Many of the horse’s natural behavior patterns, such as herd-formation and social facilitation of activities, are directly related to their being a prey species. Firstly, have knowledge pertaining to the amount of training the horse you are preparing to handle has had.
Depending on what this horses have or has not been exposed to may help you to gauge what moves you make to maintain as much safety as possible. Walking up to any horse, especially one that has not had much contact with humans, requires you to be aware of your own body language.
If you walk up briskly to a horse and expect to throw a halter over their muzzle, you may be greeted with nothing but a tail following a burst of speed moving far, far away from you (there’s that flight response). In comparison, if you are walking up to a horse softly with a relaxed demeanor, hand held out in order to allow them to sniff you, you have a better chance of being able to slip a lead rope over their neck and then slowly haltering them.
Moreover, there are those horses that are distrustful and require that you take all the pressure away and approach them without making eye contact. Horses have impeccable vision and hearing, developing from years of being a prey animal.
However, they have poor depth perception and multiple blind spots due to the distance between their eyes. Referring to the figure below, it helps one to understand why a horse many spooks if approached from directly in front of or behind.
It is estimated that a horse’s kick can exert anywhere from zero to more than 2,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. To avoid experiencing this unwanted force to your body, knowing that a horse can kick with both feet directly backward with one or both legs, or even up and sideways with one leg (often called cow-kicking ”), always exercise caution when around the back side of a horse.
In this location, you can easily sneak into a horse’s blind spot while being in a position where you would receive the full impact of the kick. Always make sure you stand at a safe distance from your horse’s feet to ensure you are not stepped on if they decide to move unexpectedly.
You should ALWAYS wear strong, sturdy footwear when you are planning to be around horses to prevent any unforeseen issues. Unfortunately, this common response may actually cue your horse to move faster, causing the situation to progress negatively.
Vice versa, a rider who is relaxed with heels down and shoulders tall will imply confidence to their horse which will be well-received and usually returned in full. Hand placement is crucial as your contact with the reins is the equivalent to your hold on the steering wheel.
Bent elbows and a loose rein with little contact with bit unless you pull towards your pocket to slow down is ideal. If a horse is irritable, they may pin their ears back tightly against their head, swish their tail violently, etc.
If your horse is scared, you may see the whites around their eyes and will notice that they appear nervous and unsure, even frantic. If you see a sign indicating that they are irritable, whether it is at you or another horse, discipline them if it can be done safely and remove yourself in situations that may result in your harm otherwise.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you feel that control is lost, remind yourself of the basics to the best of your ability. In times of chaos, your mind will trick you into thinking that the situation is much worse than what it is and, in turn, usually causes things to result in a less-than-desirable way.
If you can slow down and focus on the facts rather than assuming bailing is the best option, you will likely get better results without having to taste test the dirt. Horse owners and farmers are mobilizing as the state Supreme Court hears an appeal in the case Tuesday.
When the boy tried to pet the horse at Glendale Farms in Milford in 2006, according to court papers, the animal stuck his neck out from behind a fence and bit the child on his right cheek, “removing a large chunk of it.” “Significantly, Austria acknowledged his concern that if someone made contact with Supply, whether to pet or feed him, they could get bit,” the justices said.
Horse farmers and equine enthusiasts, who cite 2005 statistics saying that the horse industry contributes about $221 million a year to the state's economy in boarding, training, lessons and breeding businesses, are asking the state Supreme Court to overturn the Appellate Court's decision. Austria had won at a lower court in 2010, when a New Haven judge sided with the horse's owner and ruled that the child's father, Anthony Vendrell Sr., failed to prove the owner knew of previous incidents of aggression by Supply.
The Superior Court judge said Austria testified that neither he nor anyone else had ever seen Supply bite a person before and that in 28 years, none of the horses at the farm bit or injured anyone. My “what-if” mentality persisted well into adulthood until I finally realized that there was a lot I could do to decrease the chances of dangerous horse experiences.
While horses can be dangerous, risks can be substantially mitigated with things like knowledge, situational awareness, and safety equipment. Yet, if you ask any seasoned equestrian about how the risks associated with horses influence their decisions to ride, the vast majority will tell you that danger and injury are a negligible part of horse riding and pale in comparison to the appeal of horse/human partnership.
