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horsemanship
bad habits
predator
common sense
horses
presence
job
Practicing Safe Horsemanship Part 1
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One of the most important rules when being around a horse is safety. This cannot be stressed enough as a horse is the prey and you are the predator, so when you are approaching a horse let him know you are coming speak to him so he is aware of your presence, watch for him to twitch an ear or turn and look at you. Approach him at the shoulder at an angle, as a horse cannot see straight ahead but with peripheral vision. Touch his shoulder with a stroking motion not a patting as this will startle the horse.

Once he is aware of your presence stand close to his shoulder and proceed to halter him and take him to where you will be grooming him. Stay close to his body so as not to get the full impact of a kick, just remember there is no place to be that is entirely safe, it boils down to common sense and awareness as to where he is and where you are.

Always let your horse know what you intend to do before you do it, don't just reach down and grab a foot, but rather run your hand down the horses leg and then pick up the hoof, you will need to do this on all four. Always keep a hand on the horse and talk to him this is he won't forget where you are.

Always tie with a quick release knot, if in event the knot doesn't release make sure that you are carrying a jack knife on you so you cut him free if need be. I personally like to groom in the stall where the horse is not tied thus not having to worry about getting into a bind that could case an accident, or teach your horse to ground tie and you will always have access to a line if you need it.

We all like to give treats to our horses for a job well done, but depending on how you do this, bad habits can be acquired. If you hand feed then it can lead to a horse that bites, or will search your clothing for that treat that he thinks you have. Never, never hand feed, if you want to give your horse a treat the best way to do this is to put the treat in their feed bucket at feed times or after a work out, this way you are less adapt to lose a finger.

Keep in mind the following safety rules: Your safety first, Horse safety in second, and Everything else is third. Keeping this in mind, being alert, aware of your surroundings, paying attention to your horses signals you can enjoy a safe and happy relationship with your equine friend.


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