Table of contents:
- ATTENTION! SUCH SITUATION IS DANGEROUS
- Before leaving the stall, do not forget:
Video: And The Horse Is Biting
How dear our own carelessness is costing us! Instead of joyful minutes and health - misfortune, pain and endless regrets about how easy it would be to avoid it! Unfortunately, carelessness when working with a horse in our stables is not uncommon. While experienced riders have dulled their sense of alertness by habit, beginners simply underestimate how dangerous horses can be.
Meanwhile, do not forget that horses weigh on average 500 kg (against them, human 70 kg is nothing), have strong teeth and hooves, as well as great growth… Horses do not intentionally harm anyone, but often act in accordance with ancient instincts that are stronger than the skills we have learned. Their natural defensive response is the desire to rush away from danger, kick the offender with his hind legs, or rears up. In such cases, the person standing next to him can get great. For example, when hitting with the hind legs at a distance of about a meter, a horse hits a person directly in the stomach, and this leads to severe damage to the spleen, liver and other internal organs, and even death. Throwing sharply to the side, the animal can cripple no less. And why the “candle” is dangerous, I think, there is no need to explain.
So let's start from the very beginning. You came to the stable, changed your clothes, took everything you needed and headed to your beloved horse. The first problems may arise already at the entrance: a horse is tied in the aisle between the stalls. Ideally, it just shouldn't be. According to the rules, the passage must always be free, not obstructed by foreign objects. It is not recommended to arrange interchanges right in the aisle - it is better for them to take special places where the horse will not interfere with passers-by.
If, nevertheless, the tied horse blocks your path, ask the owner to untie it for a while, or, in extreme cases, bending down slightly, walk under the junctions at the greatest possible distance from it (but this is still undesirable!). In no case do not be familiar with an unfamiliar horse - do not slap friendly on the rump or neck - most likely, nothing will happen, but one in ten may "take offense" and beat it off.
It is dangerous to approach any horse that shows signs of anxiety: ears flat, hind legs drawn in. If such a horse blocks your way, it is better to take your time and wait for its owner. In any case, while in the stable, there is no need to make noise, shout or run - all this worries the horses.
So, you have safely reached your horse's stall. Do not rush to throw yourself at him from the doorway: the horse may be afraid of your unexpected appearance. To avoid trouble, stick to the following rules:
Approaching the stall, calmly and affectionately call the horse from the side of the door or from the side from which you are approaching (if the horse is walking, say, in a levada). The main thing is that there is neither fear nor threat in your voice - the animal will immediately feel them and be alert.
When the horse turns its muzzle towards you, gently open the door, pet the animal and, only when you are sure that he is calmly accepting you, can you go into the stall and get to work.
Never try to pet or feed the horse through the wire rack! Many people were left without fingers after that (for the information of readers: by the force of its jaws, a horse can not only cut off a finger, but also break an arm or collarbone).
Sadly, but often, especially in rentals, horses do not want to make contact with a visitor and, when they see a stranger, turn their backs at the door of the stall.
ATTENTION! SUCH SITUATION IS DANGEROUS
In this case, do not rush into the stall and try to catch the horse. Take a closer look at how she behaves. If the horse presses down his ears and draws his bottom again, we advise you to contact a more experienced equestrian or groom who cleans it (as a rule, horses trust their grooms unconditionally).
If the horse is standing quietly in the opposite corner of the stall, try carefully, constantly calling out to him, approach the horse's muzzle and put on the halter. If you notice the slightest sign of horse aggression when you approach, it is better to ask for help.
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We advise you to keep horses that behave this way on a leash in a stall, or at least not to remove the halter from them.
According to the rules, it is necessary to clean and saddle a horse at junctions. This is by no means an empty demand: in the cramped space of a stall alone, even with a tied horse, in the event of dangerous situations, a person risks doubly. You ask, what can be dangerous with regular cleaning? Meanwhile, there are enough dangers.
- to be in a narrow gap between the wall and the horse's body: quite often horses press people against the wall, sometimes such situations even ended in death;
- it is doubly dangerous to go around a horse from behind in a stall: upon impact, even a light one, you will find yourself between a hammer and a hard place;
- it is no less dangerous to crawl under the belly of a horse;
- you should not stand directly in front of the muzzle when cleaning and saddling: while dodging a brush or bridle, a horse can strike you on the head with its muzzle, some fainted from such a blow;
- and finally, when opening the horse's mouth, press only on the toothless edge, otherwise the horse may bite you.
To avoid all the troubles, remember that you can bypass the horse only in front of the muzzle, the hind legs of the horse are cleaned, standing on the side at arm's length, the tail is taken apart, being on the side outside the field of horse strikes. And most importantly: clean your horse only at junctions!
Finally, your horse is ready, and you can get under way - to the arena. Again, take your time!
Before leaving the stall, do not forget:
- tuck the stirrups correctly. Dangling tangles can catch on to something, and the consequences - from torn equipment to a crippled horse - will not keep you waiting;
- open the door of the stall wider so that, again, neither you nor the horse will hurt you for anything when you leave;
- make sure the path is clear. If there are a lot of horses in the aisle, or something else is interfering with traffic, it might make sense to wait a bit until the aisle is clear.
It is highly undesirable to part with two horses in narrow aisles. If you come across a tied horse on your way, be sure to ask the owner to at least take it aside, and it is best to lead it into the stall and let you pass! Under no circumstances lead your horse under interchanges with another horse standing on them. This completely unacceptable violation of the rules often ends in sadness. Keep in mind: if you or your horse gets hurt in such a situation, no one but you will be to blame!
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When leading the horse on the bit, follow these rules:
- before withdrawing, you need to crumple the reins from the horse's neck, take it under the chin with your right hand, hold the end with your left hand so that it does not drag along the ground. Leaving a halter around your neck narrows your room for maneuvers in a possible critical situation. Never try to lead a horse by the bit rings; unexpected jerking could result in the loss of toes.
- you need to walk next to the horse at shoulder level, without running ahead and not lagging behind, you need to move it with an incentive movement of the hand. Remember! The horse is unlikely to follow a person who pulls it by force. If you yourself lag behind at the distance of the extended rein, then the horse itself can drag you.
In no case should you even mount a saddled horse in a stall or a stable, enter or leave the stable on horseback! The height of the ceilings there, alas, is not designed for the “horse plus rider” height, and your head can be “blown off” at any moment.
Source: Vladislava Smirnova
"Golden Mustang" magazine, 1999 - 3 (printed with the permission of the editor)