Where Horses Get Hurt
 By Saferaphus   •   31st Jan 2017   •   768 views   •   0 comments
Where Horses Get Hurt

Most of the time, horse ownership goes smoothly. But here are, of course, times when things go awry. When youíre riding, itís best to use common sense, wear safety equipment and use some more common sense. That way you can avoid injury to your horse and yourself.

But, there are times when things can go very wrong with your horse. Horses get sick, just like every other critter and they sometimes have accidents. Unfortunately you just canít cover them in bubble wrap or suit them up with hockey gear. Some of us have those accident prone types that seem to find every loose bit of wire, rusty nail or a hole to get stuck in... things just happen. Here is a look at the places your horse is at risk, and how to reduce that risk a bit.

On the Road
If you watch the news feeds like I do, youíll notice that one of the most common accidents people have with horses is along roadsides. Horses are usually legally allowed on roads - either ridden or driven. But, most people sharing roadways donít know that and know nothing about how they should approach or pass a horse and rider.

If youíre out along a roadway with your horse, you need to know the rules of the road, just as if youíre driving a car or truck. And, like a conscientious driver, you need to know your responsibilities, and how to handle your conveyance - whether that be your horse under saddle, or hitched to a vehicle.

Any horse being ridden or driven along roadsides needs to be pretty much bombproof. While normal traffic might not be unnerving for it, you have to be prepared for the unexpected, such as a trailer with a flapping tarp, a line of fifty roaring motorcycles, or just plain obnoxious drivers or passengers. You also need to know how to ride in a group if youíre out with friends, so everyone has the best chance for a safe ride.

In The Stall
A stall seems like a secure place to tuck your horse, but even a safely built and well appointed stall can be hazardous. One of the worst accidents that can happen to a horse is to get cast. If the horse isnít found within a short time, it can be fatal. Horses can also get hung up over stall partitions, or in feeders and waterers. Then there are environmental dangers like dirty floors and air. These can cause health problems such as COPD and thrush.

Lots of horses travel thousands of miles in horse trailers without incident. But the close confines and the fact that youíre not on familiar turf can make trailer accidents really frightening. Horses do slip and fall, even in the tight quarters of a trailer, and can end up under other horses or partitions. Or they can end up over the front partition of a small two-horse trailer.

They can get tangled in ropes, or escape out doors or windows. And trailers are another place where dirty air can be a problem. The best way to lessen the risk is to keep your trailer in top-notch condition. Have floorboards, welds, hinges and latches checked regularly. Put in non-slip footing. Keep your trailer clean.

And, deciding to feed your horse hay while traveling is a judgement call. Iíve heard of horses choking on hay because they were too nervous to chew and swallow properly. But some horses may ride quieter if they have something to nibble on while being trailered.

The top danger zone for your horse is its own pasture. Even the best kept, safest pasture is not without its potential for a horse to hurt itself. According to a British study, horses are more likely to hurt themselves in pasture than anywhere else. Probably the best explanation as to why is that our horses are more likely to be in their pasture than anywhere else. If they were kept in a padded room all of the time, theyíd probably get hurt there more than anywhere else.

New horses to a group were more likely to get hurt, and horses in larger groups seemed to get more injuries than those in smaller groups. There was less incidences of injury when there were multiple places to eat. The small upside was however, that most of the reported injuries didnít need the attention of a veterinarian.

To avoid horses beating up on each other, be careful introducing new horses to the mix, and if you have multiple groups, donít change them around very much. Make sure every broken rail, loose wire or protruding nail, gait hinge or latch is fixed quickly. Check for animal burrows and ground pollution such as broken bottles along roadside fences.

And, if you like, Iíve noticed that rolls of bubble wrap is cheap at the dollar store. If nothing else, you can pop the bubbles while you worry about what your horse might hurt itself on next.
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