Horses are smart, hardworking animals and great companions. At the same time, it is very easy to forget that they still have large sizes and great strength, and therefore can be dangerous if they are scared or provoked. However, by following some rules of safety in dealing with a horse, you can effortlessly demonstrate your care and respect for this beautiful animal. Note: If you are not experienced with horses, work with a professional. Do not approach an unfamiliar horse without first asking permission from its owner. 1 Learn the basics of horse body language. When you approach a horse, it is very important to be able to distinguish between a contented, open-hearted animal and an agitated or upset state. Pay attention to the following signs. Signs of comfort (if you see them, you can continue to approach): relaxed, soft eyes that do not stare at you; turning the head or front of the body in your direction; licking the lips; ears turned in your direction; peaceful, relaxed posture of the body. Signs of discomfort (if you notice them, move away and do not approach): pulling away or running away from you when you approach; tense, dilated eyes with a fixed gaze in your direction; ears flattened (facing backwards); exposing teeth or attempting to bite; rearing up or kicking; 2 Always keep an eye on where the horse is. It only takes a few seconds for the horse to run behind you and rear up. Therefore, you must definitely know where the horse is and keep a close eye on it. Anything can scare a horse. If the horse is running in your direction to avoid getting under its hooves, raise your arms up (this will make you look bigger) and say “stop” or “whoa” in a firm, calm voice. This will help you redirect the horse in a different direction. 3 Create enticing rather than demanding conditions for your presence before you approach the horse. In the relationship of horses, there are concepts of pressure and freedom. Horses are herd animals and will most likely not wait for you to approach them. Simply making eye contact is already starting to put pressure on the horse, pushing him to run away from you. 4 If possible, try to approach the horse diagonally from the front. The number one rule in approaching a horse is that the horse is aware of your approach. This is most easily achieved (no doubt) by approaching the animal from the front and slightly from the side (to avoid the front blind spot). If you can, approach the horse from the left front (this is best); in most cases, horses are trained to be handled by a human on the left side, so they usually feel more comfortable that way. It is a myth that horses prefer either side to communicate with humans. Exceptional humans have developed over the years the habit of doing everything on the left side, training and desensitizing the horse on the left side but forgetting the right side. In the wild, horses approach each other, not paying attention to any side. For your mutual success with your horse, it will be best for you to work from both sides. Use careful, even walking steps. Try to relax, as horses are very good at detecting subtle signs of tension. Don't try to hide or make your own steps silent. Don't make eye contact with the horse. This may be interpreted as a threat. When approaching, just look at the horse's knees. 5 If you need to approach the horse from behind, do so at an angle. Note that only experienced instructors who are familiar with the signaling lines to the horse are allowed to do this. It is not recommended to approach the horse otherwise than from the front. If someone came up behind you, you would feel uncomfortable, the same thing happens with a horse. Try to give the animal as much comfort as possible by approaching her at an angle (not directly from behind). The larger the angle, the better. Horses have monocular vision, meaning they see a separate side picture with each eye as you approach them. As already mentioned, it is better to approach the horse from the left than from the right. 6 Use your voice to notify the horse of your approach. For beginners in riding, the constant conversation of an experienced instructor with his horse may seem strange. However, it serves a very important purpose: it constantly tells the animal where the person is. When you approach a horse, you should also talk to it gently. You can say anything, as long as you use only a peaceful, even tone of voice. However, in most cases, riders will say something along the lines of: “Hey horse, are you ready to ride?” You should do this regardless of the chosen direction of approach to the horse, but it becomes critical if you are not approaching it from the front. Since the horse may not notice you right away, it is very important to warn him of your approach with your voice. 7 Let the horse sniff you. Like dogs and many other animals, horses use their sense of smell to identify other living things and threats. When you approach a horse, stretch your hand forward so that it can sniff it. Don't stick your hand directly into the horse's muzzle, just stop a couple of steps away from him and gently reach out towards the horse (open palm down), leaving a distance of about 30 cm between your hand and the horse's muzzle. If the horse does not show interest in sniffing your hand, don't bother it with that anymore. Just remove your hand and move on to the next step. 8 If you have treats for your horse, give him a small bite (provided you have permission from his owner). This is not a requirement, but this way you can win the favor of an unfamiliar horse. One of the biggest dangers in horse nutrition is the occurrence of colic, which can often be fatal, so as a precaution, it is best to ask the horse's owner's permission before treating him to anything. Colic can be triggered by a number of factors, including eating even small amounts of that food. that the horse is not used to, is allergic to, or has eaten at the wrong time. A number of processed foods and some wild plants can be poisonous to horses. It is also possible that the owner of the horse keeps it on a special diet or treatment, and some types of treats can interfere with the body's absorption of medications or supplements. All of these are reasonable grounds for asking the horse's owner's permission before giving him any treats. When you give the horse a treat, place it in the palm of your hand and hold it fully open. This will prevent the horse from accidentally biting your fingers. Let the horse take the treat from you. Don't push her to take it if she doesn't feel like it. Note that some horses may start to bite because of the treat; they become rude very quickly if given a treat for no reason, so the treat should be given immediately after the desired behavior from the horse and only in conjunction with an accompanying voice command. Also, if treats are used incorrectly, the horse may begin to refuse to come with you if you don't have a treat, which is also bad enough. Small pieces of many common fruits and vegetables are excellent treats for a horse. For example, most horses like carrots and apple slices. Caress the horse. Before proceeding to perform any operation on the horse, take a moment to show the animal your love and bring it to a more comfortable state. Approach the horse's shoulder while continuing to talk to it. Make sure that she sees you and at the same time looks at you with a soft, peaceful look. Gently stroke her neck, shoulder and mane. When the horse relaxes, you can gradually move the petting on the body towards the croup. caressing horse, stay away from sensitive areas such as eyes, nose and mouth. Use rubbing or gentle scratching, never spank or tap the horse, most horses don't like this. Did you visit Campervan Turkey?