GREEN HORSE SAFETY TIPS
- Green horse
I don’t ride a green horse without someone riding an experienced horse with me, especially on windy days.
Note: Not only is this good for safety reasons, its also very calming and a big confidence boost for a young horse to be with a “been there, done that” type of horse.
- First ride
If you buy a young horse, assume it could buck you off, or show other irregular behavior, the first time you ride it. Plan accordingly.
Note: Only purchase and work with young horses if you have the skills and knowledge required.
Young horses are like young children and have much energy to spare, so even if the horse is normally very quiet and calm, expect the unexpected.
Note: This is a good note when dealing with young horses, and any horse, really. They all have a mind of their own.
- Nervous horse
I was dismounting from a two-year-old horse on a concrete driveway. The horse was nervous and green. I was not wearing a helmet and no one was available to hold the horse. I fell and received a skull fracture. I was doing ground work.
Note: ALWAYS wear a helmet.
- Evaluate mood
Take extra precautions with young horses. As the weather turns brisk make sure and lunge your horse to evaluate his mood and to see how much he is ready to play and buck before you mount.
Note: You should do this whenever you feel the need, not just when the weather has changed. Horses have moods just like people and its better to feel them out than get caught off guard.
If you are riding a young and green horse always make sure you wear a helmet. Be aware at all times that the horse could spook or do something unpredictable.
Use a saddle when riding a young horse. They spook easily and it is easier to save a ride if you are in a saddle vs. bareback.
Note: Unless your young horse has all the necessary basics and the attitude to handle a bareback rider, that situation is not only dangerous but very confusing to a young green horse who is just learning to carry a rider. The movement (pressure, shifting of weight, etc) of a bareback rider is very different from that in a saddle. Do your horse a favor and set him up for success when it comes to training.
- Inclement weather
Lunge before you ride a young horse or one that has been stall bound because of poor weather.
Note: Some horses need to be able to let off some steam without a rider on their back, some don’t. Know your horse and its personality so you can approach riding safely.
- Backup help
When working with young horses, always wear a helmet and work with a second handler so you have a backup in an emergency.
Note: Wear a helmet. Every time. And its always good to have another person nearby when working with horses in general.
- Seasoned horses
When riding a green horse pair them with seasoned horses to keep them calm until they become more confident.
Note: A ‘been there/done that’ type of horse is always good for a young or inexperienced one. Having a confident steady eddie beside them will usually take the edge off a nervous one.