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Leading Safety
Learn To Be Safe When Leading A Horse
WRITTEN BY: Cheryl Sutor   [1997]


1. Never hold the horse's halter with your hand when leading. Your hand could get stuck if the horse tosses his head and/or decides to spook or take off running. It is very, very dangerous. Always use a lead rope when leading a horse, and hold it in both hands.

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2. When holding the lead rope, always fold the extra rope back and forth instead of around in a loop. Then, hold the rope around the outside of the bundle. Never, ever loop the extra rope (or any equipment), around your hand or other body part. If you do this and the horse pulls away, the rope can tighten around your hand or fingers, possibly causing serious injury should the horse then take off running.

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3. Always wear a helmet when leading or working with any horse. Many horse-related injuries happen before you even get into the saddle. The horse may startle when you are leading him, and you'll want protection for your head should you accidently get trampled, dragged or stepped on. Also, always wear boots or hard-toed shoes to protect your feet should you get stepped on.

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4. When leading your horse, walk next to him near his shoulder (or halfway between his head and shoulder), never ahead or behind. If you walk ahead of him, you could be trampled should he become frightened and attempt to run. If you walk to far behind, you are at risk to be kicked if he becomes frightened or startled.

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5. Remember that the horse is much stronger than you are. If you are not an experienced horse trainer, and the horse becomes startled and attempts to run, just let go of him. If you hang on to the lead rope while the horse tries to escape, you may put yourself in danger of being knocked over, dragged or trampled. Remember that the horse can always be caught again, and your safety is much more important than the horse's.

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6. Whenever you are leading a horse through an entranceway or doorway, be sure that there is at least 4 feet of clear space on either side of him. Never lead a horse through an opening smaller than this. This will give both you and the horse more room to react should he become frightened from accidently bumping against the opening of the entranceway.

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7. To decrease the possibility of you being kicked when turning out your horse, always lead him all the way through the gate and turn him around to face the gate. When you remove his halter, be sure to step well out of the way, since some horses become excited when being turned out and immediately turn to buck and run.






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This article was published on: 1997. Last updated on: 1997.