By John Silveira
I am a Farrier and I have been kicked by horses. All I can say is it’s no laughing matter and I’ve been very lucky to come out of it with no permanent physical problems. Others are not so lucky; I’ve known people who have died from horse kicks. This article is about just such a possibility.
I have a new client, a woman with 9 horses. She called me to trim her horses and my gut feeling about that woman is she is very nice. Well the other day I was informed that she had gotten kicked “Double Barrel” by one of her horses, a big paint and she is in the hospital with life threatening issues. The kick broke all the ribs on one side of her body and ruptured internal organs, and she struggles to breathe at all due to the pain.
The doctors informed her that shallow breaths are what cause people to catch pneumonia and die. MY GAWD! JUST LIKE THAT!
I have strong convictions about these things- these accidents.
Simply put, horses are NOT to be taken lightly. They are large powerful animals and can Kill and Kick in the blink of an eye with one sweep.
Horses are herd animals and as such have instincts to fight their way up the pecking order to survive. This instinct HAS NOT been domesticated OUT of the animal. Invariably when we are handling horses we are being sized up by them as they constantly comprehend where they are standing in the pecking order – even with regard to humans. If you value your life – you can “Never” forget this!
Horses fight and kick and bite amongst themselves always working toward where they fit into the pecking order, don’t you realize they can look at us in the same light? Look – either we take the position of herd leader or we’re going to fall behind our own horse in the pecking order and our own horses will “Tell Us” how things should be, and the message or method they deliver this command to us can obviously come to us in the form of a kick.
I’ve been kicked, I know people who have been kicked in the head by their own horse, I know people who have died by being kicked by horses and I also know of a woman who’s horse ran up on her bit her by the neck picked her up and shook her like a rag doll and broke her neck right on the spot. Horses Are No Joke! I hope I’m making that point perfectly clear, if you think otherwise you’re headed straight for trouble!
There are two kinds of people when it comes to horses. There’s the type that baby their horses and don’t understand the value of discipline. They’re afraid to administer discipline, they’re hesitant to do so and when they actually do it’s done weakly. Well open your eyes! What do you think that horse is thinking? These are the people who think and say “oh isn’t my horse so sweet” – “oh she’s my baby” – “oh she’s so gentle she would never hurt anyone”. Don’t you EVER believe it! I’m sorry to say my new client who got kicked was this type. I’m sorry to say a couple of her horses were almost completely unruly because of her “Soft touch” when it comes to horse handling.
Now the other type of person knows full well the value of discipline and when it comes time to reprimand a horse for poor behavior they go into the reprimand and discipline fully and with conviction. I’m here to tell you – This – is the correct method of horsemanship.
Look you “Must” become the Alpha – you “Must” become the herd leader. This is NOT a ONE TIME EVENT! You “Must” remind your horse repeatedly who is in charge. I’m not saying go out and beat your horse up for no reason. But what I am saying is establishing you as the Alpha herd leader are a “Continual” process. What I am saying is even if your horse is or has been “Perfect” – sometimes you should re-establish yourself and your position. This is something you should “Never” forget! If you don’t “Maintain” your position as leader it’s a possible accident waiting to happen.
I hope to see my new client again. And I surely hope this Tough Love article serves as an eye opener to everyone involved with horses.
Right now I give you and my new client my best wishes.
reprint rights allowed providing nothing is changed.
Author Bio: John Silveira, Farrier, Aikido practitioner, spiritualist, born and raised in San Mateo California the bay area. For information on his shoeing method and the 100% track record just go to http://Care4Horses.com and leave contact information. thank you and remember to Care4Horses
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