When you are handling a horse you need to avoid injury to yourself and other people.
There are some rules to remember to avoid injury. You need to:
- try not to stand between the horse and a fixed object such as a wall
- try not to stand directly in front of a horse
- if you go behind a horse try to keep close to its hindquarters
- try to keep your hand on the horse as you move around it so the horse knows where you are
- avoid distracting the horse by playing with its head when someone is working on it.
Rules to remember to avoid injury
Positioning the horse safely
To lock or not lock stable doors
Did you know?
Playing or teasing the horse- while someone else is working on it - is very dangerous.
Here is an incident that happened to a farrier.
The farrier was working on a back foot of a particular horse. The horse’s weight kept shifting violently as the horse pulled back from the handler. After the farrier was pushed around several times, he asked the handler if they were touching the horse. The handler said no, they were only trying to pull out some of the horse’s whiskers to save trimming them later, as the horse was going to a show the next day.
Apart from the fact that the whiskers are an important touch sensor for horses, can you imagine the pain involved in pulling theses strong hairs out one by one?
Imagine the danger for the farrier; this horse weighed 500 kg and it is possible that the horse could lose its balance trying to move away from the handler and actually fall on top of the farrier.
Your job as handler is to keep the horse quiet and still. You should not tease the horse or do any other jobs at the same time.
After you have finished the activities click NEXT to learn about other restraint methods.