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Meeting a new horse (part 1)

Published 09-08-2010 1:35 PM | Fernanda Camargo

If you own a horse, you have had friends ask you if they could come and ride your horse. Introducing new people to horses will certainly benefit them and the industry as well. But you need to take certain precautions to introduce them in a safe manner.

Here are a few tips to help make the introduction a pleasant one:

1. Apparel: Make sure the new people are dressed appropriately, wearing closed toes shoes with hard smooth soles and half-inch heels, jeans or long pants and a helmet. If they are not going to ride, they at least must be wearing appropriate footwear: never let anyone near your horses who is wearing flip-flops or sandals.

2. Introductions: Before getting to the barn, let the guests know that horses do not like abrupt movements and loud noises. Stress the importance of being calm and quiet. Explain to them the 2 blind spots that horses have (right behind and right in front of them), tell them to approach the horses calmly while speaking to the horse and offering a hand for the horse to sniff. You can pet the horse's neck while your guest is being introduced to him. This should calm him down.

You want your friends to have a good experience while keeping safe, but you also don't want to stress your horse out. So take time to educate your friends even before they get to touch your horse.

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