Day At The Track

Stop, think, act, when handling horses

06:26 AM 07 Mar 2018 NZDT
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Guelph, ON, March 6, 2018 - As part of Canadian Ag Week from March 11-17, 2018, Equine Guelph reminds horse caregivers to Stop, Think and Act when around horses.
 
The first person who said only fools rush in must have been a horse person! How many times have we gained experience and knowledge after finding ourselves in the dirt or even worse in the hospital?
 
In 2016, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services in collaboration with Imperial Oil and Esso, created an outreach message with the potential to prevent injuries that may not occur if we Stop, Think, and Act. Equine Guelph, certainly saw the applications for the horse industry and also came on board. Proper safety gear, planning ahead and staying alert are all key to ensuring riding a horse is a fun activity. There are plenty of occasions to Stop, Think and Act every time you engage in activities involving horses.
 
In 2017, Equine Guelph’s travelling youth exhibit, EquiMania!, launched a new Stop, Think and Act Hopscotch game to encourage kids to learn a new way of thinking and making good choices when it comes to safety around the farm. The interactive game will be featured next at the Can-Am Equine Expo in Markham, ON, April 6 – 8, where youth can join in the fun and learn about safety.
 
For kids looking for activities over the March break, they can visit EquiMania! Online on www.TheHorsePortal.ca. Completion of the Stop, Think and Act online activities is rewarded with printable certificates and the know-how to reduce the risk of an accident when working around horses. As well, kids can test their general horse knowledge by taking the EquiMania! Challenge!
 
When it comes to horses, learning the hard way can be dangerous. Cutting corners around an animal that weighs in at over 1,000 pounds is simply unadvisable. For example – ducking under a horse’s neck when they are cross tied rather than walking around them or leading them around the stable by a halter when you know you should take a moment to find a lead rope. Being alert to horse behavior is another important aspect to avoiding risky situations. Horses communicate with their body language and one needs to pay attention to often subtle cues.
 
Equine Guelph is hosting two upcoming online short courses on Horse Behaviour and Safety, one for adults and one just for youth between 14 – 17 years of age. Both courses run from March 26 – April 13 on TheHorsePortal.ca and aim to raise awareness of how we can all work safer around horses through understanding how horses think and perceive the world around them.
 
Stop, Think and Act is a great practice for horse people. We can make equine activities safer for all involved when we:
 
- Stop long enough to think about what could go wrong in what you're about to do
- Think about how you're going to do it. Is it the safest way? If not, how can you do it better?
- Act in the safest way possible
 
Even though Farm Safety Week is only one week in the year, it is important to Stop, Think and Act every day and especially on the horse farm.
 
 
Jackie Bellamy-Zions
 
 
Notes to Editor:
Equine Guelph is the horse owners' and care givers' Centre at the University of Guelph in Canada. It is a unique partnership dedicated to the health and well-being of horses, supported and overseen by equine industry groups. Equine Guelph is the epicentre for academia, industry and government - for the good of the equine industry as a whole. For further information, visit www.equineguelph.ca.
 
 
 
National Farm Safety Week March 11-17, 2018
 
Can-Am Expo April 6 – 8: http://canamequine.com/
 
 
Horse Behaviour and Safety Courses: https://thehorseportal.ca/courses/
 
 
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