimes it is easier to spot a horse’s warning signals from a distance.

By following these simple steps when you visit your majestic friends you are protecting yourself and eliminating much of the risk, have you ever been in a situation where horse safety tips could have saved you a bruise or two? Or maybe now do you have a fear of horses from previously being in a bad situation that could have been avoided?

Jillena Oberparleiter

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