Staying Safe While Bringing Horses In From The Field
Other horses barging at the gate while you're trying to bring in your horse can be extremely intimidating at best and dangerous at worst so having an agreed system when bringing horses in is crucial to limit risk to horses and handlers and ensure that everyone knows what to do.
Here are a few tips and suggestions for stress-free bring in...
1. Wear a helmet. You might think its over-kill and a drag to wear your hat when handling horses but anything can happen with even the most 'bomb-proof' horse and a very simple measure to apply. Not so long ago, a young local rider was killed from a kick to the head after her horse spooked coming in from the field and only yesterday a young rider here at our yard was knocked over and concussed. I'll say it again, wear your helmet.
2. Bring horses in before they are desperate. t can be really tricky with work and family commitments to always be at the yard before dark and before the horses are standing eagerly at the gate, especially in the winter-time but without doubt, it's much easier to bring horses in before they ar cold, hungry and misetable. They'll be much more compient, quiet and calm and you'll have less anxiety to deal with.
3. Take a friend/helper to assist so there are another pair of hands to open gates and keep horses back.
4. If possible, bring horses in together. Ok, so that's rarely possible but if you have all the owners on the yard, agree to all go up to get the horses in together. Most owners will be more than willing to bring in earlier than planned to avoid accidents and injuries.
5. Create a 'safety pen' from electric fencing about 12 feet square around the gate. It gives you a coral to bring one horse through at a time and horses are likely to be a little more stand off-ish with electric tape.
6. Try feeding hay just before bringing in time to entertain those not coming in first.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas and solutions for bringing in horses safely.