No matter how much experience you have around Horses, there’s always the small but real chance that something outside your control may spook the horse. If this happens, you will not want to be within range of the horse’s extremely powerful kicks. Most horse handlers do this one of two ways:
Staying a generous distance away when they are behind or to the side of a horse. Depending on the size of the horse, this “safe distance” can vary, so give the horses plenty of room, especially when directly behind it.
Staying close to the horse and maintaining contact. Keep a hand on the horse and speak to it with a gentle tone of voice. If you are very close to the horses, it will still be able to kick you, but it won’t have enough space to use its full force.
Don’t make sudden movements around a horse.
Keep in mind that it’s possible to startle a horse even if It knows exactly where you are. Sudden, violent motion can make a horse think it’s in danger and provoke a spook response, so you will want to avoid it at all costs. Specific things to avoid include:
Thrusting anything into the horse’s face (remember that it has a blind spot in front of its nose)
Running towards the horse
Slapping or striking the horse in any way
Avoid loud, startling noises.
Just like unexpected noises can frighten humans, they frighten horses as well. Don’t make loud noises around Horses, especially if they’re not used to hearing the noise you’re about to make. If you do have to do something that makes a loud noise, move away from the horse before doing it. Specific things to avoid include:
- Loud clapping, yelling, or screaming
- Loud music
- Loud machines