Equestrian Safety Tips For Kids At The Barn

Equestrian Safety Tips For KidsEquestrian sports in Davie, Florida attract people of all ages, young and old. Kids are incredibly small compared to horses weighing 1,000+ pounds, meaning there are endless ways for little equestrians to incur an injury.

Horses have a lot to offer, they increase self-confidence, teach a thing or two about responsibility, and they are a lot of fun. Horseback riding is not the safest sport but the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Urgent Medical Center caters to injured equestrians in Davie, Florida on a regular basis. Having seen it all, from cuts and bruises to fractures, here are some of the best tips to keep your kid safe at the barn.

1. Always Keep An Eye On Your Child Around Horses

Barn injuries are most common in young children because they do not understand the consequences of their behavior. Screaming while standing directly behind a horse, or running under a horse’s belly are not uncommon behaviors, but they are very dangerous. Children should never be left unsupervised around horses. You can’t always depend on your child’s riding trainer to keep an eye on them; if your young child is at the barn you should be there as well.

2. Set Clear Barn Rules

It’s important that children understand the rules around horses. Make sure your child knows what they can and can’t do when they are working with horses. Set a good example by following all of the rules yourself. When locating a good equestrian center in Davie, Florida look for a center with established rules and a focus on safety for equestrians of all ages. If you see riders out without helmets or the barn appears chaotic, these are red flags it might not be the best place for young kids to learn about horses.

3. Be Calm Around The Horses

Even the most docile horses can spook if they are caught off guard. Horses are flight animals naturally programed to take off at the slightest indication of fear. Teach your child this from the get-go. They must use calm voices, avoid abrupt actions and use their voice to alert horses of their positioning.  A good riding instructor will go over all of these things with your child, but make sure the message sinks in and your child follows instruction.

4. Wear Proper Riding Gear

Make sure your child is always wearing proper clothes for the barn. Closed toed boots with a heel, a fitted helmet, and a riding vest will help prevent a number of potential horse-related injuries, both on and off the horse.

5. Only Approach A Horse From The Shoulder

Horses’ eyes are positioned on the side of their heads, meaning they don’t see directly in front of them. This is why it’s so important to always approach a horse from their shoulder. This way they can see you coming and won’t become startled or spooked. Children should always walk around the front of a horse, avoiding the rear end, and never walk beneath a horse’s neck or belly.

6. Keep Kids Out of Pastures And Stalls During Feeding Time

Horses love food and may mistake a child for another horse when it comes to their delicious hay and grain. Keeping children away from stalls and pastures during feeding time helps prevent accidents.

7. Find A Reputable Riding Instructor

Your child’s riding instructor should have adequate experience working with children and horses. Ask around, read online reviews and use your own judgment to find a trainer you trust to teach your child how to ride and work with horses. A careless or overly relaxed trainer might be fine for older or more advanced riders, but little equestrians require extra special attention to remain safe.

8. Finding The Right Lesson Horse

The lesson horse your child learns with is just as important as the riding instructor. A smaller horse or pony with a calm disposition is hugely important to keeping kids safe at the barn. Some big horses make great teachers too, so long as they are calm and have plenty of experience working with young riders.

9. Teach Kids How To Properly Lead A Horse

Children should only lead a horse if they know how to position their body with the horse. A horse should always walk to the side of your child, not directly behind. Also, the lead rope should never wrap around their arm, but should be loosely held in their hand to prevent being dragged in the instance the horse spooks and takes off.

With so many great equestrian centers in Davie, Florida many children are jumping at the bit to take lessons. You don’t have to let fear stand in the way of your child’s opportunities. Kids can safely interact with horses so long as the right precautions are taken. Remember 40-60% of all barn injuries are 100% preventable.

In the case of a barn accident, visit Urgent Medical Center in Davie, Florida for fast, reliable medical attention you and your little one can count on.

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