Friday, April 27, 2012

Horsemanship and safety

My Rescue Horse Trigger

Today when we went shopping groceries at Whole Foods, a man in his twenties looking at Philip’s knife on his belt said in a sarcastic tone “How many people have you killed this week, man?

Philip answers with a smile “None this week, I´m retired.” (He´s a retired Marine.)

After a long pause he then explained that we work with horses and that the knife is part of our safety equipment, so we don´t lose any fingers if we or our horse accidently got caught somewhere.

The young man’s girlfriend then asks as how that possibly could happen when you´re working with horses. I actually didn´t hear Philips answer, my mind was already thinking of all the situations when I use my knife every day. Well…I must admit that shopping groceries is not one of those ;)

The meeting with those city people made me think of different actions of safety that we´re taking every day and some that we should take.

My first boss always talked about “learning by doing”. I guess that we are doing that all the time J For example we recently came to the bright conclusion that in the future we’re not going to load untrained horses at night. Hahaha….

Two months ago I also learned that it´s not a great idea to ride your 4 year old horse freestyle (bareback and bridleless) with two other free horses with you in the woods when you´re pregnant. (Everything went well but I´m not going to do that again!)

I personally like to wear a helmet when I ride and I always make my son wear one when he´s riding. That´s not saying that I think that simply wearing a helmet is going to take care of my safety issues around horses. The education of the horse is much more important. Starting with establishing the relationship on the ground. Spending a lot of time with my horse is critical. I like to be able to ride my horse everywhere: on city streets, in the forest, without other horses, with other horses, among other animals, through rivers, over obstacles, being able to shoot a gun from my horse, take him camping for a couple of days etc.

I don´t expect him to just be able to do all these things at once. It´s my responsibility to prepare him and make him ready. I´m not crazy! I don´t wanna die! I want to be free and have fun with my horses. As safe as possible.

I love watching good horsemen and women work with horses. As often as I can I like to attend to clinics of trainers who’s work I respect and admire. Knowledge of horse psychology it´s critical. To continue the building of a relationship with my horse will always be my biggest safety tool.

"The eyes of your horse is a mirror of your soul" - Bent Branderup

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I´d love to hear what you think about todays post. Did you relate to the topic?