Web site design by Imagery.cc (Created 12/12/03 – Redesign 07/25/09) Copyright 2003 - 2011-02-28
Equine Safety Overview
Humans and horses always had an odd partnership. When most of us stopped eating them, we found an overabundance of rewards. Horses still reward our partnership with an astonishing range of compensation in health, companionship and emotional wellbeing. Horses provide a much needed diversion for teenagers and as a productive outlet for our children’s energy. How can an animal so deeply woven into our fabric carry any stigma? However wonderful our relationship with horses is, it comes with a price, our safety. On the surface we see beauty, power, ballet and a free spirit. Scratch the veneer and we find an evolutionary successful story; prey specie that with speed, strength, it’s violent and instantaneous reactions effectively eluded its predators. At best a relationship with these biological marvels is a mixed blessing. Its size (the mass of a really small car) with its speed and instant reactions has disastrous potential. A loving but startled horse moving sideways can generate the force of an automobile collision. A horse defending its food from another horse can move its hooves with both blinding speed and the accuracy of a sniper. Horses, like people, vary in intelligence, temperament and manners. In nature horses are controlled by clearly delineated social structures [pecking orders]. They are instinctually motivated to challenge that is unless your experience and equine education is sufficient to counter that behavior. Children are especially vulnerable. Equestrian oriented kids require constant supervision, the safest learning environment, proper equipment, certified instruction and properly trained horses. Far too many people call themselves instructors (People) and trainers (Horses) few are truly qualified.
This may sound overwhelming and horses may seem impractical; nothing is farther from the truth. People who love and associate with horses and who strike that balance are stronger, healthier, happier, have better mental acuity and live longer. Every horse community has stories about someone who was 90 years old happy, healthy and still riding. A careful balance of observation, knowledge, qualified instruction and not so common sense on the part of the human with a well cared for and properly trained horse can share a lifetime of rewarding and safe interaction.