Most equestrians agree they gain far more than they risk by spending time with horses. Practical preparedness includes, at minimum, a proper-fitting helmet, safe footwear, and a qualified coach or mentor.
Boots that are safe for horseback riding have at least a 1 heel that minimizes the chances of accidentally getting stuck in the stirrups during a fall and causing you to be dragged by the horse. Boots with heels also help you keep your feet securely in the stirrups, increasing your balance, while riding.
Safety gear is essential, but finding a qualified and knowledgeable equestrian guide also is critical. The emergency dismount is a method of jumping off a horse’s back quickly in case things get out of hand.
Stay Calm If you haven’t noticed already, you will soon find that horses are incredibly intuitive animals. They are also flight animals, meaning that whatever uneasiness they pick up on in their surrounding “herd” (horse or human) will affect their own mental and emotional state.
There are several things that new horse riders can learn from basic equine psychology. Another thing you need to realize is that horses can be startled easily, so don’t make big, sudden movements around them.
Likewise, don’t make loud and unprecedented noises that might scare them. A strong but peaceful presence will foster trust between you and any horse you encounter.
We get to interact with remarkable, profoundly intuitive creatures that genuinely want to be our friends. She focuses on communication between horse and rider, with an emphasis in kind training tactics.
She resides in Auburn, WA, USA, with her husband, and daylights as a non-profit administrator. We are taking children to visit wild horses held by the Bureau of Land Management.
Wild horses are prey animals and can be dangerous, especially in confined and unfamiliar surroundings. We instructed the children before we arrived at the facility to see the horses that they shouldn’t approach any of the mustangs.
Many people want to approach wild horses ; however, it is best to observe them from a distance for your safety and their best interest. Here is an excellent video dealing with a mare that has attacked its owners, and bitten them multiple times.
A horse’s rear leg kicks are powerful enough to break bones and kill animals and humans. Horses that don’t have the option of fleeing or feel threatened will bite and stomp an opponent with their front legs.
When humans approach horses, their instinct is to flee but left without an option, they attack and deliver devastating punishment. If you’re lucky enough to see wild horses on a hike or camping trip, give them space.
So if you anticipate contact with wild horses, confirm with the park rangers or the BLM the requirement for the location you plan to visit. And although the general rule is to give the animals a 50-foot cushion, many parks don’t want you to get closer than 100 feet.
If you are in a car and want to observe the wild animals, stay on the designated paths, and shut off your engine. If the number of wild horses continues to increase at its current rate, the eco-system could be devastated.
To provide some context here are the population estimates from the United States Department of Interior’s 2019 report on wild horses and burros: Total wild equines on public rangeland-88,000 Wild horses account for approximately 72,000 of the animals Burros are estimated at over 16,000 Besides the horses and burros free-ranging, the BLM also houses close to 50,000 animals at government holding facilities.
In this same study, the BLM estimated that each wild horse kept in captivity cost $50,000 per animal over its lifetime. They calculated that it would cost one billion dollars to care and treat the animals at the current population.
They are tasked with the management of federal public lands, which includes, among other things, the responsibility to oversee the wild horse and burro program. In conjunction with the removal program, the BLM is also actively taking steps to suppress the rate of births of wild horses.
First, the follow-up shot is only possible if the herd is tracked, and even if the horse receives the booster, the usefulness of the drug wears off after one year. Annual treatment seems impractical because of the vast expanse that wild horses travel.
The BLM is working with universities and private companies to develop a more efficient drug and permanent sterilization methods. Not all wild horses are the same, but generally, they’ve evolved into hardy animals, with strong bones and tough feet.
The population of wild horses is exploding; currently, over 88,000 mustangs are roaming public land, and at the rate they are reproducing, they could double their number in 4 to 5 years. The act is called Congress recognized that free-roaming horses and burros have a symbolic and historical value that warrants preservation.
The act provides wild horses protection against capture, branding, harassment, and death and recognized the animals as an integral part of the natural system. Large herds of horses can reduce the amount of dry forage, which is fuel for fires.