• Horse Care:

  • A Safe Environment

    As a horse-owner, you a responsibility to provide your animals with an environment that will not only keep them healthy, but keep them, and yourself, from harm. Every aspect of a large animal's management should be examined as a safety issue, not just for the horse but for his care-giver. Keeping your facility safe can be as simple as keeping your barn and pastures free of debris and garbage and checking fences for stability and strength on a regular basis. If something does not belong in a horse's environment, remove it; if it is broken, fix it; and if it is out of place put it back! Following these simple rules will save you time, money, and aggravation while keeping your barn or stable looking great.

    Every aspect of good horsemanship has its roots in the humane treatment of the horse and in promoting safety for horse and rider. The more you know about horse care and safety, the safer you, your horse and your facilities will be. Your barn or stable does not need to be a fancy showplace to look great. More and more states support versions of an equine liability law that protects horse owners from litigation stemming from horse-related injuries. For example, in Illinois stable owners should post the following message clearly wherever people and horses are found together: WARNING: Under the equine activity liability act, each participant who engages in an equine activity expressly assumes the risks of engaging in and legal responsibility for injury, loss, or damage to person or property resulting from the risk of equine activities. This law makes people aware of the general hazards of horse-related activities but each participant is responsible to his or her companions and to their horses.

    Some of the most basic rules of horse safety and courtesy follow: 

    • Never smoke in or near the barn or stable Barns are extremely flammable places.
    • Never assume a horse heard or saw you approaching That horse may be snoozing or not paying any attention to you and may be startled at your touch.
    • No shouting or running should be allowed in a stable Walking and speaking in calm tones will always get the job done.
    • Never leave a tied horse unattended Your horse can get into a lot of trouble when you aren't watching!
      Always wear an equestrian safety helmet when riding If you want to keep using your head, protect it!
    • Put all equipment back where it belongs as soon as you finish using it Horses will get caught on, break, hurt themselves on, or spook at things that are out of place.
    • Check all latches, switches and doors before leaving the stables A walk-through before you leave is the best insurance against loose horses, colic and damage.
    • Never allow children to play unattended around barns, paddocks or stables Make sure that a responsible adult always monitors the children in these tempting but dangerous environments.

    Proper care and maintenance of the horse or pony is the responsibility of the owner. These guidelines are provided to guide the owner in this responsibility. While the Hooved Animal Humane Society cannot be held responsible for the well-being of an owner's horse or pony, our mission is to help guide horse owners and horse enthusiasts toward the safest, most humane horse/human relationship possible.