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Ten tips to prevent being kick by a horse

Published 08-31-2010 9:26 AM | Fernanda Camargo

Kicking is one way horses communicate and it’s important to recognize how fast even the sleepiest school horse can throw a foot at you. Fortunately there are some simple steps you can take to avoid a kick. Almost one-fifth of the horse-related injuries admitted to the UK Hospital 2005-2009 were because of a kick. Here are a few more tips you can use to avoid becoming a statistic.

1. Careful where you stand. Always work with the horse from the appropriate angle. This means standing close to his body and to the side, facing back.

2. Butt out. Avoid standing behind any horse, particularly if he is loose in a group. He may kick out at another horse and hit you instead.

3. Let the horse know what you are doing. Talk to your horse as you approach and run your hands over his body and legs before grooming, applying spray or picking his feet.

4. Use fly spray. Many kicking accidents happen when the horse is trying to fend off a fly.

5. Check the horse regularly. If you unknowingly touch an area where the horse is hurt, he may kick out.

6. Be aware of your horse’s personality. Young or green horses can become startled by sudden movements such as a girth brushing their legs.

7. Tie the horse appropriately. Before you begin work make sure your horse is secure and be aware of where he is shifting his weight.

8. Beware the red ribbon. It’s common practice at horse shows to tie a red ribbon in the tails of horses known to kick.

9. Use well-fitting equipment. Poor-fitting equipment has a greater chance of slipping and frightening your horse.

10. Seek professional instruction. Know when to seek help from a qualified instructor if you are learning to handle a horse on the ground or training a young or unruly horse.

Page last updated: 7/31/2013 1:46:19 PM