What are the unsafe things that you see at the barn?
I think we can all agree that we usually try and stay safe and diligent around our horses. For some reason, we are also known to cut corners. Save a few seconds or minutes here and there and we feel like we have saved hours. But it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
Here are the TOP FIVE safety violations that I see all the live long day. They have a few things in common: they take seconds to remedy, fixing them can prevent a disaster, and you will be setting a good example for others at your barn.
By shoes, I mean people shoes! Please no flip flops in summer. I’m also not a huge fan of sneakers because of the laces, but that’s not as unsafe as sandals.
- Halter violations
Spend the milliseconds to fully attach the halter. The flapping cheek piece allows your horse to back out of his halter, and the buckle can fly around and whack ears and eyes.
If you are unsure about halter fit, you can read more about that here.
Also spend the milliseconds to detach the halter from the cross ties when your horse is bridled and you leave the area. This is a tripping hazard for humans and horses, and it’s just rude for the person who needs to use the cross ties after you.
I. Must. Breathe. Deeply. *SIGH*
- Lead rope violations
Use two hands! It’s as simple as that. Also make sure you have no loops around your fingers or hands.
- Stall doors left part of the way open.
This is a great way for humans and horses alike to stub toes and bonk hips. Decide if your barn stall doors are to remain fully open or fully closed when they are empty. There’s more on this subject here:
Just decide. Also note that partially open doors are more likely to slam shut (or open).
- Not correcting bad horse behavior
Every time you handle a horse, you are reinforcing his behavior. If the behavior is good, no worries! If the behavior is bad, it’s up to to your show him the proper way. Otherwise you are creating a horse without boundaries, and ultimately a dangerous horse. It can be behavior such as nipping, not walking quietly next to you, or not standing still to be blanketed. Give them an inch, they will take a mile. Correct bad behavior to keep yourself, your friends, and your horse safe.
What safety violations do you see on a regular basis?