Many of us work alone with horses. I have included some videos to help you remain safe while working alone. I prefer working alone because, if the horse suddenly reacts, I only need to think about my safety rather than myself and someone else. My rule is only one person in a stall at a time, with very few exceptions. Remember Law 1 – a horse can kill you (or hurt you).
This topic will evolve into many blogs and videos over time. It is so important to learn the little things that keep you safe. All safety things, big or little, are considered “horsemanship,” covered elsewhere. So be sure to read and study that section as you get time.
This section contains miscellaneous things I either use or have discovered as I travel from farm to farm. They are all for use alone, even when someone else needs to come into the stall later.
Working with both hands AND a lead in the pocket.
Horses that quickly turn away from you in a stall can easily get their hind end in alignment with you to deliver a kick that can end your life. This is one of the ever-present scenarios I protect myself against daily when working with difficult horses. I have had some close calls. I suggest you practice this technique constantly and be vigilant of this possibility. Stay focused, and never allow the head to get away from you. Remember Law 3, but even with a halter and lead on a horse, you have lost your connection if the horse turns away from you.
The one-hand IV injection technique
I do not advocate using a twitch, but there are times when it is necessary. For example, when inserting a tube into the nasolacrimal duct for flushing the tear system as many horses don’t like this. Weighing the cost of a temporary application of a twitch WITHOUT anger versus the administration of any sedative on the health of the microbiota of the digestive system must be weighed.
Learning how to apply a twitch correctly helps the process, as most horse owners who use them have never been instructed how to get one on without a fuss or danger to the horse or themselves.
More videos (opens in a new tab):
- “Safety In Stalls” at minute 30:00 (May 2015)
- “Tying horses” at mark 01:45 (Jul 28, 2015)
- “Keeping horses calm when stressed” at mark 30:08 at 01:45 (Jul 28, 2015)
- “What is the maximum load a horse can carry” at mark 1:00:00 at 01:45 (Jul 28, 2015)
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