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November 7, 2020

Safety Shorts: Be Safe When Approaching A Horse From Behind

Coming up on a horse can be a dangerous even if your horse isn’t aware of your presence. They cannot see directly behind and if you surprise them you may get yourself kicked. Obviously when working around horses the biggest concern is staying safe and not getting injured. Even a well-mannered, quiet horse can kick or strike if you surprise them.

Horses are prey animals, so their first instinct is to run.
© Adobe Stock Photo

Horses are prey animals. Their first instinct is to run, shy or kick if surprised or scared. In order to stay safe when approaching a horse, gently cluck, whistle or make noise so they know you’re behind them. Secondly, staying safe means staying out of the kick zone. Horses may kick if unruly, surprised, injured or unwilling to be approached from the rear. Always stay close when walking around a horse. If they do kick, the impact will be far less harmful than if standing at the end of the kick zone.

Always respect the horse, be aware of the need to communicate with the horse as you approach and watch the ears. They'll tell you a great deal about their mood. Enjoy your horse experience and be safe!

Karen Pickering
Owner/Publisher Karen’s lifelong love of horses began at a very early age when she wore out a couple of rocking horses before convincing her parents to get her the real thing. That ill-tempered bay gelding, Brandy, was a challenge for the young horsewoman, but it drove her ambition to become a horse trainer. After attending Canyonview Equestrian College’s Horsemanship Program, Karen realized she needed work that was a little more lucrative than training, so she took a job with Customs Brokerage to pay the bills. There, she discovered an affinity for computers and a talent for creating informative, entertaining newsletters. The Northwest Horse Source began as such a letter in December 1995, with a distribution of 1000 copies for its 12 black and white pages.  Now 25 years later, it's an online magazine and website with a reach of over 19,000 per month and growing! Not bad for the results of one woman’s dream to work with horses!

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