Horse Safety-The Golden Rule of Horse Safety

The Golden Rule of Horse Safety

Horse Safety is a very big topic.

However we can use “The Golden Rule of Horse Safety” to be immediately safer with our horse.

This is the most common mistake many horse owners make:

Too close to their horse.

Look around a little and observe others and you’ll see this for yourself.

Why Do We Get Too Close for Horse Safety?

First, why do we want to get so close to our horse? We love them! We want to be near them! We want to touch them! But it can be dangerous for us.

The Golden Rule of Horse Safety keeps us out of a situation like this.
How Horses Stay Safe. But What About Us? Observe The Golden Rule of Horse Safety.

Second, let’s understand why horses want to get close to us. It’s hard to wrap our mind around the fact that horses are afraid for their survival every single day. Think of how many times we’ve seen horses standing or eating or moving in a group where we can’t even tell from a distance how many horses there are unless we know. This is deliberate and it’s natural to them—they deter and confuse any predator by looking much bigger than an individual horse looks and they can take off running together to escape if necessary.

Our horse’s main defense is to run away. They notice every movement and change in their environment—and they’re fast!

No Problem for Horses, but What About Us?

Horses Can Run Very Close To Each Other Because Of Their Shape.
Horses Can Run Very Close To Each Other Because Of Their Shape.

When horses take off running together, they are equally fast and they are shaped alike. Outside horses run to the inside of the herd for safety and they mix around. Their shoulders, rib cages, and hips are roundish and padded with muscles and their legs and feet are in narrower. Because of this, if they bump into each other some, usually no one gets hurt.

How about our shape? We are tall rather than long. If they try – and they do – to get into the middle of the herd with us, they are on top of us and we are in jeopardy. Since horses are bigger, stronger, and faster than the fastest human, how do we even things out so we can interact more safely with our horse?

The Golden Rule of Horse Safety:
Stay At Least 4 Feet Away

Again, look around and see how often people put themselves in risky positions.

Instead of being unconscious of the danger, do whatever it takes to build this new habit. If we are having any sort of horse issues, this simple but profound change will help us be immediately safer.

Tip: Even more distance may be needed depending on the horse and how they are behaving in the moment. Use good judgment.

4 Feet (48 inches) Is Farther Than We Think.

Measure it out. No part of our body should be within 4 feet of any part of our horse’s body at any time – unless we decide. It is not our horse’s decision.

This will help keep us out of the bite, kick, strike, step on, knock-down zone, if we pay attention and are ready to move.

Also, try to be aware of keeping our feet facing the same direction as our horse, otherwise it’s easy to get stepped on, have our foot pinned so we can’t move, and get knocked down – all within a second. Yikes! These things happen every day – and we don’t want them to happen to us!

Avoid Small Spaces

Avoid going into small spaces with our horse (doorway, stall, trailer, narrow aisle way, etc.). Instead send them in and stay safely outside. If we have to go in briefly, make sure to be the one near the exit so we always have a safe and quick way out.

It’s Our Decision When To Cross the Line

Of course we can cross the 48” imaginary boundary to touch or pet them or do whatever we want and need to do – if it’s safe – but then go out again. Here’s a promise: The Golden Rule of Horse Safety is a good Golden Rule to practice with horses.

Over time, our horse can earn their way back in closer, but only when our vigilance and reflexes are fast enough, and our horse really respects our body space and would never think of invading it. Even when you’re both advanced, a safe distance is worth maintaining.

Does this mean I shouldn’t be riding? Yes, if you are having horse issues. Work them out before you plan to get on.

To be immediately safer with your horse, follow:

The Golden Rule of Horse Safety:

Stay At Least 4 Feet Away

For more reading, you can check out: About Horse Training And Why Our Horse Needs It.

Horses Forever!

Pat Moses
P.S. If you just need more ideas about horse safety right now, email, Subject Line: Set Up Free 15-Minute Phone Call.

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