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. 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!