Tips to help keep visitors and horses safe

With upcoming holidays, some of us will be vacationing in horse country. Here’s some tips to keep visitors and horses safe to ensure the best time

Many visitors to farms are children who have had little to no experience with horses. In fact, many of the adult visitors have little experience either! Keeping everyone safe is part of what owning a horse is all about.

Horse owners should have rules in place for visitors and their horses. Not only will these prevent possible accidents, but they will also make the visitor's time with your horse more enjoyable.

Horses should be respected for the large animals they are. Everyone should be taught to make sure that the horse has time to adjust to new people coming into the stable or paddock area. No running, shouting, or playing should be allowed in the stable area or around your horses.

Children should never be allowed to be in paddocks or stables unattended and they should be fully supervised by an adult any time they are around horses.

Get to know the horse

For many children and adults, their first instinct is to walk right up and pet a horse. What would be better is that they should be taught to speak to the horse from a distance to avoid startling. Always approaching near the shoulder rather than directly in front of or from behind the horse allows it to see them and acknowledge their presence.

Wear horse friendly clothing

Wearing functional clothing that stays close to the body while protecting it should be the rule. And slip-proof protective footgear should be worn at all times.

Don't skimp on equipment

Use proper tack and lead ropes with all horses and make sure they are adjusted properly to prevent accidents. The same goes for saddles. These should all be set up, adjusted & ready to go for those who wouldn't know how to fit one properly!

Helmets should always be worn when riding - especially for those with little to no experience.

Give food & treats...safely!

Giving a treat to a horse is one of the joys of interacting with a horse for the first time, especially for those who don't have much to do with them!

The owner can show the correct way to give a carrot or apple from the palm of an outstretched hand (to avoid accidental nips). Even better, in the case of confident and greedy horses, place treats in a bucket before offering them.

Horses need safety too

Throughout all visits and in all cases, owners should encourage visitors to check doors and latches before leaving stable and paddock areas, preventing horses from getting loose, causing damage or ingesting things that may cause harm to the horse.

With visitors having safety efforts concentrated on them, the safety of the horses can sometimes be overlooked.

So if you ever have visitors to come see your horse, keep these tips in mind. That way, the celebrations can continue on without any disruptions or disasters - happiness for all!