When around horses, always wear thick boots—if stepped on, feet are easily crushed by the horse's weight. Wear riding boots when mounted (smooth soled, heeled, elastic-sided or long). Stirrups should be 2-3 cm broader than the boot. Consider using safety stirrups for youngsters and inexperienced riders. Always buckle the strap across the top of the boot to hold the foot in place.
Riding lessons can help you learn proper equestrian etiquette. Teach children not to run up to horses or throw objects at them. Also make sure that they don't follow too close behind a rider on a busy street. Horses tend to panic when faced with many people and cars, so allowing your child to watch from a safe distance is best.
The most common injury caused by horse riding is sprains/strains. Other common injuries include cuts/lacerations, bruises, fractures, and internal organ damage. Injury rates increase if you fall off your horse or allow it to jump fences. If you experience any pain when getting on or off the horse, have other people help you, or if the horse appears agitated, then you probably need medical attention.
Horses' hooves grow back quickly, but bruises can last longer if you use dark colors as dressage horses must always be white.
To avoid injury, it is important to know the horse's temperament and have a plan B in case something goes wrong.
Horse-Handling Safety Guidelines
Infrequent shoeing can cause the hoof to grow overly long, leading the horse to forge. Simply eliminating the "clicking" sounds can sometimes stop certain horses from forging. This is simply accomplished by squaring the toe of the hind shoe and putting it back under the toe. This will prevent the horse from clicking its shoes against the ground when walking or trotting.
If this problem persists after trying these suggestions, then you should consult a veterinarian about other possible causes for your horse's behavior issues. A healthy horse has no reason to forge; however, if your horse is not receiving adequate care (for example, if he is not getting his feet checked regularly) then he may decide to copy others in his field by extending his front legs forward while walking or trotting. This unnatural movement can irritate some horses' joints and cause them to wear prematurely.
If for some reason you cannot wait until your next veterinary appointment to have his feet checked, then take him to someone who knows what they are doing. Horses tend to avoid people who are unfamiliar with horses, so make sure that you find a qualified farrier before taking your horse to a farrier who does not have experience working with racehorses or show ponies.
The main cause of horseshoeing injuries is traffic accidents. If you are in an accident with a horse, make sure that you remain still until help arrives.
If you or your horse aren't up for it, try these in-saddle exercises: Take your feet in and out of the stirrups while trotting (the bouncy motion that is somewhat quicker than walking). There is no crutch to keep you in position without the stirrups. Horseback riding, whether experienced or novice, can help you improve your balance. Even beginners can do this exercise by standing with their arms outstretched in front of them and moving their body in time with their horse's steps.
The more advanced rider can try these two exercises: Stand with your legs wide apart and bend over at the waist. Without touching the ground, walk forward by pushing off with your feet. This is called a "toe walk." Walk several yards ahead of your horse and turn around before returning to ride back home.
The second exercise is called a "lunge" and should be done only by experienced riders. It requires you to stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width and take a big step forward into the lunge position. Then push off with your legs and swing yourself forward into the next position. Continue doing this until your ride is finished.
In conclusion, riding a horse is an excellent form of physical activity for anyone looking to maintain or improve their fitness.
Rely on your legs to keep your body in position, much like the girth does for the saddle. Wrap them around your horse's barrel, close against his sides but not too firmly. Try to sit on the long line for one complete round. Then post to the trot and request a forward trot. As he picks up speed, ease your grip a little.
You should be able to feel the bounce coming off the horse's back. This is normal; it means that you are using your legs properly and that you aren't being pulled straight down into the saddle. As you get used to this style of riding, you can increase your leg pressure until you are completely covering the horse's side with both feet at once. At that point, you have "bounced" him out of the bit and onto his toes!
This is an effective way to stop a horse in his tracks without using reins or voice control. The more you practice this technique, the faster you will be able to stop your horse.
You should sit in the saddle's center, with your legs and stirrups at an equal length, and a line drawn through the center of your chin, breastbone, belly button, and pubic bone should be vertically aligned with the horse's spine and breastbone. This gives you balance and makes it easier to communicate with the horse.
The correct horse riding position also ensures that your shoulders are relaxed and down, not pulled back as if you were trying to intimidate the horse. The horse should feel like he is being mounted by his friend, not by a bully.
Finally, keep in mind that horses need time to relax too, so don't be afraid to give them a break and walk your horse every now and then.
These things should help you achieve a good horse riding position. Don't be afraid to experiment with different ways of sitting in order to find one that feels right for you. And remember, your horse wants to be your friend, not your enemy!
Improve the riding balance of your horse.