Commonsense often comes from experience so here’s some you can learn from without having to make the mistake.
If you’re not sure about something, check with your instructor first.
Always wrap your loose reins around the top of the neck near the ears whenever you are off the horse to ensure he doesn’t step in them, causing a panic when they pull on his head/mouth.
Always tie horses high and short (dogs long and low) so they don’t get a leg over the rope, no matter how rope broke they are.
When riding in a natural hackamore, its safer to tie the lead rope to a string on your saddle (or bareback pad as shown) rather than around your horse’s neck, in case it gets caught on something – then it can break free.
Have something on your english/stock saddle (a piece of string or velcro on the D rings) to attatch the reins to when you are riding with a training stick/s so you don’t lose them if the horse trips or throws his head.
If you have to leave your horse when in the company of others and there’s no where to tie him, get someone to hold him or take him with you to save a loose horse causing trouble with others around, no matter how quiet or alseep he is.
It’s not a good habit to tie your savvy string to your belt or around your waist if you ride in a western saddle as it could hook up on something (ie a saddle horn) as you dismount. Keep it in your back pocket.
If you’re thinking of riding over a tarp, think again if your horse has shoes on – they can easily hook the edge if the horse spooks and then you have a real wreck.
Always take your halter off , especially a rope halter, when you’re not connected to your horse.
It’s too easy for your horse to catch the halter on a gate latch, a post, a tap or anything sticking out that he might rub on – and hurt himself badly trying to pull away.
Only tie your horse in a float AFTER the ramp is closed and always untie them before lowering the ramp, even if they have a breeching chain or bar behind them. It doesn’t take much to frighten a horse when it’s already in a claustrophobic situation. Even the quietest horse can pull back when it is thinking ‘I want out of here’.
Always stop to check on your horse when travelling if you feel movement in the trailer – your horse could have caught its head on the wrong side of a divider, fallen or is being hassled by a travelling companion.
When leading a mare and foal through a gate, lead the foal as well. Never assume they will follow the mare as invariably they are cautious about such a ‘squeeze’ through and will invariably hurt themselves trying to get over the fence instead.
When introducing something new to young horses, be in an enclosed area so if the horse gets frightened under pressure and pulls away, it’s less likely to get up a run and scare itself even more with a rope snapping around it’s back legs.
When tying a young horse or re-educating a horse that pulls back, don’t tie them solid – just wrap the rope around a rail or smooth post so there’s just enough ‘drag’ to allow some drift if they do pull.
Never tie up solid on concrete – especially when teaching a horse to tie as they can slip too easily and really skin themselves, particularly if the concrete is wet.
Stay with young horses during their first few tying up sessions – they may need to be released if they pull back and fall or get a leg over the rope.
Don’t tie horses close together when saddled with western saddles – if one rubs against the saddle horn, it may get caught up.
When moving horses to a new pasture, keep them on line while you walk the boundaries to familiarise them with thier new surroundings.
They will be less likely to race around having seen all the sights.
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