Above all else, safety first!
Leading, Tying, and Turn Out
- Always wear your helmet when riding. Don't ever get on the horse without wearing a helmet!
- Never wear shorts or really loose clothing - it promotes hazards!
- When walking behind a horse, either stay really close, or really far away. Walking just a few
feet away increases the force of the impact, should the horse decide to kick.
- Never run or shout around horses. Walk and speak in a normal voice.
- Never sneak up on a horse, because you will startle them. Approach the horse from an angle,
because they cannot see you if you are directly in front of or behind them.
- Never stand directly behind the horse
- Always watch the horse for signs of action - what it will do if startled or scared
- Always squat down if you're doing something towards the ground - you can spring away faster
than if you're kneeling
- Don't make sudden movements around horses
- Never punish a horse in anger. They will not understand. Know the difference between discipline
- Always wear boots or shoes when working around horses. No sandals or loafers, please
- Never ride when you're completely alone. Always have some means of communication in case something
Bridling and Saddling
- Hold the lead rope in your right hand, standing on the left side of the horse's head.
- Never loop the excess lead rope around your arm or hand
- Drop the lead rope on the ground or place it over the neck when haltering or unhaltering.
- The horse should walk beside you, not in front or behind
- When turning a horse, turn to the right and walk around him. Turning to the left could easily
result in squished toes.
- If the horse tries to get away, don't try to hang on
- Never tie or wrap the lead rope around you!
- Protect your fingers!! Keep them out of the way!!
- Make the horse stop at gates and doors and the handler go through first
- When turning a horse loose, always make him turn to face you and stand still before you let
go of the lead rope.
- Don't turn a horse out with its halter on
- Tie the rope 'eye high and arm's length'
- NEVER tie with the horse with the reins!!!
- Tie the horse to something solid ' not a board or something that would easily break
Mounting and Dismounting
- Stand back and beside the head so the horse won't hit you with his head
- Never stand in front of the horse's feet
- Open the horse's mouth by sticking your thump in their mouth
- Be gentle when pulling the bit into the horse's mouth
- Use your left hand to guide the bit into the mouth, and the right hand to slip the crownpiece
over the ears
- Always check the saddle and saddle pad for abnormal objects
- Don't tighten the girth all the way to start with
- Secure the girths and stirrups before putting the saddle on the horse, to avoid banging the
horse with them
- ALWAYS check the girth for tightness before you mount!!
- Don't flop into the saddle when mounting
- Never move off as soon as you are seated' - always wait a few minutes, so the horse will not
get the idea that mounting means 'go'
- Foot should be parallel to the horse or with the toe turned into the girth, while mounting
- Check the girth before mounting
- Bounce three times and spring lightly into the saddle; don't haul yourself up using the saddle
to pull your body up
- Always run English stirrups up after dismounting
- Never loop the reins over any part of your body
- Horses going to the left have right of way
- Fast horses (cantering or galloping) get the rail, slow horses move in
- Always check behind you before stopping or backing
- Never hit your horse
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