Where There Are Horses There May Be Accidents

Horses are beautiful creatures whose partnership with humans dates back thousands of years ago. Injuries caused by horses are far from uncommon. The average horse weighs in at around 1,200 pounds, so it doesn’t take much for a horse to injure its rider.  How can I stay safe while riding?  “Learn how to fall.” That’s what every riding instructor will say to a beginning student. Falling safely off of a horse involves rolling away from the hooves to lessen the impact on the rider. Safety is the top priority when horseback riding, therefore having adequate gear is essential. This includes wearing proper riding attire such as britches or riding chaps, boots, and a helmet. Using a proper saddle, headstall, blanket, and horse accessories are also crucial to the safety of a horse and its rider.  What should I do if a horse starts bucking? It happens. Horses have their own perception of the world. For example, a boulder could look menacing on a cloudy day and spook the horse even if it has passed it many times in the past without an issue. Or a dog may run towards a fence growling at you and your horse, sending its feet into the air as you are hanging on for dear life. When a horse is bucking, the rider must stay calm. The rider’s heels must stay down while his or her tailbone acts as the body’s anchor to the saddle. Never pull back on the reins—instead, give the horse’s feet something to do. Turning a horse’s head in and making it do circles can also work in calming a bucking horse. The rider must remain calm and in control at all times, as a horse is constantly relying on its rider for guidance and good judgment. Why can’t I approach a foal or horse in the wild? Horses are prey animals. They travel in herds to stay safe and multiply their chances of survival. When a human approaches a newborn foal, the rest of the herd views him or her as a predator. The main goal for the horses at this point is to protect its herd, so they can charge, bite or kick at an unwarranted human. The same can be said for horses on the property. Bottom line: Don’t pet a horse that you don’t own without the owner’s permission. How can I tell if a horse will lash out at me? Horses are transparent animals. A horse’s ears are the first place to look if a person wants to know its mood. Equines have independent movement of each ear. When the ears are pinned back, the horse is blatantly signaling that it is angry or irritated. Horses tend to be attentive or content when the ears are facing forward or relaxed and facing backward. A horse can also stomp its feet or whip its tail when feeling frustrated. It is important to remain close to the horse when grooming, so if you are kicked then the momentum will not be powerful enough to cause serious injury. Accidents happen without warning. Injuries involving horses are not usually caused by an angry horse, but instead, a rider’s inexperience or lack of awareness. Fingers can be mistaken for carrots and saddles may not be properly secured. Always be sure to have expert supervision when handling a horse. Stay aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what your horse is communicating to you. Safety for you and your horse should be the top priority when at the barn. If you become injured by a horse, it may be time to contact Phoenix personal injury lawyer, Brian Dault. Co-written by Elise Childers for DaultLaw

Horses are beautiful creatures whose partnership with humans dates back thousands of years ago. Injuries caused by horses are far from uncommon. The average horse weighs in at around 1,200 pounds, so it doesn’t take much for a horse to injure its rider. 

How can I stay safe while riding? 

“Learn how to fall.” That’s what every riding instructor will say to a beginning student. Falling safely off of a horse involves rolling away from the hooves to lessen the impact on the rider. Safety is the top priority when horseback riding, therefore having adequate gear is essential. This includes wearing proper riding attire such as britches or riding chaps, boots, and a helmet. Using a proper saddle, headstall, blanket, and horse accessories are also crucial to the safety of a horse and its rider. 

What should I do if a horse starts bucking?

It happens. Horses have their own perception of the world. For example, a boulder could look menacing on a cloudy day and spook the horse even if it has passed it many times in the past without an issue. Or a dog may run towards a fence growling at you and your horse, sending its feet into the air as you are hanging on for dear life. When a horse is bucking, the rider must stay calm. The rider’s heels must stay down while his or her tailbone acts as the body’s anchor to the saddle. Never pull back on the reins—instead, give the horse’s feet something to do. Turning a horse’s head in and making it do circles can also work in calming a bucking horse. The rider must remain calm and in control at all times, as a horse is constantly relying on its rider for guidance and good judgment.

Why can’t I approach a foal or horse in the wild?

Horses are prey animals. They travel in herds to stay safe and multiply their chances of survival. When a human approaches a newborn foal, the rest of the herd views him or her as a predator. The main goal for the horses at this point is to protect its herd, so they can charge, bite or kick at an unwarranted human. The same can be said for horses on the property. Bottom line: Don’t pet a horse that you don’t own without the owner’s permission.

How can I tell if a horse will lash out at me?

Horses are transparent animals. A horse’s ears are the first place to look if a person wants to know its mood. Equines have independent movement of each ear. When the ears are pinned back, the horse is blatantly signaling that it is angry or irritated. Horses tend to be attentive or content when the ears are facing forward or relaxed and facing backward. A horse can also stomp its feet or whip its tail when feeling frustrated. It is important to remain close to the horse when grooming, so if you are kicked then the momentum will not be powerful enough to cause serious injury.

Accidents happen without warning. Injuries involving horses are not usually caused by an angry horse, but instead, a rider’s inexperience or lack of awareness. Fingers can be mistaken for carrots and saddles may not be properly secured. Always be sure to have expert supervision when handling a horse. Stay aware of your surroundings and pay attention to what your horse is communicating to you. Safety for you and your horse should be the top priority when at the barn.

If you become injured by a horse, it may be time to contact Phoenix personal injury lawyer, Brian Dault.

Co-written by Elise Childers for DaultLaw