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  1. #1
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    Jun. 23, 2006
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    Default The stupid things we do that get us hurt...

    or not if we're lucky

    I was at the barn this morning with the farrier. The little girl and her mother who free lease one of the horses showed up to hold their horse for him. They also do weekends for the BO in exchange for lessons. What got me started on this today was when the little girl (9 y/o) comes out of the barn leading one of the horses by his mane. No halter or lead rope. He's 16h a really good guy, but she's leading him with her arm up under his neck holding his mane on the other side (the BO does this all the time). I immediately put the halter and lead rope I had on him and told her to never ever lead a horse around without one and told her what she was doing could get her hurt.

    I then went on to tell her mother that I would hate to see her daughter get run over if the horse spooks and it would make me sick if it happened and I never said anything. I told them that I was hurt twice (once really bad) out of laziness, doing something similar and to please learn from my mistakes. I usually mind my own business, but I couldn't help it this time. What I can't believe is that the BO is doing this in front of her lesson kids. It's one thing to jeopardize your own safety, but gosh darn it... Teach the ones who are learning CORRECTLY!

    I think that being around horses all the time, especially horses that are well behaved, makes us complacent about safety. Through recent events I have been trying to be as safe as possible (like riding with a helmet ALL THE TIME).

    Ugh...sorry, guys...seeing her do that got my hackles up about some of the things I see go on and I have to keep my mouth shut because it's not my place.
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2008
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    PA
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    761

    Default

    I don't see how it could ever be wrong to keep a child safe. Good for you.
    "Your best can be worn at any length"- Jason Mraz



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 10, 2008
    Location
    Gillett PA
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    250

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    Sometimes we have to just open up to the younger/fearless generation. I would want someone to give my kids the "what for" if they were seen doing something stupid...but then again I am a mom who knows her angels are not perfect...yes they have tarnished halos and hide their horns under their hair.

    Just because a horse is considered beginner safe does not mean that stupid (preventable) accidents won't occur.

    Thank you for making sure that young girl was safe.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2008
    Location
    Central NY
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    734

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    Good for you. Now can you drum safety into MY head? I seem to always do stupid things that result in a spook, maybe a loose horse, but luckily never an injury.

    Last week my horse spooked on cross ties because of a cat prowling through a trash can. I walked my horse right up to the can saying, "It's only a kitty, look, it's ok."
    The cat looked up, saw it was caught and VAULTED out of the can towards my horse's face. My horse took off through the aise (it's secure from outside) but spooked another horse that joined her retreat.

    Granted, the other girl was being lax too, horse not properly haltered or tied. And she observed exactly what I was doing, so knew the chances of a spook. But yeah, we BOTH could have been hurt just because neither of us were thinking safely.



  5. #5
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    Apr. 18, 2006
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    A long time ago now, a few horses were struck by lightening in the large paddock where my guys go. So, when a storm rolls through (which rarely happens), we are quick to bring them in. I happened to be away from the farm when a flash storm rolled in so quick one summer. I raced to the barn, jumped from my car and ran in the downpour, thunder and lightening to get my guys- in my flipflops. My new mare began dancing around with each clap and stepped right on my pinkie toe. Lucky for me it only sliced wide open. Didn't rip it off but boy was there a lot of blood. To this day I have a swollen "pink" pinkie with no feeling. No pointy high heels for me. Now, no matter how bad the storm, no matter how dire the situation, I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS put barn boots on first.



  6. #6
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    May. 9, 2008
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    Because our riders are special needs students there is no margin for error, ever. We simply cannot take chances. I wonder sometimes if that makes me more than a little bit boring in the eyes of the child yearning to ride free...but better to safe than not. Right? But when do you draw the line?

    My DH has never really ridden and this weekend I was going to get him started. I could have simply thrown him on the TB bareback for the 35 seconds DH would have had the patience for, but no...By the time I got out the blankets, pads, surcingle, helmet, rainbow reins etc...he said "well, aren't you just the wet blanket...killjoy...now I don;t have time" And he never did get on the horse.

    Is there a time when we become too safe?
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2009
    Location
    Apex, NC
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    285

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    Is there a time when we become too safe?

