Here are the answers and a little more information about horse safety. Hopefully, you did well on the pop quiz yesterday!
The first question is in regards to how to approach a horse. You should approach a horse from the front and slightly to the side. That way he has the best view of you coming towards him and you won’t scare him.
Question 2 asks if it is true or false that you should walk as far away from the horse’s hind legs as possible, or as close as possible. This is true, being very close to the hind legs means that if the horse would kick out, with you being so close he wouldn’t be able to hit you very hard. The other option is way behind, far enough behind that his hind legs can’t reach. If you walk within kicking range of a horse and he kicks out, you will get kicked with the full power of the horse’s leg. Most lesson farms don’t have horses that would kick you to be mean. In the summer the horses will kick out at flies with no regard to where we are. Also, if another horse got too close, your horse might kick at that horse, without regard for where you are.
Question 3 is about being aware of the environment around you when you are grooming a horse. The correct answer is that you should be aware of all of those things. The environment around you, your instructor, and yourself in relation to the horse. Being aware of these things helps to prevent accidents in a lot of situations.
Question 4 in regards to how to properly hold a leadline is to have your right hand under the horse’s chin holding the rope. Your
Question 5 is about picking feet. When you are picking your horse’s feet you should stand, facing the back of the horse. Your shoulder will be against the horse’s shoulder so you can push his weight over onto his other legs. Your toes will point toward your horse’s tail. Why do you stand this way? It is the most natural way to hold up the horse’s foot and ask him to pick it up. Standing to the side and facing back avoids getting our feet stepped on if he puts his foot down unexpectedly.
Question 6 says that horses are prey animals. What exactly does that mean? It means that if he is afraid his first reaction is going to be to run away from what he is afraid of. That is why it is our job to make sure we are aware of where we are in relation to the horse. Horses react first and think second when they get scared and run. In other words, they are not going to wait for you to get out of the way. Knowing horses are prey animals that respond this way is essential to being safe around them.
Question 7 asks what kind of footwear you should wear for your lessons. The correct answer is a boot with a heel. Something you can move in and out of the stirrup easily. Your boot needs enough of a heel that it can’t slide through the stirrup and get stuck.
Question 8 is about bringing your horse into a stall. The correct way to put your horse into the stall is to hold the leadline as I described above. Next, make sure the stall door is all the way open. You should walk through the doorway first and your horse should politely follow behind you.
Question 9 is about tying your horse for grooming. The correct answer is false, a horse should never be tied to his bridle. Especially not the bit! Sometimes you will see a bridled horse tied up with a halter on top the bridle. This is okay, as long as the ties attach to the halter and not the bit or bridle in any way. It is safer to only tie your horse while it’s wearing a halter.
Question 10 is about going around your tied horse. You should lift up a cross tie and cross in front of the horse if your horse is on cross ties. You don’t want to ever duck under their necks. The other option would be to go around the back. Talk to the horse, make sure he knows that you are there and then as we discussed before, either walk right close behind him or way back outside of kicking reach.
How did you do?
Hopefully, your instructor is giving you a good introduction to being safe on the ground with horses. Let us know how you did on the quiz and if you have any questions!