If you didn’t already know, this Saturday, 25th March, is National Equestrian Safety Day. Created by The Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund charity, National Equestrian Safety Day is all about highlighting the importance of thinking, acting and being safe around horses before the season starts.
You may be asking yourself: ‘Why celebrate National Equestrian Safety Day on a different date each year?’, but the 25th March is a very significant date in the horsey calendar as it is the day before daylight saving time begins. Every year we long for the clocks to go forward, to be greeted with sunny days, morning, noon and night and most importantly to be able to jump back in the saddle and start competing.
We want you to remain as safe as possible when cantering around this season, which is why we’ve made a run-down of our top safety tips:
- Understand your horse and be confident around it. Just like any other animal if they know you’re not fully confident, they won’t trust you as much.
- Don’t stand behind your horse. Even when you’re brushing their tail, stand to the side in case the horse kicks out.
- Never kneel down when you’re attending to your horse’s hooves, but bend instead so you can move quickly in the event that the horse runs off.
- Always use a lead rope when guiding your horse and don’t hold the halter – if your horse bolts you’ll have more time to react and free yourself.
- When riding, handling and even grooming your horse, always wear a helmet and make sure it meets the correct safety standards.
- Wear the correct clothing at all times, including shoes with reinforced toes and a heel, and hi-vis jackets / vests if you’re riding on the road.
The start of the season is such an exciting time for everyone but horses are ultimately unpredictable animals, so remember to be alert and follow the correct procedures as you trot through the coming months.