While horseback riding is a fun and exciting sport or hobby, it’s also fraught with many dangers. Given that your horse is bigger and stronger than you, you must be careful with how you handle yourself in their presence. That’s why we’ve written this post to highlight some of the most important safety tips for horseback riders.
Tips for Safe Horseback Riding
To ensure that you and your horse are as safe as possible, you must know the horse riding best practices for safety. Here are some safety tips for horseback riders that you should follow carefully for protection:
Watch Your Approach
One of the first safety rules you should always observe as a horse rider is to be careful whenever you approach a horse. Yes, even if it’s your horse and they’re familiar with you.
Most horse-related injuries happen when a horse gets spooked—and horses easily get spooked. That’s why you must avoid:
- Sudden movements
- Loud noises
- Bringing rowdy pets near your horse
- Camera flashes
Always approach a horse from the side (not from behind) and make sure to talk to them as you do so. When you reach them, touch your horse with a firm but gentle stroking motion on the neck or shoulders. This will put the horse at ease.
Be a Safe Leader
As a horse rider, it’s your duty to lead your horse safely. The first step to leading your horse safely is to use a lead rope. Always attach a lead rope to the horse’s halter—never lead your horse directly by the halter. Doing so can leave you with no option if the horse gets startled and bolts.
In the same vein, never coil the end of the lead rope around your hand or any other part of your body. This is dangerous, as the loops can tighten and put you in a precarious position if your horse begins running.
If you’re riding in a place with other horses, don’t allow your horse to touch noses with an unfamiliar horse. This can result in a fight that may result in human and horse injuries.
As you lead your horse, always be cautious and put the safety of yourself and your horse first.
Safety Tips in the Saddle
Safety in the saddle begins before you even mount your horse. It starts with you dressing in proper horseback riding gear. This includes, among other items:
- A helmet
- Proper boots
- Sturdy pants and shirt, with the latter always tucked in
Apart from your attire, make sure you have the right size saddle and that the stirrups are the right length and the girth doesn’t slip. You must also Inspect all tack to make sure it’s in good condition before you mount the horse. This will ensure that you’re comfortable as you ride and reduces the chances of you slipping and falling.
Last, if your horse becomes agitated while you’re in the saddle, dismount immediately and handle the situation from the ground.
Exercise Caution During Training
Accidents can happen when training or exercising your horse. Take every precaution to ensure that you and your horse are safe from injuries during this time. One of the best ways to do that is to use proper horse-exercising equipment. If you’re exercising in an indoor horse-riding arena, ensure it’s fitted with safety walls and other horse arena accessories that aid you and your horse’s safety.
Safety on the Trail
Trail riding is one of the greatest pleasures of horse riding. However, for you to enjoy the trail to the fullest, you must always plan your excursion with safety in mind. A few safety tips for the trail include:
- Ride a mild-mannered horse.
- Avoid overhanging limbs.
- If riding in a group, keep a distance of at least one horse between your horses.
- Make sure to communicate any hazards on the trail to the riders behind you.
You must also ensure that you ride at safe gaits. You should always avoid excessive speed on trails, as it is dangerous.
Safety Tips for Horseback Riders – Follow Them to the “T”
When dealing with horses, safety first is never a cliche. Being large, heavy animals, all it takes for an injury is something as simple as a misplaced hoof.
That’s why, as a rider, you must take all necessary precautions to ensure that you and your horse are safe. One of the first steps of ensuring safety as an equestrian is having a fit horse. Vitafloor is invested in developing the best horse exercise equipment that will help ensure your horse always maintains optimum shape.
Go ahead and browse our catalog and pick the recovery or exercise equipment that suits you and your horse best. Alternatively, give us a call at (352) 737-6743 to learn more. We’ll be more than happy to help you improve your safety levels and protect your horse.