    Not in my opinion! My husband is just learning to ride, and I won't let him on his horse with out a helmet and proper shoes/boots. I have to be out there to double check his tack and make sure he gets on and off safely.

    As long as we're dealing with animals that have their own minds and are prey animals we *must* be safe. (Just not so safe we don't work with them at all!)



  8. #8
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    Feb. 22, 2007
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    I've been thinking about how lazy I've gotten recently as I've been teaching my father how to ride. The first time he came out, I was helping him saddle his horse and I kept having to say, "Now don't do what I just did..." I must have said it ten times in the time it took to saddle the horse. I thought I was pretty safety conscious but working on my own I've gotten so lazy. I worked on it, though, and by the next time he came out I only said it once the entire ride.



  9. #9
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    May. 9, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by horsegeeks View Post
    Is there a time when we become too safe?

    Not in my opinion! My husband is just learning to ride, and I won't let him on his horse with out a helmet and proper shoes/boots. I have to be out there to double check his tack and make sure he gets on and off safely.

    As long as we're dealing with animals that have their own minds and are prey animals we *must* be safe. (Just not so safe we don't work with them at all!)

    Ok, I feel better now. If I start wrapping DH in bubblewrap before he rides then I will re-think that.
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2006
    Location
    New York
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    You got me thinking, and watching... My 13yo daughter has been around horses her entire life (and before she was born!). She has always been taught safety first.
    I watch her handle the horses every day, and she automatically follows our basic barn rules (appropriate shoes, helmet, halter/lead, clear aisles, etc). When she sees something not being done the way she has been taught, she is REALLY QUICK to point out the safety issues!
    We sent her horse to a professional trainer, and my daughter went to the barn for a lesson at the trainer's. The horse was saddled and brought to my daughter by the trainer, who told her to "Hop up there". Imagine the look on the trainer's face when my daughter checked her tack and tightened her cinch before she swung up. I had to explain to the trainer that I have always told her not to trust anyone to tack up her horse, even me. "ALWAYS check your own tack, your horse, your cinch before getting on."
    My kid is a stickler about checking the emergency brakes before heading out on a ride, too... And telling someone where we are going and when we are expecting to return...And she leaves notes on the feedbin about who drank all their water the night before and who has loose poops when she mucked out, and who is picking through their hay. Yeah, I know.... she is pretty awesome, isn't she???
    I can't help but laugh when I see/hear her taking a horseowner to task over safety issues! You go, girl!
    OP, someone has to teach them, it is good that you are looking out for them!



  11. #11
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    May. 9, 2008
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    brockstables that is my DD...the uber horsewoman. She trusts classicsporthorses at lessons but besides Jean? Not even me...she double checks EVERTHING and now she has no problem pointing out when something isn't right. She isn't a "well aren't you special" no it all child...but safety first should be her middle name

    If it were not for her and her dedication and devotion to all things equine I may not have been alerted to some very serious issues that were going on recently with a "situation". She was devastated by it because at 15 she felt she did not have the authority to judge an adult on their care and treatment. She finally came to me and spilled her guts...and she was not wrong. She learned a valuable lesson...to trust herself and her abilities and knowledge. She learned the RIGHT WAY and she should trust that. Just because someone is an adult, has 40 horses yada, yada...it doesn't matter. If basic health and safety rules are not followed someone should say something, even if that means telling another adult instead of saying something herself.
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2006
    Location
    New York
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    375

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    [QUOTE=equineartworks;4456029]brockstables that is my DD...the uber horsewoman. She trusts classicsporthorses at lessons but besides Jean? Not even me...she double checks EVERTHING and now she has no problem pointing out when something isn't right. She isn't a "well aren't you special" no it all child...but safety first should be her middle name
    QUOTE]

    OMG... my daughter would LOVE to have someone like that around here to hang out with! Her best friend has a horse, and they just fly by the seat of their pants on most everything... Not too many cares about anything. Drives my daughter NUTS!
    She has an old mare that she did a lot of retraining on, and lately a few people have ridden her mare. Beginners, mostly, and she is fine with them as long as they do what my daughter says (as best they can). She knows how the mare likes to be ridden, and she is willing to share that. However, when an advanced rider gets up there and starts hauling and pumping on that mare, they better watch out. She does not hesitate to set them straight about handling that mare with some RESPECT!
    She has gotten quite a reputation at 13 for being a force to be reconned with! LOL



  13. #13
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    Aug. 22, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by equineartworks View Post
    Is there a time when we become too safe?
    Yes. When we refuse to make any attempt whatsoever to calculate the actual risk and decide whether it should be taken or not, given the circumstances, and insist irrevocably on "safety rules" followed by rote.

