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Horse Safety It's Just Good Sense""

Jill Webster Ph.D., Utah State University


Utahns experience a significantly higher rate of horse related injuries than our counter- parts in other western states. In Utah horses account for 58% of all documented agricultural injuries, and tend to produce more serious injuries than other causes. Horses most often injure persons by kicking or trampling them when dismounted, or when riders fall or are thrown. Though not all horse injuries can be prevented, there are practices that will help limit the potential risks. Always consider the nature of the horse, it acts on instinct. Horses will attempt to escape or fight whenever threatened. Horses do not think, they react instantly to a threat. To reduce the risk of startling a horse always let the horse know you are there. Talk to the horse in calm even tones as you approach to announce your presence, and give the horse time to determine that your intentions are not hostile. Always maintain a calm and confident attitude around horses. Never lose your temper, or act nervous as the horse may interpret such behavior as a threat. Firm kind treatment is best when working with a horse.