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Safety For You & Your Horse

You should never compromise the safety of your, your horse, or spectators. This section contains a few tips to help you improve the safety of your environment while around horses.

cowboy boots riding boots Proper riding boots are more and more often dismissed in the horse world today. I am as guilty as anyone of jumping on a horse while wearing tennis shoes. To keep your foot from slipping through the stirrup, a boot with a good heal is necessary. In sports that involve jumping off an on horses (rodoe events), participants often wear boots that are a little large so their foot will slip out easily if needed.
   
horseback riding helmet In the western world, not many people tend to wear a helmet. This may be the most important part of your riding ensemble. It only takes your horse jumping sideways ones for you to end up on the ground...possibly head-first onto a rock. Take care of yourself and your family by riding with a helmet designed for equestrian activities. Each type of helmet (bicycle, motorcycle, equestrian) is designed for once specific activity. Equestrian helmets are a bit more expensive than bicycle helmets because they are designed to be stronger than bicycle helmets to protect your head and the upper part of your neck (which bike helmets do not) from injury. Thus, you should not compromise and use a bicycle helmet.
  Check your tack. This is a simple step that should be performed each time you saddle up. I personally have had a cinch strap break on me while running up a hill. It wasn't too pleasant when both myself and my saddle gently slipped right off of my horse! Keep leather supple and protected from moisture. Check your equipment for tears or sections of thinning or stressed leather.
   
safe riding areas Ride in Safe areas. Such a simple thing to remember. If your horse gets upset when cars pass him, do not ride on a road. Do not run as fast as you can through a pasture that is full of holes created by gophers or prairie dogs. Inspect an area before asking your horse to perform - you do not want him stepping on glass or getting his legs tangled in old wire laying around in the pasture.
   
  Stay alert. If you are tired or if your perception is impaired in any way, do not ride or work with your horse. It only takes a second for a tragic accident that may harm you, your horse, or spectators to occur.
horses cats dogs and children Keep small children and animals (dogs, cats) away from your horses. Small children do not realize that they may get stepped on, kicked, or bitten. Never leave a child unattended around horses. Horses, cats, and dogs can get along. For tips on how to assit all of your pets to get along, check out Pet Harmony.