    The leading the horse by the mane thing -- any horse on my place that I could not lead by the mane for routine things (like coming in, going out, and the worst that can happen is they get away from me and I have to catch them again) can just hop themselves up on the truck for Canada.

    Would I lead one down the highway that way? No, not unless it was running loose, I caught it, and had no other means of trying to lead it -- which case, since the only other choice would be to let it run loose until better leading apparatus could be had, you bet your butt I'd be leading the horse along the highway by the mane if I could.

    About the only thing you can get hurt leading a horse by the mane that you can't also get hurt by leading a horse with a halter and lead is to get your mane hand cut up by horse hair ripping through your hand as you try to hang on to a horse that won't stay with you.

    However, reading the situation and taking a calculated risk, knowing what the worst case scenario might be and deciding that the odds of that materializing are next to none is one thing. Being stupid and doing stuff without having any clue how it could go wrong and the odds of that happening is another.



  14. #14
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    Jun. 16, 2006
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    SE Coastal NC
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    No you can never be "too safe" or let your guard down. I'm guilty of being too complacent around my own horse and I catch myself doing dumb things (that my horse would tolerate!) when I'm around other horses. I hate that feeling afterward of "OMG I can't believe I did that" when you make a bad judgement call and things almost turn ugly. It's so easy to get hurt when you least expect it.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  15. #15
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    May. 22, 2009
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    96

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    I had a heart attack the other day because while I was in the tack room putting my boots on a young girl was bringing in her lesson horse. My horse was in the way in the cross ties. I start walking out when I see her letting them sniff noses. My horse will nicker (the hussy come hither nicker) and then strike at the nose sniff. I ran out yelling "don't let them sniff noses!!!" and luckily someone else standing right there stepped in but it still scared me half to death.



  16. #16
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    Jun. 23, 2006
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    Stoystown, PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysandbays View Post
    The leading the horse by the mane thing -- any horse on my place that I could not lead by the mane for routine things (like coming in, going out, and the worst that can happen is they get away from me and I have to catch them again) can just hop themselves up on the truck for Canada.
    The problem I have with this, is that when little girl is leading him this way, the horse is right on top of her, if he spooks and has no where else to go, he's going to go right over her. Said horse is a good guy, but can be spooky. I don't have a problem with an adult that knows better, but chooses to do it anyway, they are responsible for themselves and can make their own decisions. But...don't teach a beginner that this is correct. I've been hurt twice. Once by leading a horse by the halter, he spooked, reared up and picked me off the ground. I landed on my face and got a chiropractic adjustment I didn't need. The other time, leading a mare by her fly mask, she spooked and ran right over top of me hitting me in the leg. I thought my leg was broken and couldn't walk for a week. I'm sure if I would have had her by the mane...the same thing would have happened. If I would have had halters and leads on either one of these horses, I most likely wouldn't have been hurt except for maybe a rope burn. btw...both horses had impeccable ground manners.

    I agree that they should be that easy to handle, but anything can happen. It doesn't matter how well trained the horse is.
    Boyle Heights Kid 1998 OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
    Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
    "Once you go off track, you never go back!"



  17. #17
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    Sep. 14, 2000
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    Goochland, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysandbays View Post
    Yes. When we refuse to make any attempt whatsoever to calculate the actual risk and decide whether it should be taken or not, given the circumstances, and insist irrevocably on "safety rules" followed by rote.

    The leading the horse by the mane thing -- any horse on my place that I could not lead by the mane for routine things (like coming in, going out, and the worst that can happen is they get away from me and I have to catch them again) can just hop themselves up on the truck for Canada.

    Would I lead one down the highway that way? No, not unless it was running loose, I caught it, and had no other means of trying to lead it -- which case, since the only other choice would be to let it run loose until better leading apparatus could be had, you bet your butt I'd be leading the horse along the highway by the mane if I could.

