Safe does not come naturally
Published 10-05-2009 10:48 AM
Have you seen how kids approach horses, I mean the brave ones who have never been around horses before? They just walk onto the horse, maybe go under the belly, go right behind them, and then get so excited they're getting to touch a huge animal like that and let go a big scream of happiness and run away from one horse toward the next one. How scary does that sound???? Safe does not come naturally. Trust comes naturally.
I grew up around horses and have become very familiar with them. So much so that sometimes (most times) I put a lot of trust in my horse and assume she won't do anything mean to me because (I like to think) she likes me. That in itself can become very dangerous because I let my guards down when I am around her. We need to find a happy medium, because you don't want to not be comfortable and act weird around your horse, because they can totally sense it, and then they'll start acting funny too. But you don't want to act mindlessly around them either, because that's when accidents happen.
For example, you can't assume that your horse will never step on your toe and start wearing flip flops around him just because he has never done it before. Because there will be a day when he will spook about something, or simply turn over, and your toes will be in his way.
Being safe around horses does not mean that we wear an armor, safety goggles and a a flu mask around them. Being safe means learning the behavior of horses and adapting your routine and management around the natural behavior of horses. You may have never been stepped on by your horse, but you will be glad to be wearing closed toe shoes the day you do (and that day will come, I promise!).
Let's respect our horses and be safe around them! Let's think about being safe, let's devote some time learning how and when to approach horses, let's learn horse behavior, and most importantly, let's teach our kids these invaluable life lessons. Safe does not come naturally.