How to Handle Horses Safely
By Michael Colucci
Caring for a horse is an excellent way to gain new skills and build a strong bond the animal. However, it is important to practice safety procedures when handling your horse. There can be some risks involved in handling horses. They are large animals which are very strong, and can easily hurt you. This is why it is important to have an understanding of these animals.
If you encounter a horse that is owned by another person, you never want to feed them without the permission of the owner. You always want to make sure you approach a horse from the side or the front, and never from the rear. Be sure to announce your presence. Approaching the horse from behind can cause it to become startled, and if it kicks you in the head it could easily paralyze or kill you.
When caring for your horse, you want to make gentle movements. Never move quickly or run around horses, as they may become frightened or agitated. You also want to speak quietly around the horse and avoid making loud or strange noises. Always keep children and other pets such as dogs under control at all times. If you want to ride the horse, always wear the proper footwear and a good helmet.
Like many animals, horses are the most dangerous when they are scared. When they become scared, the only thing they are concerned with is survival, and anyone in their path will get hurt. The best way to avoid a situation like this is to understand what scares horses, and how you can avoid scaring them. Horses are herbivores, and have always been the target of predators.
Because of this, horses have developed the ability to easily detect potential predators. They are always alert, and their long necks and eyes assist them in watching their environment at all times. When looking at a horse from a distance, it is important to pay attention to its body language. When horses are startled they will display up to three signs with their bodies.
The first thing you want to watch for is a horse which suddenly freezes. This is a sign that it is startled. It freezes to be make it harder for predators to detect it, and will slowly look around in the direction of the disturbance. A horse will also spin around or jump, and this is designed to injure potential predators. When cornered, a horse will fight, and its feet and hooves can be deadly. Always use caution when handling horses.
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