    About the only thing you can get hurt leading a horse by the mane that you can't also get hurt by leading a horse with a halter and lead is to get your mane hand cut up by horse hair ripping through your hand as you try to hang on to a horse that won't stay with you.

    However, reading the situation and taking a calculated risk, knowing what the worst case scenario might be and deciding that the odds of that materializing are next to none is one thing. Being stupid and doing stuff without having any clue how it could go wrong and the odds of that happening is another.
    Oh, NO! A 9 y.o. girl is NOT old enough to take a calculated risk, ever. A kid should ALWAYS do things the safe way, until they do it without even thinking. They can't make the judgement call and take responsibility that an adult can. And you are wrong that nothing more can happen w/out a halter and shank than with. Are you kidding me? A halter and shank gives you the means to, at best, stop the situation from happening, and at worst, control it.

    Your post makes me crazy, as the OP's situation involves a kid. I'm 56 and I can tell you I NEVER lead a horse without a halter AND shank. Safety is paramount in my life, and I teach it at every opportunity. Especially to kids.
    Laurie
    Finding, preparing, showing and training young hunters, in hand and performance.
    www.juniorjohnsontrainingandsales.com



  18. #18
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    Aug. 22, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauriep View Post
    And you are wrong that nothing more can happen w/out a halter and shank than with. Are you kidding me? A halter and shank gives you the means to, at best, stop the situation from happening, and at worst, control it.
    That's not what I said. I said the only thing you are going to get HURT by leading by the mane that you won't get hurt with a halter and lead is your hair-ripped hand. I didn't say anything about stopping situations or controling them. If you are going to lead by the mane, you have to pretty sure there won't be any "situations" that need to be stopped or controled.

    Your post makes me crazy, as the OP's situation involves a kid. I'm 56 and I can tell you I NEVER lead a horse without a halter AND shank. Safety is paramount in my life, and I teach it at every opportunity. Especially to kids.
    I've lead a horse by the mane probably thousands of times in the last thirty years and don't have a darn bit of excitement or a single horror story to show for it.

    Oh, wait, at one show, there was that loose, halterless horse cantering toward me that I stepped in front of and grabbed his mane and his nose and started leading him back to his owner's trailer. Guess you'da just let him keep on runnin', huh?



  19. #19
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    Mar. 15, 2007
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    I cannot agree more with the OP and with laurieP. A young girl does not have the knowledge nor strength nor maturity to deal with a situation with a horse resulting from POOR horse handling. Greysandbays, what you are describing is emergency, but not regular, horse handling. Leading a horse by its mane on a regular basis is asking for trouble and is poor horse handling. It is NOT NOT NOT in the realm of experience of a preteen girl.

    As a preteen girl I broke my hand and have permanent damage to my pinky tip from poor horse handling. It could have been prevented but I just didn't know at the time. Many kudos to the OP for offering to educate this young girl regarding an unecessarily dangerous situation.

    J.



  20. #20
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    Mar. 5, 2007
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    I once ( a long long time ago) decided to ride my medium pony sitting backwards in the saddle doing serpentines between blue barrels that she spooked at every single time she saw them.
    Worked out well for a little while then she kicked up some sand on one of the barrels. The noice made her freak out and I had no chance of controlling her being that i was facing her tail. I got slammed into the ground like you cannot believe, lots my air in the worst way. I fell about 10 feet away from the open door to our indoor ring and it took the very last bit out of me crawling to the door so that i could at least prevent her from running back to the barn and telling on me!

    I laid there for a good 10 min before I could get back up and catch her. Didn;t get seriously hurt but it was stupid as heck!


    My secon worst is while clipping a sedated horse. I was tired and grouchy to start out and because he was sedated he kept leaning one one back leg. I was clipping the tail part and needed him to stand up straight so i could get a good little trianle above the tail. He kept leaning on one leg and i got tiffed and smacked him on the butt! All of a suddent sedated horse waked up and double barrels me 20 feet down the aisle. I didn't get severely hurt but I have a scar on my leg where one of his hoofs caught me as a reminder not to do that again! LOL
    Timothy, stop lurking



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