Safety rules when working with horses
How to be safe with a horse
Always wear safe clothing and use safe equipment. When working with a horse, always wear a helmet and boots or boots with hard noses to protect your toes if the horse suddenly steps on your foot.
Many injuries can be sustained not only in the saddle, but also when working with a horse in your hands, so wear a helmet even when you are not riding.
The horse has several blind spots from different angles of vision. Always talk to the horse when you are approaching it or standing near it or working with it.
Because of these blind spots that the horse has, try never to approach it directly from the front or back. Always approach the horse from the shoulder or side. Never stand exactly in front or behind a horse, even if you are combing its tail or brushing its head, because the horse may not see you.
Wherever you are near a horse, always be sure that it knows where you are. Always talk to her or keep your hand on her body when you move near or around her. When you go around a horse, keep either so far away that it doesn’t get you with its hoof (at least 2.5 meters), or so close that you won’t get the full force of the blow if it kicks you.
Never wrap any equipment that is connected to a horse around your arm or other body parts. This applies to the leash, reins, cord, and all other equipment
If you do not know the horse you are working with very well, always be to the left of it when saddling, leading, bridling it, etc.This is because most horses are accustomed to the fact that the person working with it is only on the left. Of course, this does not apply to all horses, but it is better to be safe than sorry later.
Also, if you do not know the horse you are working with well enough, try not to make sudden movements or loud harsh sounds near it. Some horses may be afraid of such actions or noise, and a scared horse is much more dangerous for you than a quiet one.
When you stroke a horse, you should stroke or scratch it, but not slap or slap it, since most of these actions may remind it of kicking or biting, and most horses do not find this particularly pleasant.
Always let the horse know what you are going to do. For example, when you need to lift her leg, take your time. On the contrary, lower your hand down her leg, starting from the shoulder, and the horse will calmly give you a leg.
Never leave a halter on a horse when you let it go. The horse may accidentally step on it or get caught by it on a fence or something else, which can lead to serious injury or even death if the horse starts to panic. There are many horror stories of horses breaking their necks trying to free themselves from a halter that was caught in something, even if they were wearing a self-unbuttoning leather halter.
Never step over or pass under a hitching post. If the horse is standing at junctions, never pass to the other side under its neck. Any of these actions can cause serious injuries if the horse suddenly gets scared.
How to drive a horse safely
Never hold a horse by the halter when leading it. Your hand may get stuck in it if the horse jerks its head and / or decides to jump or run. This is very dangerous! Always use a rein when leading a horse and hold it with both hands.
When holding the rein, always pick up the remaining end and roll it into a ring. If necessary, tie it up. Never wrap the extra end of the rein around your arm, shoulder, or any other part of your body. If the horse suddenly decides to run away from you, the rein will tighten on your fingers or hand, which will most likely lead to serious injuries if the horse cannot be stopped.
Always wear a helmet when driving or working with a horse. Many horse-related injuries can be sustained even before you get into the saddle. The horse can get scared of something when you are driving it, and you need to protect your head, as the horse can at best hit you with its head, and at worst even step on it. Also, always wear boots or shoes with hard toes that will help to protect your fingers if the horse will come to you on foot.
When you are leading a horse, walk next to it near the shoulder or neck (between the shoulder and the head). Never go in front or behind. If you find yourself right in front of a horse, if it suddenly gets scared and decides to run, then you can just be knocked down or trampled. If you walk too close to your hind legs, you run the risk of being hit by a hoof if the horse gets angry or scared.
Remember that the horse is much stronger than you. If you are not an experienced trainer, and the horse is not scared and ready to run away, it is better to let it go. If you try to hold it, you can put yourself in a dangerous situation, it can drop you, kick you, or even drag you along. Remember that you can always catch a horse, and your safety is much more important than the safety of the horse.
Whenever you lead a horse through an opening or door, you should be sure that there is at least 1.5 meters of free space. If this is not the case, never lead a horse through such a door. This will put you both in a dangerous situation, and will not give you enough room to maneuver if the horse suddenly hits the jamb and gets scared.
To reduce the risk of being hit by a hoof when you release the horse, always take it out of the gate completely and turn it around to face the gate. When you remove the halter, be sure that you have somewhere to step back to make way for her. Some horses get too excited when they are released and immediately turn around and run.
Horse vision – what do they see?
Many scientists claim that horses cannot distinguish colors, but there is no scientific evidence for this. Many studies have been conducted on the subject of horse vision, but it remains unknown whether horses can distinguish colors or not.
Horses see less detail than humans, but they have a wider field of vision than we do. Their eyes are very sensitive to movement, which allows them to track possible enemies even in the dark. Horses can’t tell distance very well. Horses can also not clearly distinguish how far away an object is from them.
Horses can see better in the dark than humans, but they need much more time to adapt to light and darkness than other animals. So whenever you go from a lighted area to a darker one, let’s give the horse enough time to get used to the new lighting. This explains why many horses get scared and resist being led from a light space to a dark one (for example, to a dark horse cart or to a Levada at night).
The horse has a blind spot that extends about 1-1. 5 meters in front of its face and depends on the shape of the head. If your horse has a wide head, it will also have a longer blind spot. If it has a narrow head, its blind spot is shorter. You should never approach the horse directly from the front. If you approach her from the front, she will not be able to see you until you are 20 centimeters from her face (this explains why horses raise, lower, or turn their heads when you approach from the front). And even if you come this close, she will only see your shoulders, not the middle of your body, and even this will be distorted.
Horses can’t see the ground near their forelegs, they can’t see their own hooves and chest. Horses also have another blind spot , right behind them. This is the most dangerous blind spot, because of this, the horses are afraid of your approach and kick. Always be careful and considerate when walking behind your horse. It can strike at the slightest unexpected noise. Never punish a horse for being scared.
Instead, relax and remember that she was born with blind spots (and lots of enemies). Punishment will only increase fear and misunderstanding. Speak calmly and try to convince her that everything is all right. Horses often get scared or suddenly kick at unexpected sounds in their blind spots, or from where they can’t see. Because of blind spots, horses raise and lower their heads to see objects in better focus. This explains why many horses toss their heads (as if startled) when someone approaches them from the front and pats their forehead.most likely, they are just trying to focus on what they are not seeing clearly enough.
When both eyes are focused on the same object from the front, the horse uses binocular vision. You can tell that a horse is using binocular vision by the fact that it is standing alert, and both of its ears are pointed at the object in front. Horses can also see with each eye separately. This is called monocular vision, which allows horses to look with one eye forward and one eye back. This is especially often used for monitoring predators.
When a horse notices movement with monocular vision, it usually turns its head to look with two eyes and switches to binocular vision (focusing on a moving object). When a horse switches from monocular to binocular vision, this object may jump or twist until the horse focuses on it. This may explain why horses are suddenly scared of something. Horses cannot use binocular and monocular vision at the same time. It is very important to attract the attention of your horse when you work with it. It is best and safest to constantly talk to your horse while you are working with and around it.