Are Horses Safe?

This good question is worthy of thought.  Horses are beautiful, graceful, and powerful…but are they safe?  Blue Rock Horses and Farms’ motto is:  Safety First, Beauty Second.  This is taught to students here at the farm because:

A horse can kill intentionally.  A horse can kill unintentionally. 

It is hard to think in those terms, after all, they are so pretty!  So are Polar Bears…

“Put your horse brain on,” is probably heard from this instructor second only to, “Keep your heels down!”  For good reason.  Horses do not think like humans.  To be safe and stay safe around them, humans must learn the horse.  Reading good horse books is a wonderful way to learn, however,  observation is the best way to know horses.  Watching them interact with one another is an education in itself.    There is an obvious hierarchy and language among them that can be learned by careful observation.  They ‘speak’ to each other in many different ways, and indeed ‘speak’ to we humans as well.  So, pay close attention.  And remember, it takes time to learn another “language!”

 

Horses are not like dogs.  This must never be forgotten!  Dogs are prey animals, horses are preyed animals.   This is a huge and many, many times overlooked difference, and is a large factor in safety around horses.  Startle a dog,  it will jump, and we laugh.  Startle a horse, and we may be spitting out our own broken teeth!  Is this the fault of the horse?  Absolutely not!  Always make your presence known around the horse.

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Always make your presence known around the horse.

When frightened, horses run away.  That is their first natural defense.  Often before fleeing they will look at what is causing the fear, then take flight.  For this reason, horses need to be tied loosely so they may keep an eye out for danger (or the boogie-man, as this instructor calls it!).   After-all, who wouldn’t keep an eye-out if you were someones potential lunch?

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Tie and lead horses so they are able to look around and keep an eye on their surroundings.

Horses are as accurate in striking with their forelegs and with their hind ones.  The safest position is either right up next to them or way out of striking distance.  They have excellent aim!

 

So, are horses safe?  Yes!  Though a safe, knowledgable horseman is the best way to insure a safe horse.

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Though sign was found on an old manufacturing plant, it rings true for horseman (or woman as well!).

These are minimum basics of safety around horses.  Hope it helps!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Good Old Senior who turned 30 Today

He was a keeper.  That was easy to see from the first.  He was the right color, good temperament, but best of all he showed signs of being the perfect height and build.  Yes, indeed, he was a keeper.

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He was put together very well.

Foaled February 12, 1988 at Mom’s  Tag-Along Farm located, at that time, in Gaithersburg, MD.  She had big plans from the start for him.  She, and my step-father, Carl, bred, raised and showed Miniature horses for 20 years.  It was their retirement ‘fun’.  And fun they had.  His registered name is Tag-Alongs Boomerang,  which was quickly shortened to BR.  It has held ever-since.

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Mom and BR had many fun outings at miniature horse shows.

He was just a baby when Tag-Along Farm moved to Clifton Forge, Va.  Days were full for this miniature horse who was sure he stood 16 hands tall!  He was one of  two breeding stallions for the 26 head of broodmares on the farm.  He was a show stallion, an entertainer (see above photo), and a perfect show-off host to farm visitors.

 

Time marches on, and upon Carl’s death, the horses were sold.  All except five.  BR was one of the five.  They were pals, he and Mom, and she could not let him go.  So, she gelded him and the five lived out their later years at the farm until Mom passed away.  And now, he, and his stablemates are here at Blue Rock Horses & Farm.

And today he turned 30!

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He still entertains farm visitors.

 

Today BR is 30 years old!

He got lots of treats at feeding time tonight!

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Good ‘ole BR, even with all his white, still looks real fine in his blue halter.