Welsh Ponies are.....

Horse Safety

Horses are often timid animals and react violently when frightened, but there is no need to fear the horse if safety precautions are followed. To disregard simple safety rules in handling a horse can result in a serious mishap. Knowledge of safe riding and handling is important to basic horsemanship skills. The best horse handlers "think like a horse" and try to anticipate what a horse will do. The horse has a very large field of vision. They can move their eyes and see things on both sides at the same time. They have two blind spots, however, directly in front of them and directly behind them.


1. Always speak to horse before approaching or touching it from behind. Most horses are likely to jump or kick when startled.

2. Never approach a horse directly from the rear. Even in a tie stall it is possible to approach at an angle.

3. Pet a horse by first placing your hand on his shoulder and neck. Don't reach for the end of the nose. This is the blind spot for the horse and is annoying to the animal. Repeatedly dabbing at the end of a horse's nose, especially a young animal, can encourage biting.

4. When walking around horses, stay out of kicking range. Never walk under the tie rope or step over it.


1. When working around horses, stay close so that, if kicked, you will not receive the full impact of the kick. Stay out of kicking range whenever possible.

2. Work on a horse from a position as near the shoulder as possible. In this way, you cannot be touched by either the front or hind feet.

3. When working with the horse's tail, stand near the point of the buttock, to the side and facing the rear, not directly in back. Hold the tail, bringing it around to you.

4. Learn the proper way to lift the horse's feet.

5. Be calm and confident when around horses. A nervous handler can make a horse nervous and unsafe. This is important in showmanship.

6. Know the horse with which you are working. Know his temperament and reactions. Control your temper at all times. Let him know you are his firm, but kind, master. Never punish a horse in anger.

7. Know your horse's peculiarities. If someone else is riding, tell them what to expect.

8. Always wear boots. Never go barefoot or wear tennis shoes.

9. Hard hats are recommended for riding, especially for sports such as jumping.


1. Walk beside a horse when leading it, not ahead or behind. Always turn the horse to the right and walk around it, keeping it on the inside.

2. A horse is stronger than you are. Don't try to out muscle one. The horse will usually respond to a quick snap on the lead strap or rope if properly halter broken.

3. Never wrap the lead strap, halter shank, or reins around your hand, wrist, or body. Use a long lead strap, folded "accordion" style in the left hand, while leading.

4. When leading a horse into a box stall or pasture, turn the horse so that it faces the door or gate before releasing the lead strap or removing the halter or bridle. Otherwise, the horse is likely to bolt forward before it is released.


1. Tie horses with approximately two feet of rope. Always use a safety release knot. Don't stake them out.

2. Untie the lead shank before taking the halter off a horse. This may prevent the horse from pulling back and becoming a "halter puller".

3. Tie a horse away from strange horses so that they cannot fight.

Thank you to Minnesotta 4-H for the use of this information

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