Do you feel confident that your horse will act calm and obedient in any situation? Can he be trusted to perform as expected while being led, ridden, or loaded into a trailer? While riding, do you feel in control and confident that your horse will look to you for direction?
Whether riding, leading, tacking up, or feeding your horse, safety should always be the primary concern for both the human and the horse. Sadly, people get complacent and sometimes downright lazy about keeping their horses in a calm, secure state of mind. Other times, folks don't know how to be quiet with their energy and inadvertently scare their animals. Others have learned that shortcuts work. And they do, right up until they don't.
The most important thing to know when in the presence of any equine--wild or domestic, trained or not, is that by keeping the horse feeling safe, you will also be safe. It seems simple enough, and it is, as long the person understands that a horse's definition of being safe is quite different from ours.
The horse takes his physical welfare quite seriously, which explains the reason your knowing he is a prey animal matters. Only the best prey animal can escape a predator, and consequently why the horses' flight instinct/reflex is the first response. Each horse must get away and not show any sign of weakness or lameness. (This ability to mask the pain is also why horses run in the field but limp when with a person they trust.) So how does all that relate to your confidence in your horse? It's simple: keep your mind present, your eyes and ears open, and think like a horse.
101 Ways to Die with a Horse or Live Happily Ever After is a safety guide for horse and rider that outlines how to build good habits to keep your horse calm and predictable. Signed first edition copies are available at www.TanyaBuck.com, or get paperback, eBook, and audiobook at https://www.amazon.com/Ways-Horse-Live-Happily-After/dp/0692802452
Enjoy your horses, Happily Ever After!